Company liable for accident at work

My client is an international lorry driver with German nationality. Whilst carrying out his duties he was involved in an accident at work. The accident took place in the Netherlands, so Dutch law applies. My client was transporting grain and whilst unloading he got caught between the bars of a conveyor belt. This resulted in a severe open fracture to his ankle, six months in hospital and 16 operations.

The company on whose premises the accident occurred denied liability, saying that my client had been careless and that he was not their employee.

The report produced by the Dutch health and safety inspectorate contained evidence to the contrary, stating that a number of provisions of the Working Conditions Act and the Working Conditions Decree had been breached. The company was fined for these breaches. Using evidence from the analysis, findings and conclusions contained in this report, I once again submitted a claim to the company that it was liable for all the damage he had suffered and continued to suffer as a result of the accident.

I took the view that this constituted an unlawful act, for which the company was responsible. The company had failed to exercise the necessary care. I asked the company to forward my liability claim to its insurers. The following day I received a telephone call from the insurers acknowledging liability on behalf of the company.

I am currently in the process of negotiating a financial settlement. The settlement will include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of capacity to earn, legal expenses, hospital charges and other medical expenses.

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