Teacher recovers damages after back injury is suffered at work | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Teacher recovers damages after back injury is suffered at work

Diane sustained a back injury in a work accident that required surgery and forced her to move house. Our personal injury team settled her claim for £18,250 compensation.

Diane was working as a lecturer at Waltham Forest College where she taught English to speakers of other languages.

On 23 November 2004 she was teaching in a computer room and went to sit down on a chair next to a student. The chair had wheels and as she pulled the chair to sit on it, it collapsed. She grabbed the top of the back support which was also loose. She fell, hitting her lower back on the edge of the seat.

Diane experienced pain and discomfort over the following year including tenderness over the lower paraspinal muscles, left sciatica and feelings of numbness and tingling down her left leg.

Diane underwent an operation to decompress the nerve and fuse the lowest disc (L5/ S1) in the lumbar spine in November 2005, followed by physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.

Diane had a significant history of previous back problems and had undergone an L5/S1 discectomydiscectomy in 2003, but was 80-90% better when the accident occurred.

But she was always vulnerable to developing further back pain and had a 50% chance of requiring the further spinal surgery within five years even if the accident had not occurred.

We pursued a personal injury claim on Diane's behalf and Waltham Forest College admitted liability. Diane accepted £18,250 in damages. This included an amount for the fact that Diane was forced to move house and pay an increase in rent.

Diane could not drive and her old flat was a 20 minute walk up a steep hill to the College, which she could not manage after the accident. She moved to a flat which was two - five minutes away, but in a more desirable area.

The new flat also had a washing machine, whereas the old flat did not and she had to struggle to carry her washing to the launderette. The previous landlord would not install one as he owned the shop beneath where he restored antique furniture and he was worried about the risk of flooding.

Contact us

For further information about work accident claims, personal injury claims, please call Mark Bowman on 03304606794 or email mark.bowman@fieldfisher.com.


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