Q: I fell down a staircase at work because one of the steps at the top was broken, had been for a long while. It was a really awkward fall which resulted in me suffering a fractured thigh bone that extended into my knee joint and shattered the bone. My employers did pay me all the time I was off work, which was good, but I have been told my football playing days are over. I have also been told I will benefit from more physiotherapy sessions than I can get on the NHS. Can I claim compensation from my employer?
A: Your employers have a responsibility to ensure your safety at work and they should have repaired the step when it first broke. They should carry out regular risk assessments and record anything needing attention. But irrespective of whether the damaged step was recorded or not, you should not have been put at risk and you have grounds for claiming compensation for your injuries. Part of this claim will be for pain suffering and loss of amenity which will include compensation for you being no longer able to play football.
As part of the claim the cost of any additional private physiotherapy sessions can be claimed. It may also be that your employer's insurers will agree a rehabilitation package including direct funded physiotherapy. These are all aspects to be negotiated.
There are strict time limits regarding personal injury claims. You must usually claim within three years of the date you sustained the injury. As the full extent of your injuries for the long term may not yet be apparent it would be advisable for you to consult a reputable local solicitor as soon as possible in order to get the ball rolling and begin the claim procedure.