Finally after fourteen months I have settled on liability for the incident that occurred in the car park of a well known supermarket store, provided I take one third of the blame. I am informed this is a good outcome….
The gutter zimmer frame my only means of transportation around the ground floor of my home for almost four months last year. Then a further few months on crutches and walking sticks until I was finally permitted up stairs after months of awful sink washes and peeing in a bucket……
So why am I writing about this now. It’s just to say that if you are patient with the big boys they will eventually back down and take some responsibility. I am not a member of the ‘compensation claim club’ by any means but when you consider that the store left me on the ground outside the main entrance of one of their huge stores, mid morning, after tripping due to avoiding strewn shopping trolleys cramming a pedestrian walkway. Considering that I was suffering from a broken clavicle, two broken ribs, bruised lung, broken wrist and worst of all a displaced femur, you would have thought there might have been some concern prior to the cigarette kiosk girl coming outside when she heard the siren of the ambulance…….’what’s going on ere then?’
No concern, no accident report, no cctv working and no assistance whatsoever. Once they found out who I was a day or so later not even a call or visit to the hospital where I was laying for almost two weeks after having a permanent steel rod placed in my thigh, absolutely no concern whatsoever.
I spent months recovering, in fact almost a year. If it were not for my partner, a nurse, caring for me full time, washing me, feeding me and literally putting me to bed at night I don’t know what I would have done. Feelings of helplessness, completely reliant on others support and kindness and all the big boys said at the start ‘should have been more aware of his surroundings and watched where he was going’
One firm of solicitors giving up on me saying I wouldn’t get anything from this and leaving me high and dry, I decided to talk to one more firm and they took my case and today we have the first part of our success, the big boys have finally agreed to accept almost all liability and so the process of compensation begins which will probably take another two years. I will need to be assessed medically and psychologically before we even look at lost earnings and costs but at least I am on my way.
Walking outside for the first time on crutches was scary but scariest of all was my first trip back into the big smoke using a much needed walking stick. The fear of using the escalator and tube trains, people pushing me and ignoring my temporary disability made me realise what it must be like to have permanent need of walking aids or indeed a wheel chair. Seeing the world from the point of immobility is a very scary thing and I am now so much more aware than I was before.
It takes a huge amount of courage to do the simplest of things when you can’t move as you used to and whilst many of us take it for granted that we can step on trains, jump in taxis, run down the left hand side of the escalator, please take a moment to look around you at those who are simply not as agile. Give them time, space, compassion and without being condescending please be considerate of their space and their needs. It is all too easy for our lives to change in the blink of an eye and my how our lives can change from a simple act or incident.
I am thankfully through the worst of my ordeal but I still have the pain in my leg, the steel rod freezes up in the cold weather, my broken wrist has left me with a clawing hand which is most unpleasant and I have pain in my shoulder. I will have to live with that now and get on with my lot. I am lucky but there are others that are not so lucky and they need to be acknowledged and recognised. Now I have to get back in the driving seat and that’s not easy to do because my confidence has been knocked and I am constantly looking around to ensure that I don’t trip and fall again. I need to get back into the work place, of course not many roles out there for me but I will make it somehow. My points are these, don’t let the big boys win and be aware of your fellow humans they need you to at least care.