You often hear all sorts of jokes about people claiming compensation for weird injuries, but do you personally know anyone who’s actually had a stupid injury? In 2013 I was involved in a car accident and I claimed compensation for whiplash as I really suffered with my back and neck however I don’t know anyone else who has claimed for anything other than a car accident or an injury at work.
There have been quite a few ridiculous injury claims around the world and for that reason, we’ve teamed True Solicitors, who are personal injury compensation experts have had a look at some of the most bizarre injury claims!
In 1994, a 79-year-old woman ordered a coffee in the drive-thru of a McDonalds. Although this might sound like an innocent and regular order, it became a traumatising experience for her, as she spilt it all over herself causing 3rd degree burns across 30% of her body. She was hospitalised for eight days and was awarded £1.7m by a New Mexico judge. McDonalds commented that their coffee was being distributed at high temperatures of somewhere between 82ºC and 87ºC.
This case is actually similar to something that happened to me! When I was 7 years old I was in the cafe at our local Asda and I asked for a hot chocolate. The hot drinks were served in flimsy polystyrene cups and were at too high a temperature. Unfortunately the hot chocolate was placed on a wobbly table and so one thing led to another and the hot drink ended up in my lap. My skin immediately blistered and came away from my leg and I ended up sat in a sink under a tap, before being rushed to hospital. If I was older, I definitely would have claimed but back in 1996, this was something we just didn’t think about at the time. I had to go to hospital every day for two weeks to get the dressings changed on my third degree burns which covered the whole of my right thigh and part of my calf.
An early grave
In my hometown of Birmingham, a man was literally sent to an early grave! A gravedigger was just digging away, doing his job, when suddenly, he found himself falling into a plot he had dug for somebody’s funeral. The man claimed that there was a burial chamber collapse which caused the accident and resulted in him having a knee injury. The man was awarded £65,000 for his accident by the city council.
A woman found herself trespassing Carlisle Castle after hours in complete darkness. The English Heritage castle, which isn’t well lit at 2am, ended up paying out £15,000 in compensation and £37,250 in legal fees after the woman fell into the moat and suffered hip and pelvic injuries. However I don’t believe she should have won this case as it was her own stupidity for being there after dark illegally!
Slipping on a chip
A teacher in Edinburgh was compensated £55,000 after slipping on a chip in her school’s canteen. This resulted in a strained knee – stopping her from going back into the classroom and ending her much loved teaching career. The maths teacher had slipped on the chip as it blended in with the canteen’s flooring which a judge claimed was undetectable as she walked. Could a strained knee really end a teaching career?
Slipping on pigeon droppings
London is famous for its architecture, historic and modern culture but it’s not too renowned for the amount of pigeons and their unfortunate droppings on its streets. A pensioner, who was walking under a bridge in Battersea lost her balance and slipped due to wet pigeon droppings on the ground. A policeman who came to help her up also slipped, but unlike the older woman – he did not suffer from any injuries. The woman fractured her left arm and was unable to work, being left permanently disabled. She was awarded £20,000. Imagine being injured by pigeon poo!
Another trespassing scenario found that a group of young teens were on the roof of a private warehouse in Liverpool. A teenager fell 40ft when the roof collapsed and he ended up suffering from serious head injuries. In 2005, nine years after the accident had occurred, claimed £567,000. Again, I think that this one was the victim’s own fault as he shouldn’t have been trespassing and putting himself in a dangerous situation in the first place.
Our police force is faced with countless types of situation, but being hit with a pineapple has taken things to a completely new level. In 2008, a police officer won £3,000 in compensation after she was hit on the head by a pineapple during a protest (she was on-duty, not protesting!).
Open topped cars
Open-top cars can sometimes be seen as a luxury, especially when you can flaunt around on a hot summers day imagining you’re in Beverly Hills. However, open-top cars are not what they make out to be – especially with this situation in Kent. A male driver pulled up in a stationary position at the traffic lights, when a cement mixer vehicle turned the corner and spilt cement all over the man’s car! The damage caused was so bad the car was written off, and the man was awarded £4,000 for his injuries.