Accident at Home Compensation Claims

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

There are circumstances when another party can be legally responsible (liable) for you sustaining an injury in your home. You might, for example, have been injured by a defective product or in unsafe rented accommodation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a compensation claim for an accident at home with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.

We can help you make a personal injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article:

How common are accidents in the home?

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) data shows that there are more accidents in the home than in any other setting.

2.7 million people visit A&E every year after being injured at home.

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Do I have an injury claim?

As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make an injury claim if your injury happened:

  • within the last 3 years, and;
  • someone else was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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Injury claim eligibility - Common questions

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 injury claim on their own behalf.

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

What if the other party denies liability?

If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor will build the strongest possible case in order to prove that the defendant is responsible for your accident at home. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.

What if I want to make a multi-party or group claim?

A multi-party claim (sometimes referred to as a 'group claim' or a 'class action') brought by a group of people who have sustained the same or similar injuries due to the negligence of the same defendant. How you start a multi-party claim will depend on the circumstances and we recommend you speak to a solicitor for more information.

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?

Who would I make a claim against?

Your solicitor will need to show that your injury was caused by the accident, and that the the person responsible (the defendant) owed you a duty of care.

A duty of care is when a person, company or organisation has a legal obligation to safeguard the well-being of others.

UK laws impose a duty of care on employers, local authorities, medical professionals, landlords and the owners and occupiers of other premises, to protect workers, visitors and the public from harm.

Claims for domestic accidents can be more challenging. It may be, for example, that there were no witnesses. Without witnesses it may be harder (not impossible) to prove how your injuries happened.

Personal injury solicitors are, however, specialised in collating evidence, even if you think there is little supporting evidence to hand.

Who a claim would be made against with depend on the circumstances:

Accidents caused by a defective product

Defective or faulty products are products that are not fit for purpose. You might be injured directly or by an accident such as furniture collapsing, tools with defective electrics or safety guards, or unsafe toys.

If you are injured at home as a result of a defective product, it is important to keep 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 sub-standard workmanship

Sub-standard work carried out in your home, such as poorly fitted windows or stairs, electrical wiring or badly fitted built-in appliances, can all lead to injury.

Make sure you:

  • Avoid the unsafe area or hazard
  • Take photos of the faulty work carried out by the tradesperson
  • Take action to ensure the house is made safe. For example, if you have had faulty electrical work carried out, get a qualified specialist to inspect and repair the damage. Ask the specialist to document the reason for their work, e.g. "to repair faulty wiring".
  • Notify the parties responsible for the sub-standard work

Your home insurance company can help with the cost of repairs and damage to possessions. The insurer can help remedy the immediate property damage, and their investigations may also support your compensation claim.

Accidents caused by landlord negligence

Landlords have a duty of care to their tenants. Accommodation must be properly maintained and safe for the occupants to live in. This duty of care applies to all landlords, including private landlords, letting agents, housing associations, local authorities and universities.

Typical claims against landlords include:

  • respiratory illnesses from damp and mould claims
  • faulty boiler carbon monoxide claims
  • electrical injury claims
  • scalds and burns from defective hot water systems
  • housing disrepair claims
  • trips on loose floorboards, staircases and bannisters

If you have suffered an injury because of a landlord's negligence, 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.

Accidents at someone else's home

If you are injured when visiting another person's home, a claim may be possible against their home insurance.

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.

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness 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 injury 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 injury? (see list)

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

  • General pain and suffering including loss of amenity
  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment and care costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car
  • Damage to personal possessions

What is the average injury compensation for an injury 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 injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

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

Can I claim for an existing accident at home that has got worse?

Yes, it is possible to pursue a claim in the event that a pre-existing medical condition, illness or injury is made worse or aggravated by an accident or someone else's negligence.

Can I claim for physiotherapy and private care costs?

Private treatment can be expensive, but funding towards the cost of this treatment frequently comprises part of a compensation award. Your solicitor may even be able to arrange access to private medical care as soon as your claim is accepted.

Calculate my injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an 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 injury claim could be worth now:

How much can I claim?

How long does a home injury claim take?

The time needed to claim compensation for an accident at home will depend on the circumstance.

A claim against a negligent landlord who accepts liability, might settle in a few months. If liability is denied it could take significantly longer.

A claim against manufacturer or supplier of a defective product will again depend on whether liability is accepted.

Read more:

How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your injury 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.

No win, no fee

With a no win, no fee agreement (referred to as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make an injury claim without having to worry about upfront legal fees. If your injury 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 injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my injury 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 injury claim?

If your injury 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.

Can I get Legal Aid?

Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.

How do personal injury solicitors get paid?

If your accident at home claim is successful, the defendant, or their insurer, will pay the compensation and your solicitors fees.

How we can help you

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and 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 for an accident at home, we are open:

  • 8am to 9pm weekdays
  • 9am to 6pm on Saturday
  • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a callback from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

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Injury 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 injury claim?

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

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

Can I claim for an injury 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 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

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

Calculate your claim limitation date

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

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor