ONE of Scotland’s most experienced personal injury lawyers is set to sue rail bosses after suffering a horrific accident.
Val Roberts has spent almost 20 years chasing compensation for accident victims, winning millions of pounds for her clients.
But now she is poised to sue ScotRail for thousands of pounds after crashing down the stairs at Haymarket Station, Edinburgh.
Val, 45, says she heard a sickening snap as her leg broke in two places.
The married mother of one also damaged both knees and faces the rest of her life with a metal plate holding the bones together.
Val, from Falkirk, is planning legal action against ScotRail because she believes the platform steps at busy Haymarket are dangerous.
The accident happened on March 1 as Val commuted to home from her work as a partner at Lyons Davidson, Edinburgh.
Val was heading for the 5.18pm train and even joked with a colleague outside that she was not going to run “because I don’t want to break a leg”.
The Edinburgh University graduate said: “I never run down stairs because I am very conscious of accidents because of what I do for a living. I was holding on to the hand rail.”
Val said the accident happened as she transferred her weight from one foot to the other.
She said: “I feel the steps are too steep and the treads are too narrow. The front part of my foot was overhanging the nose of the step.
“I fell and I heard the bones in my left leg snapping. Three very kind men came and helped me and reassured me until the ambulance arrived.”
Doctors confirmed Val had displaced spiral fractures to the tibia and fibula, the major bones in the lower leg.
Val added: “I have had an operation. They put in a six inch metal plate in my leg fixed with screws and a nail. They are probably going to be permanent and there is a risk of arthritis in the future.”
She is currently confined to a wheelchair and is likely to be signed off work for three months.
Asked about taking legal action against ScotRail, Val confirmed: “I am going to look into it.”
She said she would have to investigate whether ScotRail knew of a history of accidents at the station.
“There are signs saying do not run and hold the rails,” she said. “To me that suggests an acknowledgement that you have to be really careful. At Waverley there are no signs like that.”
She said: “I have no doubt ScotRail would say thousands of people use the steps without harming themselves but if a substantial number of people do get hurt there is clearly something they should be addressing.”
Val was previously co-owner of Glasgow personal injury firm Roberts O’Neill .
Ironically for Val, the firm’s publicity said it dealt with “all types of slip, trip and fall – whether on public roads or pavements, or in shops or other private premises”.
Cases included winning £265,000 for a 25-year-old Mull man who was severely injured in a quad bike accident, and £100,000 won for a 68-year-old man who suffered a fractured skull after falling off a pick-up in Inverness.
Val admitted some colleagues in the legal profession would rib her about becoming an accident victim.
She said: “I will be getting asked by people if I need a lawyer.”
Cat fan Val, whose Facebook picture is a feline on crutches, said her 18 years fighting in the courts for accident victims prevented her feeling sorry for herself.
“I see so many tragic things that this is nothing,” she said. “I am just grateful that it is no worse than it is.”
A spokesman for ScotRail said they were not aware of any legal action. The spokesman was not able to comment on the incident.