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Bristol Man Awarded £1 Million in Compensation for 2008 Workplace Accident

Richard Chodkiewicz was working in Radisson Blu Hotel as a lift technician back in 2008 when a scaffolding pole came down like a bolt from the blue and hit his head. Richard was immediately taken to hospital and it was found that his head injuries were severe in nature. construction accidentThe devastating accident at work left him with speech troubles, memory disorders and limited movement. It is now quite evident that the accident happened because of the negligence of two firms, namely Hoistway Limited and Miller Construction. The two firms were fined a lump sum of £142,000 in total for their breach of duty that was proved at the Town Court of Bristol last year. And now Mr. Chodkiewicz has been awarded with seven-figure compensation as an answer to the claim his family filed then. The 54 year old man has been awarded with comprehensive benefits for his loss of earnings and the continued medical treatment that he has been undergoing.

Mr. Chodkiewicz, an Eastern Compton resident, was working underneath a lift shaft in the 18 storey building located in Broad Quay when a scaffolding pole came onto him from 14th floor. Fortunately, he was wearing a work helmet and was closely saved. However, he could not escape the devastating injuries that have left him distressed, isolated and jobless. He was immediately admitted to Frenchay Hospital where he underwent a surgery and was kept in close supervision in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital for six long weeks. After that, the construction accident victim was taken to rehab and returned home after 18 months of the accident.

The lift company, Hoistway Limited, has admitted that the accident was caused because of their breach of duty. The company has assured that the cost of all the specialist care and rehabilitation Mr. Chodkiewicz will now require would be completely recompensed by them. The victim’s wife, Karen, has expressed that the last three and a half years have been absolutely disastrous for them. She has told the press that when she first heard that her husband had met an accident at work, she rushed to the hospital and found that severely injured Richard was in an unconscious state and was in intensive care unit. That Richard would survive was completely unpredictable at that time.

Though her husband finally survived, his brain injuries were found so severe that the doctors did not expect him to bounce back to normal life again. Karen has seen how her husband gradually fought back and partially recovered from the severe brain injury. She has also thanked the rehabilitation specialists at the Frenchay Rehab for their continued support and incredible work.

However, a graver fact is underlying the current situation. Richard has survived but he won’t be able to bounce back to normal life ever. He is now partially paralysed and does not have the ability to understand what happens on his body’s left side. He walks with the help of a stick and has short term memory loss syndrome. His long term memory has also been severely affected. He is now under constant care and supervision. At times, he forgets the names of his own children. It is true that no amount of compensation is enough for the losses and sufferings of Richard and his family. However, the financial package may relieve the distressed workman and his family to some extent.

Accident at work happens mainly because of the negligent acts of the employers. As per HSE key annual figures 2010-2011, 603,000 workers met accidents at their workplaces during that financial year. 200,000 of these injuries resulted in 3 days of absence from work and 150,000 workplace accidents resulted in 7 days of absence from work. Of this total number of accidents, employers reported 118,000 injuries to their employees in 2010-11 alone. 26,000 of these injuries were identified as major injuries. 171 workers were lethally injured in these workplace accidents. Most of the lethal injuries can be easily classified into three categories, hit by vehicles (forklift trucks etc.), hit by falling objects (as in Mr. Chodkiewicz’s case), and fall from height. Handling injuries were also reported in large numbers. Electricity, explosion and fire accidents were also counted among the fatal accidents. Slip and trip are also pretty common in the UK workplaces.

Despite the Health and Safety Executive has simplified its workplace safety regulations for facilitating the employers, many business owners in the mainland UK little care about these regulations and run their businesses without bothering about the safety of their workers. This has led to several office accidents and industrial diseases in the past. The employees working in various factories and warehouses as well as in construction sites are not duly trained about the risks they face regularly and on how to deal with these. This results in severe accidents. On the other hand, they do not monitor and improve their workplace health and safety. If we take Mr. Chodkiewicz’s case as an example, it can be easily analysed that the accident he faced was completely a consequence of the negligent act of the Hoistway Limited, the lift company. That the scaffolding pole was not maintained on a regular basis is now a proved fact. It was completely the responsibility of the company to supervise whether the workplace health and safety regulations were adhered to or not and they clearly neglected doing so.

If you have been injured in an accident at work of late, you should take Mr. Chodkiewicz’s case as a pathfinder. Note that the accident happened way back in 2008 and the family has fought all this through only to find justice. Finally the distressed family has got some reason to rejoice and recuperate from the immense loss and suffering. Remember the sooner you file a claim, the higher your chance is of winning the claim. The general rule is that you cannot claim compensation after 3 years of an accident. There are some exceptions to this general rule too. You should check with a reputable solicitor agency to find more about the existing Tort Laws of the country.

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