A PCS member has advised colleagues involved in workplace accidents to get independent advice through the union’s free legal service after he found himself out of his depth dealing with a compensation claim for a damaged ankle.

The 50-year-old from Norwich was left with ligament damage to his left ankle after falling in a hole at Rainbow International Ltd in Poringland, Norwich. The restoration and specialist commercial cleaning company had failed to repair the pothole in it’s yard.

Following the accident he attempted to claim compensation by himself but soon felt the need for help when his employer’s insurers began instructing a medical expert on his behalf. He contacted PCS and was referred to its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors.

The restoration technician’s ankle was so badly damaged he received physiotherapy for six months and has been told he is likely to need surgery.

Claim was settled by Thompsons for the maximum amount possible

Thompsons was able to instruct an independent medical expert on the member’s behalf and as a result of the evidence gathered the claim was settled for £10,500.

He said: “After the accident I thought it would be easy to claim compensation and when my employer told me to get in touch with the insurer I thought I could do it myself. Things soon got out of hand. I realised that I didn’t have the knowledge needed to deal with an insurance company on my own and realised that the PCS would be able to give me support.

“I’ve no doubt that my claim was settled by Thompsons for the maximum amount possible. If I had handled this myself I’d always be wondering if I’d been short changed.”

Ranjit Sond from Thompsons Solicitors said: “I am glad this member came to us when he did. It is imperative that people have access to independent legal advice to ensure that the claim is settled for its full worth.”

Phil Madelin, PCS's legal officer added: “Members involved in an accident at work should never try to deal with claiming compensation without the union’s help. They simply won’t know if what the employer’s insurer is telling them and offering to settle the claim for is right. Insurers are notorious for making offers that are too low and which do not reflect the seriousness of the injury, the long term prognosis or the member’s financial losses which result from the accident. PCS’s lawyers will fight for maximum compensation for injured members.”