Laura Vaughan of Trethowans was instructed by her client to pursue a claim for damages for the injuries and financial losses which she suffered as a result of a slipping accident.
On the day of the accident, our client was visiting a supermarket during the course of her employment. As she walked towards the exit of the store, past a flower display, she suddenly slipped on some water and a flower head on the store floor. She fell very heavily onto her right hip.
After receiving details of her claim from Trethowans, the supermarket chain admitted that as the occupier of the store it had failed in its duty to take all reasonable steps to ensure that she would be safe when visiting their premises and was responsible for the accident and agreed that it was liable to compensate our client for her injuries and losses.
She had undergone a successful right hip replacement operation only 6 months before the accident and had made a very good recovery. However, as a result of the force of her fall, the muscles around the new right hip joint were damaged causing her to develop a haematoma which then became infected.
She had no option but to undergo further hip surgery for her infected hip replacement joint to be removed.
For 9 months after the operation, she was left with no right hip joint. She was completely immobile and very heavily reliant on her husband to care for her. During the same period, she had to take antibiotics to try to prevent the infection from spreading. This was particularly frightening for her because she had an artificial aortic heart valve and if the infection had spread to it the surgery she would then have needed could have been fatal.
She underwent a second operation for a new right hip replacement joint to be fitted. After the surgery, she once again had to take antibiotics for six months.
After surgery, she attended a course of physiotherapy treatment on the NHS but was still suffering from a dull ache in her hip when she stood up from a seated position and an occasional limp. Her walking distance was limited.
Trethowans secured an interim payment for her from the Defendant to her Personal Injury claim to fund a course of private hydrotherapy treatment as part of her damages claim, after this was recommended to her by the independent Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon instructed to advise as part of the claim. Following this treatment, her right hip symptoms significantly improved.
In addition to the anxiety which she suffered regarding the spread of the infection, following the accident she feared having another fall. More importantly, she became too frightened to have the hip replacement operation to her left hip which by then she needed for a pre-existing health condition that was unrelated to the accident.
Trethowans secured a second interim payment for her from the Defendant to her claim to pay for her to attend a course of private cognitive behavioural therapy in order to assist her in dealing with her fears and anxiety. This course of treatment was recommended by a Consultant Psychiatrist instructed by Trethowans as part of the claim.
Following a period of negotiation, Trethowans successfully negotiated a sum of damages from the supermarket chain to settle her Personal Injury claim.