This very unfortunate accident happened when a worker (Mr Kundi) fell off a ladder and through an opening onto the lower floor of a house which he had been contracted to part demolish and refurbish.
As a result of the accident, Mr Kundi, an electrician by trade, suffered fractures to his spine in 3 places and was paralysed from the waist down, rendering him paraplegic. He spent 3 months in a coma and a total of 12 months in hospital.
Sadly events took a turn for the worse and Mr Kundi died 3 years later from respiratory failure due to a collapsed lung and pneumonia as a result of his spinal injuries and paraplegia.
Having a spinal cord injury (SCI) can affect some of the muscles needed for breathing. This makes it harder to breathe, cough, and bring up mucus from the lungs, which leads to a greater risk of lung infections such as pneumonia. It is therefore harder to treat respiratory infections in SCI patients because they can't clear their own secretions adequately. In time, breathing becomes harder as lungs fill with more secretions that prevent air from flowing, leading to additional pressure on the lungs and respiratory failure.
Early intervention and treatment is key when suffering a serious injury or SCI. The initial treatment and acute rehabilitation phase will generally always be provided by the NHS. However, at the point when the patient comes to be discharged, they may struggle to cope with the challenges which they now face as a result of their injuries, particularly if they live alone with limited support. They may require adaptations to their property for example, and an intensive period of rehabilitation.
A solicitor can help by approaching the other party's insurance company under the Rehabilitation Code 2015 to request the appointment of a rehabilitation Case Manager. The Case Manager will then undertake an assessment of the client's immediate needs, and prepare a report making recommendations. The solicitor would then make a request that the insurer provide funds for the Case Manager to implement those recommendations.
Generally the aim of making a personal injury claim is the financial payment which is made to put the injured person back into the position they would have be in, had the accident not occurred. However the role of the solicitor is much more than this. They can support the injured person by applying for interim payments to ease the financial burdens, particularly where they may be the main breadwinner and unable to return to work. The solicitor can also request funding for future rehabilitation and care to be overseen by the Case Manager, aids and equipment and adaptations to accommodation which may be required.
In a serious injury claim, a financial payout may never seem enough to compensate for the pain, suffering and change in lifestyle. However by securing further payments for future rehabilitation and other services required, a solicitor can help the injured person to regain some level of independence again following a serious injury.
Siobhan Thomas is an Associate at Moore Blatch who are a leading UK personal injury firm. To speak with one of our solicitors then Freephone 0800 157 7611 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the opening onto the first floor had no edge protection to prevent the risk of failing through. It was also found that MWR failed to plan, manage and monitor the work to the required standard.