You would be entitled to think that you were pretty safe walking down the street you live or work on. It’s a street you are very familiar with. You know where the pothole is, you know where the pavement dips unexpectedly, you know about that wobbly paving slab, you know about the tree roots which have caused the tarmac to raise and break up. The council really should do something about it. However, walking down the street can have its unexpected dangers and it’s not always the council’s fault!
I have just settled 2 cases where my clients were awarded compensation for injuries sustained whilst walking down their street. One client was walking home from the gym. Another client had just nipped out at lunch to grab a sandwich at work. Both these clients’ journeys took unexpected detours via the A&E department.
My first client was hit by a bus. He was walking past a junction which a bus was moving out from. The bus failed to swing round sufficiently which meant he overshot the pavement and hit my client. He sustained a nasty injury to his right elbow which involved nerve injury. Surgery was recommended but my client had pervious unrelated surgery (as a result of sporting injuries) which did not have the desired outcome and he was very reluctant to undergo further surgery. He therefore took a wait and see approach and I am pleased to say he has made virtually a full recovery. He’s not able to do as much as he used to in the gym (are any of us?!) but he’s learnt to adapt very well.
My second client also sustained an injury to his elbow but unfortunately his recovery was not as good. This client was walking past a restaurant when he slipped on fat which was leaking from a waste barrel which had been left out for collection. The restaurant had overloaded the barrel and the used fat was left to seep out causing a significant slipping hazard. You can imagine how upset my client was when he learned that the council had warned the restaurant about doing this in the past.
My client’s elbow was fractured into several fragments and he required immediate surgery to try and reconstruct the joint. This proved impossible and he had to have a replacement radial head. This caused significant restriction of movement and he was unable to do anything for himself for about 6 months. He learnt to adapt but the metal work in his arm continued to give him problems and he had to have this removed almost 3 years after the accident. He has been left with about 75% range of movement, a loss of strength and a loss of mobility in his arm. He can only lift and move light objects.
I was very pleased to help these 2 clients obtain compensation from the respective defendants to help with their recoveries. They are now both moving on with their lives but I’m sure they are more than just a little bit wary about doing something so simple as walking down the street.