Housing Association Accident Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a housing association accident, we can help.
Whether your injuries were caused by a slip, trip, fall or other incident, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about how the accident happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will then identify who is legally responsible. Based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses they will also work out how much money you can claim.
Owners or occupiers of business premises should have insurance to cover the cost of injury claims, and your compensation will be paid out of this policy.
We can help you make an injury claim, on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
When renting properties to tenants, public bodies such as housing associations must abide by certain regulations. These rules exist to help ensure that properties are maintained in a sanitary condition and that residents are not put in danger due to poor maintenance.
Failure to perform regular checks and implement a program of repairs could result in tenants sustaining injuries or illnesses ranging from cuts and lacerations to burn and scald injuries, to serious respiratory problems, such as asthma.
For a claim to be successful, your solicitor will need to show that the party responsible for the property was aware of the problem that caused your injury, but failed to take the necessary steps to resolve the issue within a reasonable time frame.
What are the responsibilities of the housing association?
Housing associations must ensure that the properties they lease are kept in a liveable and sanitary state, including:
- Keeping the boiler, plumbing systems and electrical heating equipment in good repair
- Keeping the roof, walls and plasterwork in good repair and watertight
- Fixing any leaking pipes, guttering and other signs of water ingress
- Tackling problems with damp and mold.
Depending on the terms of the lease or rental agreement, the housing association may also be responsible for maintaining other facilities such as the garden or the kitchen appliances.
What are the risks arising from poorly-maintained properties?
Living in a property that does not meet basic sanitation and safety standards can pose a risk to human health. Some of the common problems experienced by tenants and their families include:
- Leaks and damp conditions that, if not tackled in timely manner, could cause mould-related illnesses such as asthma, especially in young or vulnerable residents
- Poorly maintained premises that can cause slip, trip and fall accidents or other injuries from collapsing ceilings, broken handrails and defective balconies
- Faulty wiring that poses a greater-than-average fire risk
- Poorly maintained and lit common areas such as stairwells, which can cause slip, trip and fall accidents
- Problems with windows and doors, which can cause condensation to build up leading to damp or mould growth, and may prevent escape in the event of fire
- Poor quality or incorrectly fitted boilers that can emit toxic fumes such as carbon monoxide, which can be fatal in some circumstances.
Making an injury claim against a housing association
Housing associations do not live in the properties they own and are not in a position to know about every defect in the properties they manage.
To make a successful claim, your solicitor will seek to establish that the housing association:
- was notified of the hazard before the injury occurred, and;
- had a reasonable amount of time to remedy the problem before the injury occurred.
Housing associations have a legal duty to respond to complaints as soon as reasonably possible.
For non-urgent problems, a response time of within 20 working days is considered reasonable. However, what is considered a 'reasonable' amount of time will depend on the nature of the complaint.
If the complaint relates to a serious or dangerous defect, an immediate response from the association would be reasonable.
If the housing association fails to act within a reasonable time frame and you sustain an injury as a result, it may be possible to pursue a compensation claim.
Do I have an injury claim?
You should be eligible to make an injury claim if you sustained an injury:
- in the last 3 years, and;
- someone else was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
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.
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 housing association accident. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 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 decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee - the facts
Under a no win, no fee agreement (known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make an injury claim without having to pay upfront legal fees. If your injury claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.
No win, no fee guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making an injury claim - even if you don't win your claim. 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 won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
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, 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 call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
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.
Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
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.
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.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
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.