A Guide to Claiming Home Accident Compensation

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an accident at home we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an accident at home and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

Introduction

Data provided by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) suggests that more accidents happen at home than anywhere else. 2.7 million people seek medical attention at A&E for accidents in the home each year.

Many accidents in the home are avoidable and are the result of the act or negligence of other parties.

This article aims to inform anyone who has sustained an accident at home of their options. This article will also explain what to do if you are ready to start your claim.

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Do I have an accident at home claim?

You should be eligible to make an accident at home injury claim if your injury happened:

  • within the last three years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.

Find out whether you may have a claim with our Online Claim Checker:

Check my claim

Are there any exceptions?

However, there may be other considerations that mean you have a valid claim - even if the above points do not apply to you.

To get an impartial answer, you can speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.

A short call will tell you exactly where you stand. We will not put you under any pressure to pursue a claim.

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an accident at home claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Can I make an accident at home claim right up to the three-year limit?

Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on an accident at home claim that only has a few months (sometimes even a year) left before the time limit expires. The panel of solicitors will take a claim on as late as possible where it is felt that the claim could be successful.

Do I need a final diagnosis to make an accident at home claim?

If you have been injured and are awaiting the results, you should still seek legal advice as soon as possible. The sooner you start an accident at home claim after an accident, the more likely your claim is to succeed.

How much compensation can I claim for an accident at home?

The amount of money you could claim for your accident at home will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your accident at home has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an accident at home? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

What is the average injury compensation for an accident at home claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following an accident at home will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your accident at home compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

Accident at home compensation calculator

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an accident at home injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your accident at home claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does an injury at home claim take?

The length of time needed to win compensation for an accident at home can vary significantly.

For example, a straightforward liability accepted injury claim could be settled in a month or two. If liability is denied, however, it could take significantly longer. Usually, an injury claim should take 4 to 9 months. See more:

How long will my claim take?

Will I still be able to claim for an accident at home after the law changes in April 2020?

The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.

You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).

In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your accident at home claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Will I get financial advice?

Your solicitor will be able to advise you on whether to accept a financial settlement for your accident at home claim. If you require tax planning or trust advice, the solicitor will recommend and work closely with a financial adviser.

Who can make an accident at home (or domestic accident) claim?

To claim compensation, the accident needs to have caused your injury, and have occurred within the previous three years as the result of another's actions or negligence.

A personal injury lawyer must demonstrate that, on the balance of probabilities, the injury was caused by the accident and that the defendant (the party responsible for the injuries) owed you a duty of care.

Given the very wide range of factors that can cause injury in the home, the identity of the defendant could be the manufacturer or importer of a defective product, or a tradesperson responsible for faulty work, or a landlord, freeholder or management company. A solicitor will assist you in identifying the party responsible if you are unsure.

Compensation claims can be made for a variety of accidents and injuries sustained in the home, including:

  • Defective products - not fit for purpose, causing you injury directly or through an accident such as furniture collapsing
  • Faulty work - carried out in your home, such as poorly fitted windows or stairs, electrical wiring or badly fit built-in appliances
  • Poor maintenance - from your private or local authority landlord making your home unsafe

Accidents at home caused by faulty products

If you are injured at home as a result of a defective product, it is important to keep hold of the item for inspection. If it is safe to do so, you should keep the defective item even if it appears to be damaged beyond repair.

The item may need to be examined to prove it is faulty. Without the defective item, you may not be able to claim.

Try to find receipts or other documents related to the item if you have them, and take photos of the item in its current state. Keep any photos of the item in your house dating before the accident too.

Accidents caused by faulty workmanship

If your accident was the result of faulty work carried out by a tradesperson, take photos of the work in question and take action to ensure the house is made safe again. Once you are aware of the risks posed by the faulty

For example, if you have had faulty electrical work carried out, get a qualified specialist to inspect and repair the damage.

Keep receipts for any repair work and ask the specialist to state on their receipt or other documents provided the reason for their work, e.g. "to repair faulty wiring".

Your home insurance company can help with the cost of repairs and damage to possessions. The insurer can help put the immediate property damage right, and their investigations may also assist in making a claim for your injury compensation.

Accidents caused by your landlord

If you have suffered an injury because of a private or local authority landlord, the following steps will assist your case:

  • take photographs of the damage or poor maintenance which caused the accident
  • make a note of when you first reported it to your landlord, how many times you reported it, and what the landlord's response was
  • contact your landlord to confirm you have now been injured as a result of this damage and request again that they rectify it

Can you claim for an accident at someone else's home?

If the homeowner is to blame for your accident, their own home insurance may provide suitable cover. Quittance's solicitors offer a confidential, no-obligation consultation if you would like to discuss this further.

If the injury resulted from a defective product or faulty workmanship on the part of a negligent tradesperson, you should be able to claim directly against the party responsible without prejudicing the homeowner. If you would like to discuss your options in more detail, you can call Quittance today or request a callback.

What if you are partly responsible for the accident?

It may still be possible to claim compensation if it is not clear who was responsible for the accident.

An injured person can still receive compensation if both sides are partly responsible. These claims are usually resolved with a split-liability agreement between the parties.

It may be that the amount of compensation is reduced if a claimant's injuries were partially caused by their own actions. Your solicitor will be able to offer clearer advice based on the details of your case.

Need more advice on whether you may have a domestic accident claim?

Accidents at home can often be less straightforward than those that occur on the road or in public places. There may be no witnesses to the incident, and causation may not be easy to establish.

A specialist solicitor will be able to provide advice and information regarding a claim for an accident at home and can answer your initial questions on a no-obligation, confidential basis. For more detail, call Quittance on 0800 612 7456.

Claim time limits for accidents in the home

As with most other categories of personal injury claim, compensation for claims for accidents in the home are subject to a three-year time limit. This is dated from either the date of the accident or the date you were informed of your diagnosis, provided that you were not immediately aware you were injured. This 'date of knowledge' rarely applies to accidents in the home, but in the case of poisoning caused by a defective product, for example, it may be some time between exposure and the first symptoms manifesting.

For more information regarding domestic accident time limits, contact a member of the Quittance panel of personal injury lawyers on 0800 612 7456.

How could compensation help you?

It is recognised by the Courts that an accident at home can have serious and life-altering repercussions. Injury compensation may be awarded for:

  • loss of earnings while you are unable to work
  • loss of earnings if you are not able to work in future
  • medical treatment and care costs
  • travel costs and other expenses arising from the injury
  • damage to personal possessions
  • general pain and suffering including loss of amenity

What do we do to help?

Before deciding to make a claim, an injury lawyer will be able to discuss your case and run through your options. The lawyer will be sensitive to the needs of your recovery and will direct and advise on your legal matters accordingly.

Quittance's personal injury experts specialise in getting maximum compensation for injuries sustained in the home. Quittance's solicitors help many injured people successfully make a compensation claim for injuries including:

  • burns, scars and other injuries arising from defective products
  • slip, trip and fall injuries
  • dermatitis
  • neck and back injuries

How long does the personal injury claim process take?

Complicated claims can take longer to resolve, but the majority of injury claims are straightforward and completed successfully in a matter of months. The vast majority of claims settle out of Court.

It is difficult to foresee the length of time that will be needed to negotiate an acceptable settlement. Often it can benefit the claimant to negotiate for longer as this strategy can result in more compensation.

To get a more accurate prognosis of how long your claim will take, speak to an expert personal injury solicitor on 0800 612 7456 or by completing a quick Compensation Report form.

How likely are you to be successful?

To bring a claim against another party, it must be shown that they are legally responsible, or liable, for your injury.

The three tests involved in demonstrating liability are:

  • did the other side owe you a duty of care?
  • did they breach that duty?
  • did the breach cause your injuries?

Your solicitor will assess each of these tests and will advise accordingly.

Where the defendant has acknowledged that they are liable, then there is a good chance of success.

If liability is not accepted, or only partly accepted, negotiating a settlement can be harder. Your solicitor will help you to build the strongest possible case.

There are a number of steps that can be taken to help make a better claim. These steps should be taken if possible:

  • notify the appropriate authorities (e.g. your landlord)
  • get photographic evidence of the scene and/or cause of the accident
  • keep physical evidence of the cause of the accident or injury (e.g. the defective product), if it is safe to do so
  • collect statements from witnesses, including their names and addresses

Even where considerable time has passed, it is worth doing everything you can to help your case.

No win, no fee - the facts

With a no win, no fee agreement (referred to as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make an accident at home claim without having to worry about upfront legal fees. If your accident at home claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.

Our no win, no fee promise

If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your accident at home injury.

What do I pay if I win my accident at home claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my accident at home claim?

If your accident at home claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Accident at home FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an accident at home claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the accident at home to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your accident at home claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an accident at home after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim accident at home compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an accident at home claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert