Birmingham member awarded £35,000 after HGV accident

A Unite member who injured his arm in an accident on a road near Wolverhampton has secured £35,000 compensation with help from his union. 

He fell awkwardly on his right arm after the HGV he was driving toppled and landed on its side. Paramedics treated him at the scene and he was taken to hospital, and while he was able to return to work a few days later, he continues to suffer pain in the arm. 

The Unite member later found out that his lorry has been loaded unevenly by a third party working on behalf of his employer. This meant his vehicle was at risk of tipping over any time it cornered. 

Commenting on his accident, he 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.” 

Unite Legal Services supported him with a compensation claim. 

He continued: “I’m delighted with what my union did for me. 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 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, we were able to prove that our member’s employer was liable for the mistake of the third party.”