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Brain injury after a fall - a client's story

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The support I have received from Leigh Day has helped me understand what I am going through. – Brain injury client
On the evening of 3 October 2009 I was returning home to the flat that I was sharing with my mother when I fell over the left side edge and down a drop of around 10ft from the communal landing or staircase at the entrance to the front door to the building.  There was a handrail on the right hand side of stairs up to the door but there was no rail on the left side.  I landed on the concrete floor of the light well for the basement flat below.  I was later found there unconsciousness.  I have no recollection of that evening or how I came to fall.  

I suffered a severe brain injury as a result of the accident.  I was taken by ambulance to hospital and was in intensive care for three weeks.  A week later I was discharged home to be looked after by my mother.  Initially I needed a lot of care. Since the accident I have developed epilepsy.  This means that I now can’t drive.  I have ongoing problems with balance, memory and concentration problems.

I work as a painter and decorator.  I went back to work initially part time and was back at work full time by the end of November 2010.  I lost pay.  To date I have managed to hold down my job but due to my accident and the ongoing problems I have I have had to abandon my pre-accident plans to move into brick laying which is a more lucrative profession.  

Proving my case was not straightforward.  My lawyer at Leigh Day, Lorna Bidston, explained that success was not guaranteed.  My mother’s flat was rented to her by London Borough of Camden.  The Council’s housing stock had been surveyed in 2006 by Savills Commercial Ltd and my claim was brought against both the Council and Savills.  

The Defendants fought the claim throughout.  Savills argued that in law they did not owe me any duty of care in law at all. Both Defendants argued that even if I could prove that a left side handrail should have been installed, I could not prove that this should have been done before the date of my accident given the number of houses with the same lack of handrail owned by the Council.

The Council argued that they had limited resources and it was too costly for them to install a second rail at all their properties with the same set up. 

The Defendants also argued that the accident was my own fault because I lived at the property.  I therefore knew the landing well and knew there was just one handrail so should have taken more care.  They also argued that I had been drinking before the accident happened.  Since I had no memory of the accident or the evening leading up to it, I couldn’t respond to their allegations.  

Court proceedings were commenced. My lawyers dealt with my case on a No Win No Fee basis.

My case settled by agreement between the parties for a significant amount of compensation which will make coping with my ongoing problems easier.

Lorna and the rest of my legal team were there every step of the way. I have to live with the effects of my injury so there are still problems but the support I have received from Leigh Day has helped me understand what I am going through.

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