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Injury claims following a fall

Slips, trips and falls are quite common in everyday life. They normally happen because we are not careful or in a rush to get somewhere. However if the falls or slips are caused by someone else’s negligence by not putting a sign up when doing pavement work or not complying with health and safety rules at workplace, you might be entitled to compensation for your injury.

Examples of falls:

  • Slipping on liquid spilled on a supermarket’s floor
  • Tripping over on an uneven pavement or road
  • Suffering an injury caused by unsafe conditions in a workplace
  • Suffering an injury caused by faulty equipment in a sports centre
  • Falling on an icy surface (such as public footpath, stairs etc.)

How to go about it?

All of the above examples involve an injury suffered in a public place where someone, such as the local council, the employer or the supermarket’s or sports centres’ authorities have a duty of care over their residents, customers or employees. If you believe your fall is someone else’s fault, it is advisable to contact a solicitor to help you through the compensation claim process as soon as possible or within three years after your accident.

Conditions

You can bring a claim against someone else when:

a)      They owe you a duty of care – This means they have some sort of responsibility towards the injured party, so a duty of care is owed by employers toward their employees or a local council toward their residents;

b)      They breach that duty – This means they fall below the acceptable standard of behaviour in carrying out, or failing to carry out, their duties or tasks, for example not complying with health and safety rules or not keeping the pavements in good order and repair; and

c)      The breach causes harm – This means that as a result of falling below the acceptable standard of care that they owe an accident happens causing injury and/or loss and damage

How to pay to bring the claim?

If being paid in the normal manner, a solicitor’s fee will be considerable and may be required up front. If the claim is successful the legal costs can be recovered, in part or full, from the guilty party. This means that although you might get it back at a later stage, a large amount of money is needed to start the claim.

Alternatively, your solicitor may agree to enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), this is often referred to as a ‘no win no fee’ agreement. This means that unless your claim is successful, you will not be required to pay for it. The solicitor will assess the prospect of winning the case before entering into such an agreement; this can be a useful early indication of your chances of success. To account for the possibility of losing and not being paid the solicitor will charge a success fee on top of their base costs. If the case is lost then you might have to pay the other party’s costs. You can take an insurance to protect you against this cost.

Advantages:

  • If you win your case – you receive damages from the responsible party and they pay the costs of the solicitor including their success fee; and
  • If you lose your case – the insurance policy pays the other party’s legal costs and you walk away no worse off.

How much will I receive?

If the other party is found to be negligent then you will be awarded a sum of money to compensate you for:

a)      Any injury suffered; and

b)      Any consequential loss suffered, such as loss of earnings.

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