Case Study

£620,000 compensation for scaffolding fall

1st November 2023

£620,000 compensation for scaffolding fall

Dave* suffered significant injuries to his right leg after falling off scaffolding whilst at work on a building site. He broke his thigh bone, kneecap, shin bone and foot. He had been taking down the scaffolding when he lost his balance and fell to the ground.

Dave’s challenges

He needed surgery to repair his thigh bone and kneecap. When he was discharged home, his leg was in a brace; he was confined to his bedroom for months due to his injuries, only leaving the house to attend appointments. He had some physiotherapy and hydrotherapy to help his recovery, but this was unfortunately limited due to the COVID pandemic. Dave struggled with getting up and down the stairs, was unable to dress himself and needed help from his wife to get in and out of the bath. He found it difficult to do routine chores and could not do any gardening or continue to renovate his home, which, before the accident, he had been doing mostly on his own. His driving was also restricted. Some months later he had the metalwork removed from his knee, after it had started coming through the wound.

Dave’s pain was very draining and affected his sleep. He could not return to the physical work of a scaffolder and restarted smoking after having given up 20 years ago due to the stress of being off work. The accident turned his life upside down. He felt hopeless about the future, vulnerable and anxious. He also experienced intrusive thoughts about the accident and had suicidal thoughts, given his increasing debt due to being unable to work. When he saw his GP about how he felt, he was diagnosed with a depressive disorder and went on medication to manage his symptoms.

Before the accident, Dave was renovating his dream home. However, as he could not work, he could no longer afford to pay the mortgage. His home was no longer suitable due to his difficulties getting up and down stairs. Dave and his wife were forced to sell their dream home and had to move in with their son. After some time, they were able to purchase another property - a two-storey house, which required a lot of work. A search was made for suitable bungalows, which unfortunately proved difficult to find. Dave called in help from friends and family to begin the renovation work, which involved rebuilding the garage and converting it into a downstairs bedroom with an ensuite. Their son was later served with a notice to leave his rental property, and so Dave and his wife were forced to move into their house before the work was complete, meaning they lived out of one bedroom with no hot water or heating. Dave could not complete the work himself and did not have the money to hire tradesmen. 

Responsibility for the accident was heavily disputed by both the owner of the building site and the scaffolding contractor, so they would not agree to make any payments or provide support with therapies and case management.  

How we made a positive impact in Dave’s case

We were committed to helping Dave and his wife win the case. We gathered the necessary evidence in support of his claim so that we could issue court proceedings and present his claim at trial. 

Despite the defendants continuing to deny responsibility, we continued to explore the possibility of reaching a settlement with the defendants.  

The outcome

At a settlement meeting, the case was compromised in the global sum of £620,000, which, after allowing for a deduction for the risks associated with Dave being held responsible or partly responsible for the accident, resulted in a compensation award of £435,000. 

Andy Shaw, Partner in our personal injury team representing Dave, said: 

“We’re really pleased to have secured a settlement for Dave, which means he can move forward with his life. Dave was extremely happy with the result. The money will enable him to pay for tradesmen to complete the work on his house so that he can live downstairs, which will undoubtedly make it much easier for him and will improve his quality of life.”

Dave looks forward to being able to have family over at his house and spend time with his grandchildren.


*Not his real name


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