Work accident*. Fracture to a shoulder bone.
Case Study– Work accident* (Fracture to a shoulder bone)
25-year-old Ciara was working as a cleaner in a hotel in Dublin. The accident* happened on 5th of June 2017. Ciara went to a changing/locker room to put on work clothes as usual. There was not much space in the room. Hangers with employees’ clothes and other items were on the open doors of the lockers. Ciara started to change clothes for work. She opened the locker, removed her work clothes, and kneeled to tie shoelaces in her shoes. While doing so she slightly leaned against a heavy wooden unit which fell with impact on her. She only managed to cover her face. She felt an immense pain in her shoulder.
The locker case was not attached to the wall. There was a small amount of space in the locker room. The unit was placed on 2 small pieces of timber. It is possible that the pieces of timber were moved away and that is why the unit fell. There were plenty of items hung on each locker door. Ciara`s colleague Siobhan complained to a manager about the lack of space in the changing room 2 weeks prior to Ciara`s accident. Nothing was done about it.
After Ciara`s accident the locker was changed for a new one. A new locker was made from metal, not so heavy, smaller, and screwed to the wall with one piece of wood.
Ciara felt a severe pain in her shoulder immediately after the accident*. She was in shock and could not breathe. A colleague heard a noise and walked into the locker/changing room. He called for an ambulance and Ciara was taken to an Emergency Department of Connolly Hospital in Dublin. After scans were done it was obvious that Ciara sustained a fracture to her shoulder bone.
Treatment and effect
Ciara remained inpatient in a Connolly Hospital in Dublin for a few days. She was bruised and in pain. She was worried that because of her personal injury* she would not be able to work. Ciara was told in a hospital that she will require a surgery which was performed a few months later. She attended a number of physiotherapy sessions and was able to return to work (light duties) after 8 months following the accident*.
Ciara was out of work on a sick leave for 8 months. She was not paid by her employer during that time. She only received an injury benefit followed by an illness benefit as a social welfare payment. This did not equal to her pre accident* pay and she suffered with paying her rent and other expenses. Other than lost earnings Ciara incurred significant medical and travel costs regarding her treatment.
Case was lodged to The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). We obtained a medical report from a treating Consultant on behalf of the client. An application was submitted to PIAB and Ciara attended a medical appointment scheduled by them. The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) made an assessment in respect of Ciara’s case which was rejected by the client and proceedings were issued shortly afterwards. The case was brought to the High Court.
The client kept updating us on the phone regarding her condition after the accident* and ongoing medical expenses. Ciara had a surgery which was successful, and she did not feel as much pain as before. We obtained another medical report from a doctor who performed her surgery. Ciara was working at that time. She mostly recovered from her injuries.
A settlement negotiations were initiated in May 2018. Defendant made a reasonable offer as a compensation* for Ciara`s personal injuries* which included her lost earnings, medical and travel costs. The case was finalised without the need of a trial.