Personal injury news

Navy recruit made accident claim for injury

A Navy recruit has been awarded more than 191,000 in damages after injuring her ankle during basic training.

Sinead Dodds, 26, of Midlothian, made an accident claim after breaking her ankle on an assault course and now has to take up to eight painkillers a day.

Miss Dodds gave up working as a hairdresser to join the Navy in 2001 and landed herself a place at HMS Raleigh in Plymouth. She was hoping to secure a job as an on-board communications officer but had to be medically discharged after sustaining the injury.

The trainee recruit suffered the personal injury as she jumped from a ladder drop while completing an assault course 11 days into her training.

She said, "We got to a big platform and were told to jump off. It was so high and some of us thought we could have sat and dropped down, but they made us jump.

"As soon as I hit the ground there was a sickening crack."

Struggling to stand back up, she had to wait 25 minutes before being taken to the sick bay and had to wait a further two hours before being X-rayed.

Miss Dodds was later dropped off at hospital gates and forced to walk on crutches carrying her own X-rays. The severity of the ankle injury meant she needed to wear a brace for five months on her ankle.

She claims that since the accident she can only walk 15 minutes at a time and can no longer wear a skirt because she is self-conscious about her appearance.

Judge Malcolm Thomson, QC, said, "The MoD should have reduced risk of injury by requiring the instructor to physically demonstrate jumping from both a sitting and standing position and to give all the recruits the opportunity to jump first from a sitting position and then from a standing position."

Miss Dodds was awarded 191,000 in injury compensation for her accident claim.



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*Where replacement vehicle costs can be recovered from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. Where this person is untraceable or uninsured, or where there is a dispute over liability, a replacement vehicle cannot be provided.