A Guide to Claiming Cellar Fall Injury Compensation

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a cellar fall accident we can help.

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

Introduction

Slips, trips or falls on cellar or basement steps are common as they are often smaller and steeper than other stairs. Like any personal injury compensation claim, in order to make a claim there must be someone at fault.

If an individual falls down cellar steps in an accident in their own home, it would be difficult to find someone to make a claim against. However, if an individual falls down cellar steps in a rented property, they may be able to make a compensation claim against their landlord.

A landlord may have failed in their duty of care if they have not ensured that the cellar steps are safe to use. This may include:

  • Broken, sloped or unsafe steps
  • Narrow steps
  • No handrails
  • Inadequate grip protection on the step
  • Steps cluttered with items left by the landlord that could form a hazard.

In the same way, if the accident occurred in the workplace, a employer could be liable for failing to ensure that the cellar stairs were safe and sufficient for use.

If an employer or landlord knew about the danger but failed to act to prevent the accident, a claimant may have grounds to make a compensation claim.

Cellar steps

Do I have a cellar fall injury claim?

It should be possible to make a cellar fall injury claim if your injury happened:

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

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

Check my claim

What are the 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 a definitive answer, speak to a cellar fall injury claim expert on 0800 612 7456.

A short call will confirm whether you have a claim. You will be under no obligation to start a claim with Quittance.

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 a cellar fall injury claim on their own behalf.

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

How much compensation can I claim for a cellar fall injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your cellar fall injury 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 cellar fall 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 a cellar fall injury? (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

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple cellar fall injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a severe back injury can be £95,000

For a more minor wrist injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £2,900.

However, if you have a severe back injury and a more minor wrist injury, you would typically receive £95,000 + a reduced percentage of £2,900.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.

What is the average injury compensation for a cellar fall 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 a cellar fall injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your cellar fall injury 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.

Cellar fall injury compensation calculator

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a cellar fall 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 cellar fall injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a cellar fall injury claim take?

The length of time needed to process a cellar fall accident claim can vary considerably.

For instance, a straightforward uncontested occupiers liability claim could be settled in a few weeks. If liability is denied, however, a compensation claim can take longer. Typically, an occupiers liability claim will take 6 to 9 months. See:

How long will my claim take?

Will I still be able to claim for a cellar fall injury 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 cellar fall 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.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

No win, no fee - the facts

No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you anything at all if your cellar fall injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.

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 making a cellar fall injury compensation claim.

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

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

What do I pay if I do not win my cellar fall injury claim?

If your cellar fall injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever.

Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

Is there a catch?

The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.

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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Cellar fall 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 a cellar fall injury claim?

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

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

Can I claim for a cellar fall 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 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim cellar fall injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a cellar fall injury 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