Elizabeth Ford has 15 years’ experience as a solicitor specialising in personal injury cases.
In 2016, Elizabeth was promoted to the position of unit manager in which role she manages the serious injury, disease and asbestos work streams across the Midlands region for Thompsons Solicitors, as well as running some high-value accident and disease cases including those involving fatalities. Elizabeth works from Thompsons’ Birmingham, Nottingham and Stoke-on-Trent offices, covering both East and West Midlands. Her main focus is to manage colleagues specialising in personal injury cases, ensuring best practice and the best possible outcome for clients.
Elizabeth started her career dealing with road traffic and workplace accidents or accidents sustained while on third party premises. After two years, Elizabeth began running disease cases as well, with a particularly emphasis on hand arm vibration injuries (HAVs) and work-related upper limb disorders. In that role she progressed to supervising all such cases within the office.
In 2009, Elizabeth became a team manager, supervising 10 executives who ran the range of personal injury cases in terms of value and complexity while running her own caseload of disease cases. It was at this time Elizabeth developed both an interest and specialism in fatal accident cases.
In 2015, she took over the management of Thompsons’ serious injury team in the Birmingham office, which runs all cases with a value of more than £500,000. During this time she ran a caseload with a particular emphasis on amputation, serious Injury, industrial disease, particularly HAVs, and fatal accidents.
The cases for which Elizabeth is currently responsible involve high-value claims including those involving fatalities. Many include multiple orthopaedic injuries, often with a corresponding psychological element. Elizabeth is enormously proud of Thompsons’ commitment to acting exclusively for injured people and her ability to make a real difference to the lives of her clients and often their families. She points out that by acting mainly for trade union clients, Thompsons Solicitors is able to use its profile to actively lobby the government for change and better rights for working people.
Away from her work, Elizabeth derives inspiration from singing in a choir.
ELIZABETH’S CASE EXPERIENCE
Fatal accident claim: Elizabeth acted for the wife and three dependent children following the murder of their husband and father, a Unison member. She pursued a successful claim under the Fatal Accident Act. Meanwhile the defendant attempted to transfer his assets. A legal order was placed on his house for the value of the debt, which was accruing interest daily. Due to the value, Elizabeth then sought an order from the court asking them to force the sale of the house so that her client and her children could receive the compensation rightly due to them. Despite being contested, Elizabeth was successful and was given conduct of the sale. Elizabeth then had to instruct bailiffs to evict the defendant’s family prior to selling the property so her client and her children received their compensation, which amounted to £188,000.
Accident at work claim: Elizabeth acted for a HGV driver who fell off the back of his vehicle because the forks of the fork lift truck he was feeding his load onto were defective and opened, causing him to fall through them to the ground. As a result, the Unison member sustained a fracture to his neck, which healed with a fixed flexion deformity that severely restricted his movement. While liability was admitted for the accident, there was a dispute as to the severity of the injury and whether this was affecting his ability to return to work and there-fore the value of the claim. Elizabeth pursued the claim to trial based purely on the amount of compensation that should be awarded, rather than to decide liability, which was rare. The court made an award of £210,000, which significantly exceeded the defendant’s best offer with interest payable.
Accident at work claim: Elizabeth acted for a trade union member whose colleague drove a fork lift truck into his leg causing it to be partially severed. The first language of the fork lift truck driver was not English so it was likely that he did not fully understand the training given. Despite this, the company continued to allege that Elizabeth’s client should take some re-sponsibility. Through the union representative, she was able to obtain substantial witness evidence to refute their comments so that liability was subsequently conceded. The case settled for £150,000.
Mr Burton, a trade union member, said: "I was involved in a serious work place accident, which left me with life-changing injuries and uncertainty as to my financial future and being in a position to provide for my family.
“My case was referred to Thompsons Solicitors and Elizabeth Ford as my representative. Elizabeth guided and advised me through the whole process with total dedication to myself and my family. This resulted in a successful compensation claim for my injuries and enabled me to regain my life back to normality and a brighter outlook for myself and family."
Mr Lunnon, a Unison member involved in an accident at work case, said: “Thank you Elizabeth and all your team for all your hard work and everything you have done for us.”