Paulina has been working in one of the busiest branches of a large German supermarket for 8 years. She was employed as a retail assistant. In March 2018 Paulina was asked to restock the milk fridges. She had to push a large, 1.8m high, trolley full of milk cartons from the back to the fridge area on the shop floor. The trolley, when full of milk cartons, weighed approximately 150kg. The trolley had to be placed on a metal rail to stop it from sliding on the shop floor. The metal bracket, however, was faulty and bent upwards. This meant that Paulina had to lift the trolley up off the floor to slot it into the rail. As she lifted it, she felt tremendous pain radiating from her lower back all the way down her right leg. Paulina was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital where she was diagnosed with muscle and bone damage in her lower back.

Paulina came to us unsure and afraid of whether she would have to go to court. We explained that the first part of the process is to go through the Injuries Board. This process is entirely paper based. We explained to Paulina that the only visit she would have to go would be to an independent doctor appointed by the Injuries Board.

The Injuries Board process went very smoothly and Paulina was presented with an offer of €28,000 plus all of her expenses related to the accident. Paulina was pleasantly surprised at this offer, however, after acquiring a barrister’s opinion, our advice was to reject it. There was a possibility that Paulina had nerve damage in her spine caused by the accident.

Paulina was afraid of rejecting the offer and starting court proceedings.

Six months after starting court proceedings Paulina was sent to a neurologist who confirmed nerve damage. After obtaining this medical report the other side’s solicitors approached us and asked if we wanted to settle the case out of court. Negotiations took place over the phone between Paulina’s barrister and the defendant solicitors. After negotiations, Paulina’s case settled for €40,000 plus all her costs. Paulina was updated on the negotiations by phone and never had to step foot in a courtroom.

The above story is true. However, the names of the people involved and the locations have been changed to protect their privacy.

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