If you are injured at home in your rented accommodation and your accident was not your fault you may have grounds for a damages claim. As the occupier of a property you do not own, you have limited rights and obligations to effect necessary repairs. Although a responsible landlord will have made sure the property is safe before your tenancy begins, we are often asked to assist clients who have suffered injury because their rental accommodation has not been adequately maintained.
Of course, not all hazards are immediately obvious to new or prospective tenants, as was the case for a client whose electricity was metered. Notwithstanding our client’s repeated complaints pointing out that the meter had been placed out of the average person’s reach, no steps were taken to remedy the position. Unable to reach the meter safely, she became reliant on a helpful neighbour who was able to climb up and pay for more electricity when it was needed.
However on one occasion her neighbour was unavailable and our client was forced to feed the meter herself, resorting to standing on a chair in order to reach. Because of the meter’s precarious positioning – on a landing, at the top of some stairs – it was perhaps inevitable that she lost her balance and fell off the chair, down the stairs. Despite a robust denial of liability from the electricity company who had installed the meter, we were able to make a successful claim on her behalf to recover compensation for her injuries.
In another case, when viewing a potential rental property our client’s husband stumbled on stairs that were dimly lit – in addition, the bottom step was covered in a floor covering matching the wooden floor below, giving the impression to someone walking down the stairs that they had reached floor level when they had not. Although he pointed this out to the landlord’s agent, for aesthetic reasons the floor covering on the bottom step remained in place. After moving in, our client was walking down the stairs when, believing she had reached the floor, she stumbled and fell from the bottom step, fracturing her wrist in two places. Liability for the accident has now been conceded and we are pursuing our client’s injury claim for damages.
If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, or would like more information about making a personal injury claim, contact the George Ide team on 02143 786668 or email us at email@example.com.
Garry Sleet. Personal injury department
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