Introduction to claims for accidents in the home
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.
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 your 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 a compensation award could help
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 our solicitors 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
- 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 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 is domestic accident compensation calculated?
Recommended compensation for general damages is set by the Judicial College (formerly the Judicial Studies Board) in their frequently-updated guidelines for personal injury awards.
The amounts are based on the type and severity of an injury. They are set out in the form of upper and lower values for a specific injury.
As an example, compensation arising from a back injury that has caused permanent, chronic symptoms can range between £31,350 to £56375.
Though not technically law, use of the guidelines is usually adopted in Court. Most insurers and solicitors will also refer to the guidelines when calculating compensation for an accident or illness.
In matters where a pre-existing injury or condition has been exacerbated by the illness or accident, compensation may also be claimed.
Travel expenses including those relating to physiotherapy sessions, the cost of medical treatment and ongoing care, and loss of earnings may also be included in a claim. Compensation for these expenses are referred to as 'special damages'.
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.
Guaranteed No Win No Fee home accident claim - Pay nothing if your claim is unsuccessful
A no win no fee agreement (also referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement) is entered into between a claimant and a suitably qualified solicitor.
A Conditional Fee Agreement is essentially the conditions under which the solicitor works for the claimant.
It lays out what the solicitor will do as well as how the solicitor is remunerated if the claim is won.
If you decide to choose a Quittance solicitor for your home accident compensation claim there are no hidden fees , no up-front fees and the reassurance that you wont be financially out of pocket.
Get your free Compensation Claim Report
If you are undecided, you may feel you are not in a position to make a decision yet.
Getting the information required to make a decision can be a challenge. We put together the Compensation Claim Report (CCR) to answer those questions.
A CCR is a free report based on the details of your case. The CCR reports on:
- the duration of the claim
- the chance of winning
- the amount of potential compensation
For more detailed information regarding your claim, you can get your Report here.
Quittance understands that you will likely have a number of questions when considering whether to start a compensation claim for an accident at home.
See our Frequently Asked Questions page for more answers, or contact us for a confidential, no-obligation consultation on 0800 612 7456.
What should you do next?
A free initial consultation service is provided by Quittance's solicitors if you have further questions or would like to speak to an expert about your accident today.
For more information, a free Compensation Claim Report will give you a more detailed assessment of your position.
When you are ready to start your claim, you can do so online here or call Quittance on 0800 612 7456. If you would like, we can call you back whenever is more convenient.