How we won £900,000 for CRPS caused by an accident at work

This case study was written thanks to the expertise of our team, including Alex Cohen, Philip Cohen, and Steven Akerman, leading experts in compensation claims for chronic pain and serious injury.

Neil Swift developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome following an accident at work.
Neil was working for a civil engineering company as an HGV driver. Returning to the company yard one day, he found a JCB was parked across and blocking the entrance. Under instruction from his manager, Neil went to move the JCB so that he could park his HGV in the yard. The JCB had been vandalised, including having its windows smashed. Neil climbed up the steps to the cab, but was unable to open the damaged door. Instead he tried to reach through the broken window to open the door from the inside. As he did so, he slipped, badly cutting his left arm on the remaining shards of glass.

As a result, Neil damaged the radial artery, median nerve and flexor tendons. He developed CRPS and underwent a median nerve block, Guanethidine blocks, physiotherapy, Pain Management, a Sympathectomy and nerve graft.

His left arm has been left virtually functionless and though right handed, Neil has been unable to work since.

The company quickly admitted liability as they had exposed Neil to a risk of injury, however they argued that he should also accept partial responsibility as he should not have put his arm through the broken window. This is a fair argument, however they were initially looking for a discount of 25%, which we negotiated down to 15%.

It was a difficult time for Neil, his wife and two young children. The unrelenting pain meant that his role as father and husband was tough, as he wasn’t able to work, or do very much at all. However he and his wife battled through, and now with the prospect of financial security for the future, life will start to pick up again.

There are many different aspects that make up a claim. A rough breakdown of Neils is as follows: (15% discount is applied afterwards):

  • Pain and suffering – £100,000
  • Interest – £4,500
  • Ongoing treatment costs – £25,000
  • Past loss of earnings – £90,000
  • Interest – £828
  • Future loss of earnings – £400,000
  • Pension – £25,000
  • Past care – £35,000
  • Miscellaneous expenses (including interest) – £50,000
  • Transport, aids and equipment and expenses (including interest) – £26,692
  • Future care – £308,057

The final figure was just over £905000. Following the settlement, Neil commented “If I could turn back time four years I would. I loved getting up and going out to work. Driving HGV vehicles is all I’ve ever done. The accident in itself was horrendous but life since has been far worse. The pain I suffer on a daily basis and lack of independence has been the biggest challenge and still is. Brian and his team have worked tirelessly to get the result achieved. Although I wish I could turn back time, Brian has helped to get a result that will help me to provide for my family in the future.”

Brian Barr was delighted with the high level of compensation he was able to secure for Neil. “This will go some way to making life a little easier for Neil and his wonderful family. The accident came as a terrible blow to Neil, but he is a brave man and he has managed to make the most of very difficult circumstances. I feel quite sure that he will continue to do so in the future with continuing excellent support from his wife Amanda. We have specialist knowledge and expertise in CRPS cases and we are happy to help as many CRPS sufferers as we can”.

To learn more about our success stories, and get the legal support of leading specialists in the field, call us on 0161 737 9248.


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