When a sporting venue opens its doors to the public it assumes responsibility for ensuring visitors will be reasonably safe. Where it fails in this duty and someone is injured, it may be possible to make a personal injury claim and as a recent case handled by serious injury specialist Abid Hussain shows, the compensation payable can be significant.
Details of the case
Our client was a gentleman in his 70s who was injured while being directed to a seat at a football match he had gone to watch.
The weather was appalling so he had made his way to the back of the stand to find somewhere to shelter from the wind and rain. He was spotted by a steward who signalled him to an appropriate seat, accessed through a gap in the second to back row. Our client began to move towards this when he suddenly fell down a two to three foot gap created by the removal of a series of chairs.
He landed hard, two rows below, breaking four ribs and damaging his left kidney so badly that he had to stay in hospital for a week and remain largely immobile at home for a further ten weeks to allow the renal trauma to subside.
While two of his ribs are now fully healed, the other two have been permanently displaced resulting in persistent pain which means the client can only go to sleep lying on one side and has difficulty drawing breath when the weather is cold.
He also now suffers from psychological problems which make him irritable.
Deciding to claim
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, the possibility of seeking compensation was understandably the last thing on the client’s mind. However, a chance meeting with a fellow patient led to the possibility of a claim being discussed and a recommendation being made that he seek legal advice from Mr Hussain.
An appointment was duly arranged and the wheels for making a claim were put in motion.
The stadium owners and their insurer were advised that an occupiers liability claim was being pursued and thereafter medical evidence was obtained to verify the extent of our client’s injuries and his likely prognosis.
Liability for the accident was quickly admitted and an initial offer of £12,000 was made. However, this was rejected and negotiations began to secure an increase.
Abid fought hard to convey what a serious accident this had been and the devastating impact it had had (and continued to have) on our client’s life.
Eventually, his persistence paid off and the insurer agreed to up their offer to £26,000 which the client was content to accept.
It is worth noting that the amount recovered would have been significantly higher had the client been working and suffered a loss of earnings, but as it happens he was happily retired.
How the client feels now
Regrettably, the client has been told that his condition is unlikely to improve and he will therefore always experience some degree of discomfort while sleeping and during the winter months. However, he remains mobile and determined to enjoy his later years.
When asked recently about his decision to claim and whether he thinks it was worth it, the client had this to say:
“I hadn’t even thought about claiming until someone mentioned it to me in the hospital, but I’m so glad I did. For me this was never about the money – it was about holding the football stadium to account for what was an entirely preventable accident. That said, the money has come in very useful.”
“The way Abid handled my case was great, particularly when you consider that in the end he managed to secure me a settlement for more than double the amount originally offered.”
“I found all aspects of the service I received good, but I have to say that where Abid really came into his own was in ensuring I saw the best possible medical experts and in picking up on the fact that the cost of bringing my claim would be covered under my household insurance, which unbeknown to me included legal expenses cover for personal injury claims! I never knew this, and while Abid said he would in any event have agreed to take my case on under a no win, no fee agreement, claiming on my insurance was just so much easier.”
“I sincerely hope that I will never need Abid’s services again, but if I meet someone who does then I will have no hesitation in recommending him.”
If you have suffered a slip, trip or fall while in a public place and would like the assistance of a member of our specialist personal injury team, please call us now on 0800 1956412 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help.