This site uses cookies.

Case Summary: H v P - Mary Kay, Spencers Solicitors

05/04/21. Case Name : H v P

Accident Date : 14/07/2014

Settlement Date : 04/09/2020



The Claimant was aged 34 at the time of the accident. The Claimant had parked her car on the driveway outside her home and opened her door to get out of the car. There was a hole in the ground along the edge of the driveway and our client’s foot was caught in the hole and she fell landing heavily on her bottom and left arm/ hand resulting in injury and psychological issues.

The owners of the neighbouring property had been doing some work on their garden and their servant or agent had dug the hole earlier that day, in order to put in a new fence but had not filled it in. It was the Claimant's case that when she left her property, earlier in the day, the trench was not present; although when she returned it had been dug on the boundary between the two properties and it was not evident when she returned and alighted from her vehicle.


Primary liability was admitted by the Defendant but contributory negligence was raised.


The Claimant suffered with pain, bruising and swelling to her arm and hand and had immediate pain in her back and bottom. Her arm and hand developed a burning pain and the limb became very stiff. She also suffered with a constant ache.

The Orthopaedic expert diagnosed a coccyx injury causing coccyx pain, and a soft tissue injury to the left hand and forearm precipitating into complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). The Claimant took regular prescriptive medication to help alleviate the pain. Medical records indicated a fracture to the coccyx, but no x-ray was taken.

As at February 2015 symptoms were improving and whilst acknowledging the lack of predictability of CRPS the medical expert was hopeful of a full recovery by early-mid 2016. Coccyx pain had improved considerably and was likely to resolve within the same timescale. The Claimant underwent physiotherapy and further expert evidence was considered. A pain report was obtained which opined that psychiatric evidence was necessary. A Psychiatric report was therefore obtained. Psychiatric rehabilitation was arranged. Prognosis for the physical symptoms was 2-3 years. The Claimant suffered a significant psychological reaction as a result of the index accident and the injuries sustained. She was diagnosed as suffering from a Major Depressive Disorder and a Chronic Pain Disorder. The Claimant also suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress symptoms and pain related anxiety symptoms. The Claimant’s psychiatric difficulties had a significantly negative impact on the Claimant’s quality of life; her ability to function in the workplace and was potentially at a disadvantage on the open labour market. She suffered with anxiety and panic attacks and received regular sessions of psychological therapy. The prognosis was agreed that with the conclusion of litigation, this would remove a source of stress and should give rise to a degree of further psychological improvement.

The Claimant was unable to work for a period of 1 month and returned on light duties. She was also unable to drive for the same period of time. Being part of a family of 7, this made things very difficult. The Claimant needed a fair amount of help from family with domestic and personal chores for the first 2-3 months. The Claimant’s sleep was disturbed, getting on average 4 hours of sleep. This in turn made her irritable.

The Claimant aged 40 at the time of settlement, received the sum of £100,000. No formal breakdown was provided however, general damages were estimated at £30,000, past losses at £33,000 and future losses at £39,500.

Solicitors for the Claimant : Mary Kay of Spencers Solicitors Limited

Solicitors for the Defendant : Clyde & Co Claims LLP

Image: free use from

All information on this site was believed to be correct by the relevant authors at the time of writing. All content is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. No liability is accepted by either the publisher or the author(s) for any errors or omissions (whether negligent or not) that it may contain. 

The opinions expressed in the articles are the authors' own, not those of Law Brief Publishing Ltd, and are not necessarily commensurate with general legal or medico-legal expert consensus of opinion and/or literature. Any medical content is not exhaustive but at a level for the non-medical reader to understand. 

Professional advice should always be obtained before applying any information to particular circumstances.

Excerpts from judgments and statutes are Crown copyright. Any Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of OPSI and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland under the Open Government Licence.