Building site injury settles for £2,500 compensation

An Advance Legal client was employed to work on a construction site. He was sent to oversee a particular job which would involve moving a significant amount of concrete, which had to be moved quickly before it set. The client had therefore planned the work so that an extra labourer would be available to help him, and also arranged to hire a powered wheelbarrow to make the job easier and more importantly, safer.

However, although our client held a relatively senior position in the company, there was someone else above him who really “called the shots”. That person was always keen on cutting costs where possible, therefore he countermanded the client’s plans and cancelled the extra labourer and powered wheelbarrow. He even gave instructions to the concrete delivery driver to unload all the product in one go, rather than risk paying more for him to wait.

The client therefore had to move all the concrete alone, with a manual wheelbarrow; and he had to work very quickly, before the concrete set. In doing this, our client injured his shoulder.

The defendant firmly denied liability. The manager of the company disputed all that our client said about what had happened. He tried to allege that our client had a complete free hand in planning the job himself, and that any deficiencies in the method or the equipment were down to him alone. Consequently, we had no choice but to issue court proceedings. Despite inviting the defendant to settle with us, they refused to do so until after we had exchanged witness statements, which is some way into the court process.

Eventually (we suspect after they had seen the credibility of our client’s detailed witness statement) the defendant agreed to pay compensation of £2,500. This represented over 90% of the likely value of the claim if he won at trial, so was an excellent outcome. Our client was very pleased.

Mark House is an Associate at Advance Legal. For advice on pursuing a claim for compensation, please contact Mark or a member of our Personal Injury team.