£25,000 awarded for a fall on a defective staircase
Compensation of £25,000 was awarded for injuries suffered at home by a 52 year old woman when she fell down defective stairs at her rented property.
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The claimant lost her footing descending the stairs at her rented home. She fell to the foot of the stairs fracturing her neck in two places.
The lady was admitted to hospital immediately. Fractured lateral and left lamina aspects of her vertebrae and a head injury were diagnosed.
She was treated as an in-patient at hospital for three weeks. Treatment initially included wearing a halo jacket to immobilise her spine.
After the initial treatment, hard and soft neck collars were used.
The claimant also suffered dysexecutive syndrome causing poor concentration, memory recall and difficulty organising daily life. She was housebound relying on her sons and neighbours for care and assistance during her recovery.
It was alleged that the landlord had been negligent insofar as the design of the stairway was unsatisfactory. The landing was recessed, the first step narrow and there was no handrail.
The claimant maintained that physical and psychological injuries were caused.
Whilst the physical injuries recovered within 18 months, the psychological injuries were stated as permanent.
The landlord maintained that they had not been negligent but offered no evidence.
Conclusion and settlement
Liability was not admitted and the claimant issued proceedings.
The defendant offered no evidence. The claimant was able to apply for a default judgement.
Compensation was accepted by way of an out of Court settlement of £25,000.
£23,000 of the damages was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."
An additional £2,000 was awarded for past care costs and travel expenses.
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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.