A member of Unite the Union has received compensation following an accident at work.
Driver failed to stop
The member, who worked as a tram conductor for StageCoach Supertram in Sheffield, was undertaking her normal duties whilst on a routine journey in August 2010, when a car drove onto the tram line, causing the driver of the tram to brake suddenly.
The 46-year-old hit her back on a metal bar in the tram, which resulted in a lower back injury.
Not able to return to work
MRI scans and X-Ray results were all clear, but the member was still suffering from chronic and severe pain in her back, limbs and head, along with restricted mobility.
The member was therefore referred to a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine and was diagnosed as suffering from Chronic Pain Syndrome. Chronic Pain Syndrome causes pain all over the body, which can be triggered by a physically or emotionally stressful event. A course of steroid injections and painkillers were prescribed, along with a pain management programme. She now requires the use of a wheelchair.
The Unite member said “The outcome of my accident wasn’t just the physical pain and discomfort I suffered, but also the financial pressure it put on me as I was unable to work.
The help and assistance that was provided to me by Unite Legal Services and Morrish Solicitors at the time of my greatest need was invaluable”
Union membership enabled access to justice
After her accident Unite Legal Services put the member in touch with their legal provider, Morrish Solicitors who pursued a claim on her behalf.
It was established that the driver of the oncoming car was uninsured and therefore the claim had to be pursued against the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB), who compensate victims of uninsured vehicles.
The MIB put forward an offer of £150,000 in settlement of the member’s claim.
The uninsured driver then, out of the blue, decided to deny liability for the accident.
In light of the uninsured driver’s decision to deny liability, the MIB tried to withdraw the offer, but firstly had to get the Courts permission to do so.
When the matter came before the Court, the Judge refused to give the MIB permission to withdraw the offer and confirmed that the member was free to accept the offer, which she duly did.
Karen Reay, North East Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Secretary of Unite the Union said: “Drivers have a responsibility for their actions when they choose to get behind a wheel. Our member was on a normal working day and there is no explanation as to why the driver was firstly driving uninsured and then drove onto a tram lane, whilst a tram was oncoming.
Careless driving can have terrible consequences and whilst our member has progressed well after her accident, she is now unlikely to work again and suffers from long-term health problems. However, we are pleased that we have been able to assist her get compensation for the terrible consequences of what started out for her as an ordinary working day.”