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Written by Kim Milan

Boyes Turner’s personal injury lawyers secured a £300,000 compensation settlement for a client who suffered a moderate head injury in an accident at work when he was hit on the head by a co-worker’s pickaxe.

Our client’s job involved attending places where faults had been reported and opening up the road surface to reveal the pipes, so that the engineers could fix them. He did this by using an angle grinder to cut through the tarmac, which he would then lift with a long-handled graft. He would then use a jack hammer, if necessary, to dig out any compacted ground or concrete beneath the surface.

On the day of the accident, our client was working for the first time with another of the defendant’s employees, who was effectively the foreman on that job. Together they had cut a square in the tarmac of the road surface. As our client was leaning forward to lift the square of tarmac with the long-handled graft, he was hit on the back of the head by a pickaxe wielded by the co-worker.

Head injury, psychological symptoms and increased risk of epilepsy

He suffered a compound, depressed skull fracture with fragments of bone deep into the brain tissue. He was transferred to a hospital neurosurgical unit and had surgery to explore the wound. He was diagnosed with a moderate head injury and remained in hospital for three weeks.

He was left with head injury symptoms, including headaches, irritability and mood swings, and difficulties with memory, concentration and tiredness. He suffered an epileptic seizure after leaving hospital and had a significantly increased risk of post-traumatic epilepsy, which was expected to reduce with time.  

As a result of the injury, he developed psychological symptoms, including an adjustment disorder with depression, and a phobia of situations in which his head could be knocked, including sports and physical activity, noisy, crowded places, or people being close behind him.  

Although he was medically fit to work, our experts recommended that he should have 12 months of rehabilitation and training before returning to employment. He was advised not to return to heavy work involving the use of machinery in view of his epilepsy risk.

Making an accident at work injury claim for compensation

We pursued our client’s accident at work injury claim for compensation against both employers, based on their failure to comply with numerous health and safety (H&S) regulations, including the Construction Health Safety and Welfare Regulations and the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, and the co-worker’s employer’s vicarious liability for his actions. 

The defendant employers disputed the claim, so we issued court proceedings.  However, when the case was listed for trial, the defendants finally entered into negotiations and the claim settled, out of court, for £300,000.

If you have suffered a serious injury as a result of an employer’s or co-worker’s negligence, speak to one of our specialist injury solicitors, free and confidentially, to find out more about making a claim by contacting us