Personal Injury

Accident at work compensation awarded to care worker who fell to ground floor due to faulty lift

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Sarah Moore

Litigation Executive

5 min read time

A care worker at an East Yorkshire residential home has been awarded damages for the injuries she suffered in an accident at work when she fell from a first-floor landing.

Rhoda Elvidge was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary after she fell when a lift at the assisted living home in Withernsea had not drawn fully level with the floor causing her to trip as she walked out.

Mrs Elvidge, who was 54 at the time of the accident, then crashed through the landing balustrades and fell 15 feet, her fall was broken when she hit a tea trolley beneath her.

If the trolley hadn’t been there, it could have been much worse. I could have landed straight onto the hard floor, but it broke my fall. I lay there in pain for two hours before the ambulance came.

The accident in 2020 left her with four broken ribs, a bleed on the lungs, a damaged wrist and cuts and bruises. She was unable to return to work for more than five months and had to claim statutory sick pay of £109 a week.

Mrs Elvidge, who lost her husband 14 years earlier, said she if she hadn’t recently sold her home before the accident, she doesn’t know how she would have a managed.

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Fortunately, I had some money to fall back on. But if I was still paying the mortgage, I don’t know what I would have done. I was discharged home and I live alone. I couldn’t shop or shower by myself and the pain was awful. I only got through it because my friends came around to help and look after me.

Mrs Elvidge said she decided to take legal advice after discussing it with close friends who recommended Hudgell Solicitors and her case was taken on by the firm’s personal injury experts who specialise in accidents at work.

They were adamant I had a case and have been fantastic. They arranged for me to see medical specialists and everything has been really well explained.

In the damages claim Hudgell Solicitors alleged her employer, the HICA Group which specialises in care and support for older people and people with a learning disability, was at fault for the accident as it had failed to ensure that the lift was maintained and was in efficient working order and in good repair.

Sarah Moore, a litigation executive at Hudgell Solicitors with several years of experience in accident at work cases said: “We also believed the company failed to heed issues with the lift the previous week before the accident.

Our client could have been warned of the dangers of using the lift, verbally or by way of signs or other methods and it could also have made the decision to withdraw the lift from use; as it did not, the possibility of an accident happening was ever present.

It was also claimed that as Mrs Elvidge had broken through the landing balustrades as a result of her trip, they were not adequate enough to provide protection and therefore were not of a good enough construction to prevent a fall.

The HICA Group admitted liability and the case was settled out of court with £21,000 compensation being awarded based on Mrs Elvidge’s physical and psychological injuries and loss of earnings.

Ms Moore said, “I’m pleased for my client. Care workers should feel safe at work and their employers have a duty to prevent incidents like this happening. We maintained that this accident was caused by negligence and by a breach of the firm’s statutory duty of care.”

Mrs Elvidge eventually returned to work at the home and said her manager and colleagues “had been brilliant” but she could not use the lift again due to anxiety and eventually found another carer position elsewhere.

I would say to anyone who’s had an accident at work, yes, make a claim. I really didn’t have to deal with my employers, it was all through Hudgells and the company’s insurers. You really do have a right to compensation if you’re injured and it’s not your fault.

What is an accident at work?

An accident or injury in the workplace could be anything where you’ve suffered physically. You may have fallen or slipped, suffered an injury from falling debris on a work site, or sustained a back injury that could have been avoided.

Claiming compensation for a work-related injury can help you get your life back on track by reimbursing you for lost earnings and expenses due to your injury as well as compensating you for your pain and suffering.

Read more: Accident and injury at work claims

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