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Home > News > Compensation For Registered General Nurse Following Successful Hospital Assault Claim

14th July 2008

Compensation For Registered General Nurse Following Successful Hospital Assault Claim

A registered general nurse, our client was the victim of a work assault by a service user who was known by the defendants, her employer, to have a history of violent behaviour. She asked us to represent her in bringing an accident claim for personal injury compensation after it was revealed that documentation such as risk assessments had been withheld and omitted from the service users file.

At the time of the assault at work, she was working at one of several community properties, which house four adults with learning difficulties. At the same time, she was required to manage the issue of cigarettes and money to a resident from another property who was considered vulnerable to financial abuse. On the day of the assault at work, the resident from the other property showed our client some cigarettes. On commenting that these were not his usual brand, without warning, our client was physically attacked and punched on the side of her jaw, knocking her off balance. The resident ran off.

After calling for assistance and reporting the assault at work to her on-call support, our client went home and consulted her GP the next day. Her work related injuries prevented her return to work for several weeks. As a result of this attack at work, she was left with pain between her jaw and the base of her skull, ear pain, and pain at the front of her neck below the jaw. She had difficulty sleeping for many weeks, primarily from the pain of her work related injuries, but also the emotional trauma brought on by the assault at work and the fear of further attacks at work from this service user. She was also concerned for her personal safety and this made her return to work all the more difficult.

The defendants denied liability for the assault at work, claiming that although they had withheld documentation that would have made our client aware of the potential risk of workplace violence when dealing with the service user, this would not have altered the outcome, i.e. being physically attacked at work.

However, the Judge found that her ignorance of his violent behaviour gave her a false sense of security when dealing with him. In particular, two recent incidents of violent behaviour had resulted in his referral to a psychiatrist who had diagnosed schizophrenia. Our client was not advised of any of this vital information.

In Court, the previous manager also admitted that the handover to our client at the time she had assumed responsibility for the property, had been inadequate in that essential documentation had been withheld and neither had verbal information had been provided about this user’s history of violent behaviour.

The Judge found for our client in this claim for assault compensation, and ruled that had she been aware of the service user’s history of violent behaviour she would have been able to take steps to minimise the risk, possibly taking training in managing behaviour or recognising warning signs in his behaviour. She may also have been more selective in her language when dealing with him.

Although quantum had been agreed prior to the trial, the defendants refused to negotiate an acceptable sum in assault compensation, and our specialist personal injury solicitors were forced to take the case to trial. The Judge awarded our client the full amount of £4,250 in this attack at work compensation claim for her injuries as a result of her assault at work.

Compensation Claim

Should you decide to instruct us to represent you in your claim, Clear Answers’ lawyers have teams of specialists waiting to help you. We have extensive experience in all types of accident at work claims, whether it was the result of negligence on the part of your employer, or some other cause.

Our lawyers will be happy to provide you with expert legal advice, talk you through the claims process in plain English and answer any questions you may have regarding your claim.

If you or a family member has been injured in these circumstances, please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers. Alternatively, you may prefer to complete one of our on-line compensation claim forms and one of our representatives will contact you as quickly as possible.

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