Case Study

Slip And Fall Accident At Airport

Case Type: Accident at Work
Injury: Arm and hand injury
Settled by: Paul W Tracey
Settled on: 21st February, 2023
Slip And Fall Accident At Airport

Case Summary

The Incident

Amidst the hustle and bustle of her role as a retail assistant at the airport desirously observing travellers as they prepared to embark on their exhilarating and exciting journeys, Louise, unknowingly, was also on the brink of confronting an ordeal of her own. However, this one was not set to commence on a positive note. Her life took an unexpected turn of events as she found herself in a distressing situation within her supposedly safe work environment. Her daily rhythm was disrupted as she encountered a greasy and slippery surface as a result of the negligence of the cleaning staff and official owner of the premises. She was forced to the ground and sustained significant injuries as she landed on the left side of her back onto the hard ground that lay beneath her. Left with no alternative, she had to return home and rely on medication to alleviate the pain she had to contend with.

As her pain intensified and worsened, she sought medical attention at the hospital where she was subsequently referred to a fracture clinic. She described experiencing discomfort in the back of her hand, her carpal bones, and the upper region of her elbow. Following her description of the pain, an MRI scan of her wrist was performed, revealing the presence of marrow oedema caused by fluid accumulation in specific areas of her lower wrist. Additionally, she was informed of a fracture just below the elbow joint in her forearm.

As a result of her diagnosis, she was advised to wear a sling to assist with the healing process along with attending regular physiotherapy sessions. Despite these efforts, the recovery proved to be gradual and distressingly painful as she continued to endure pain and excruciation even six months following the accident. Her ability to perform everyday tasks became a challenge as she struggled to lift heavy objects and engage in extended periods of driving. Louise further suffered from immense discomfort to her wrist and elbow which prevented her from carrying out household chores, changing gears and engaging in various other routine duties. Regrettably, the incident heightened the risk of arthritis development, causing a profound shift in her life as she coped with substantial agony and inconvenience. The accident had a substantial impact on her social life, leading to a considerable loss of overall quality of life and the potential for further unfavourable outcomes.

Much like her fellow colleagues on that particular day, Louise anticipated an uninterrupted and ordinary workday, free from any life-altering incidents that could potentially jeopardize her well-being or that of her co-workers. Unfortunately, it was at cause to the neglectful actions of the management and cleaning personnel that Louise had to embark on this journey of pain and misery. They had exposed Louise to a risk of damage or injury due to their carelessness and inability to establish a safe work environment hence breaching their duty of care that they owed her. The defendants demonstrated their failure to conduct regular area inspections and implement an effective cleaning system in the specific location where Louise’s ordeal began as a result of their blatant disregard and lack of awareness.

The responsibility for this accident lies with the management’s failure to furnish an adequate number of cleaning staff, necessary safety measures, proper warnings regarding the hazardous, slippery zone, and a well-structured timetable for their cleaning staff. The extent of this negligence provides Louise with the foundation to initiate a claim against the defendants as they violated their responsibility to ensure the health and safety of a member of their own team.

Case progression:

Court proceedings were instigated, and the case was brought to a successful conclusion.

Case settlement:

The case was settled in the High Court on the 3rd of July 2023 for the sum of €40,914.33.

This was a great result for an admirable client, we are proud of all the work put in by Paul and his team to achieve this brilliant outcome.

*Note: Client name changed for GDPR reasons.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I report a workplace accident?

    It is important to immediately take the following steps after the occurrence of an accident at work.

    • Report the accident immediately to your superior and ensure that an accident report is completed and you are given a copy of it.
    • Seek medical attention immediately and ensure that your doctor or hospital personnel keep detailed records of the accident.

    There are strict obligations on employers under the Health & Safety Acts together with other legislation to ensure that employees have a safe system of work and that employees are properly trained in the tasks that they are carrying out and that they are provided with proper equipment in the course of their employment.

  2. What to do after an accident at work?

    After an accident at work and before making a work related claim, your first priority should be to seek medical attention. In minor workplace incidents whereby you have a slip, trip or fall, you may feel as though you are fine, but what you don’t realise is that the minor injury you have suffered could develop into a bigger health issue for you. Assessing your health after an accident is a critical first step.

    Once you have had a medical assessment there are a number of steps you will follow:

    1. Report the accident to your superior

    Before making work related claims it is important that you notify your manager at work as to the accident that occurred. You need you to inform them of the injuries you suffered and the cause of the accident. It is advisable for you to seek confirmation from your superior that you have reported the accident, whether it is written or electronic.

    2. Seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor

    Once you have reported the accident, it is important that you seek advice from a personal injury solicitor who has experience with accidents in the workplace. They can then talk you through the next steps as to what is involved when making work related claims.

    In the event that you do decide to take a personal injury claim, you are not obliged to personally tell your employer. Your solicitor can write to your employer and notify them of the claim. Some of our clients have told us that they feel that it would be better for them to inform their employer that a claim was being made and that their solicitor would be in touch. This is a matter for each client. Generally, we would advise that all communications regarding the case take place between the legal representatives.

  3. How is compensation calculated?

    A compensation amount is calculated by taking into account the following aspects:

    • Loss of wages, if absent from work due to injury
    • Future loss of earnings, if absent from work for a long period of time
    • Medical expenses resulting from the injury
    • Future medical expenses resulting from the injury
    • Out of pocket expenses

    In order to calculate compensation for you, the Injuries Board will refer to the Book of Quantum. The Book of Quantum shows value ranges of compensation amounts that have been awarded to people for injuries to specific parts of their bodies. Each of the average compensation amounts found in the book is taken from real personal injury cases (over 51,000 in total) from the years 2014-2015.

  4. What information will my solicitor need to make a claim?

    In order for your solicitor to proceed with a personal injury claim for you they will need the following information:

    • Details of the person who caused the accident.
    • Names, addresses and contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
    • Where available, photographs of the location of the accident, paying particular attention to the item or area where the accident happened.
    • Name of Gardaí/police and station where the accident was reported – names of any Gardaí who attended the scene of the accident (where applicable).
    • Medical records detailing any injuries/treatment following the accident.
    • Details of any costs incurred following the accident (keep your receipts).
    • Details of any loss of earnings and details of any future loss of earnings if you are to be out of work for a long period of time.
    • Cost of medical treatment – details of future medical treatment needed.

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