A Birmingham HGV driver who was injured when his lorry toppled has secured £35,000 compensation with the help of his union and Thompsons Solicitors.

The Unite the union member was making a left turn on a main road north of Wolverhampton when the weight in his HGV shifted and it toppled over. When he freed himself from the vehicle, the driver fell and landed awkwardly on his right arm.

He received paramedic and hospital treatment and managed to return to work just days after the accident, however the injury had significantly reduced his arm strength and he still suffers pain in both the arm and the shoulder.

It later transpired a third party working for his employer had not loaded the lorry securely or evenly, meaning the HGV was at risk of falling over whenever it cornered.

The Unite member said: “My accident shows how important a fastened seatbelt is, because my injuries could have been so much worse. Even so, I still find certain things more difficult since my accident. I used to help friends and family with plastering and other DIY tasks, but that’s almost impossible now. Even picking up my grandchildren is difficult – my arm can lock up in an ‘L-shape’ and can be really painful.”

“Through the hard work of our legal team and Thompsons Solicitors, we were able to prove that our member’s employer was liable for the mistake of the third party.”

Mel Palmer, Acting regional officer, Unite the union

He turned to Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors to make a claim for compensation.

“I’m delighted with what my union and Thompsons did for me,” he said. “I’ve managed to continue working as a driver, but I know my career options are limited if I ever have to change jobs. Unite and Thompsons helped me secure a settlement that means I am financially secure if this ever becomes the case.”

Mel Palmer, acting regional officer from Unite the union, added: “It’s important to load any vehicles safely, especially large HGVs. This didn’t happen and meant our member’s vehicle was effectively an accident waiting to happen. It’s fortunate that there were no other road users nearby and that our member had followed safety precautions like wearing a seatbelt, or else this could have been far worse.

“Through the hard work of our legal team and Thompsons Solicitors, we were able to prove that our member’s employer was liable for the mistake of the third party.”