Accidents at home are common, and they can sometimes result in severe or even fatal injuries. These include slips, trips and falls, poisoning, falling objects, electric shocks and accidents due to faulty appliances. Even if you are at home, your accident may be due to someone else’s negligence, such as your landlord, contractor or a product manufacturer.
If someone else is liable for your injury, you may be able to claim compensation. This could cover your pain and suffering and any financial losses and out-of-pocket expenses you incurred.
To find out if you can start an accident at home claim, call 0800 678 1410 today to get in touch with an experienced personal injury solicitor. Alternatively, you can enter your details into our online claim form to request a call back with no obligation to proceed.
Am I eligible to make an accident at home claim?
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), around 2.7 million people are treated each year at the hospital after being injured at home. Furthermore, there are approximately 6,000 deaths caused by various types of home accidents. The cost of these accidents is estimated to be £45.63 billion, based on an average expense of £16,900 per victim.
You may be able to claim after an accident at home if somebody else was to blame for your injuries. The best way to find out whether you are entitled to compensation is through a free initial consultation with a legal adviser specialised in personal injury claims. They will assess your circumstances to determine whether:
- Another party owed you a legal duty of care
- They breached this duty by acting negligently or carelessly and caused your accident
- You suffered an injury as a result within the past three years
Your solicitor will prove a duty of care by referring to legislation such as the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 or the Consumer Protection Act 1987. If you are able to make a claim, they will help you gather all the evidence you need to get the compensation you deserve, which is detailed in the section below.
What evidence do I need to support my claim?
If you are eligible for compensation, your solicitor will need strong evidence to support your accident at home compensation claim. The types of proof they could use might include the following:
- Medical records. These will show the type and severity of your injury, diagnostic tests and the treatments you received;
- A report from a specialist. Your solicitor may arrange a free medical examination with an independent doctor to assess the long-term effects of your injuries and any future care needs;
- Visual evidence. You should take photographs or a video of the accident scene and any hazards that contributed to your injuries, such as broken furniture or uneven stairs. It can help if you also take pictures of any visible injuries and damage to your property;
- Product package. If you were injured due to a faulty product, you should keep its packaging;
- Witness statements. If someone else saw how your accident occurred, their testimony could help strengthen your claim if liability is denied;
- Your notes. Write down the details of the incident as soon as possible, including information such as the date and location and a step-by-step account of what happened. Try also to keep a journal of your injuries and how these have affected your life;
- Property maintenance records. If the accident was due to poor housekeeping in a rental property, you could use maintenance records and inspection reports to support your claim;
- Financial evidence. You should also keep records of all expenses incurred due to the accident. These may include medical bills, medication receipts, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and any other out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the incident.
What situations could lead to a home accident claim?
Various accidents could lead to an injury at home claim, whether they happen in your house or someone else’s. These include:
- Slips, trips and falls on wet floors, uneven surfaces or poorly maintained walkways;
- Being hit by a falling object that was not fitted correctly, such as shelves or tiling;
- Electric shocks due to faulty appliances or lack of proper electricity maintenance checks;
- Accidents due to faulty appliances, furniture or equipment;
- Poisoning due to gas leaks and exposure to carbon monoxide because of faulty gas appliances, poor ventilation or blocked chimneys;
- Falls from heights due to faulty stairs, lack of railings or protective barriers, or structural collapses;
- Accidents in or around swimming pools, such as slips, falls, diving injuries or drowning;
- Dog bites and animal attacks on someone’s property may also result in personal injury compensation.
Even if your accident was not listed here, you may still have a valid claim. Based on the circumstances of the incident, the liable party may be:
- A contractor you have hired and carried out substandard work
- A product manufacturer, if you were injured due to a faulty item
- A landlord, freeholder or management company who neglected to maintain your property and the associated environment
Common injuries caused by home accidents
Accidents at home can result in a variety of injuries ranging from minor to severe, such as:
- Fractures are common injuries that often occur due to slips, trips and collisions with objects. They often involve the wrist, arm, hip or ankle and may require surgery and physical therapy to heal.
- Sprains and strains affect the muscles, tendons and ligaments and can cause pain, swelling and reduced range of motion.
- Burns and scalds can be due to accidents involving hot surfaces, liquids, or faulty appliances. Severe burns can cause scarring and disfigurement and can even be life-threatening.
- Contusions, commonly known as bruises, result from impacts with surfaces or objects at home. While generally mild, they can indicate underlying tissue damage.
- Cuts and lacerations can be due to falls, sharp objects or broken glass and may need cleaning, disinfection, and proper wound closure to prevent infection. Deep cuts may require stitches and cause permanent scarring.
- Head injuries can range from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries. They can cause symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, or changes in consciousness and may have permanent and severe consequences.
- Back injuries are typically due to falls and can range from sprains and strains to herniated discs and spinal cord damage. Severe trauma can lead to paralysis and loss of function.
- Poisoning can be caused by ingesting or inhaling toxic substances in the home, such as household chemicals or carbon monoxide.
The type and severity of the injury you suffered will determine how much home accident compensation you may be able to claim.
What duties do landlords have to prevent accidents in the home?
All landlords have a legal duty to ensure that the house they provide for tenants is safe and free from hazards under the Landlord and Tennant Act 1985. If you live in a rented property, your landlord has various responsibilities to protect you from injuries, such as:
- Keep the property safe to live in, free from dampness and well-ventilated;
- Ensure that the home can withstand typical weather conditions and use from tenants and visitors;
- Make sure all gas and electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained;
- Keep the property in a reasonable state of repair inside and outside;
- Have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) and test the property every ten years;
- If you move in between EIRC checks, have a qualified electrician check that the wiring system is still safe;
- Be able to provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property;
- Meet all fire safety requirements for the property;
- Ensure all maintenance is carried out to meet these requirements and keep the property safe and free from hazards.
If your landlord has failed to meet these requirements and you had an accident at home, they may be liable for compensation.
Can I claim if I am injured in someone else’s home?
Yes. You could still make a personal injury claim even if you had an accident in someone else’s home. Under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957, the property owner or occupier has a legal duty to ensure that their premises are reasonably safe for visitors. This includes taking steps to prevent hazards and adequately warning you of any potential dangers.
If your injury was due to a faulty appliance or poor work by a contractor, you could start the claims process directly against the negligent party without involving the homeowner. On the other hand, if your accident were due to the owner’s negligence, your claim would be against them. For example, the homeowner may be liable for compensation if you slipped or tripped due to broken steps or uneven flooring or your child was struck by a falling object.
Their home insurance policy often covers injuries sustained by visitors on their property. If you win the accident compensation claim, their insurer may cover your losses.
What if I was partially at fault for my injury at home?
If you were injured in an accident that you were partially responsible for, you may still be entitled to compensation. If you had less than 50% of the blame, a personal injury lawyer could still help you make a successful claim.
In such cases, the parties involved will typically reach a split-liability agreement. Under the principle of contributory negligence, you would receive a reduced compensation award that reflects your part of the blame. For example, if you suffered an arm injury valued at £30,000 but were 25% to blame for it, you would receive a reduced award of £22,500 due to your contributory negligence.
Frequently asked questions
If you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, an accident at home claim could help you get compensation for your pain, suffering and related financial expenses. Below, we have answered the most common questions claimants have about making a claim. For more information, please call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back.
Can I make a home accident compensation claim on behalf of my child?
Children are typically the most likely to suffer an injury at home. However, they cannot hire a solicitor and start a personal injury claim under the age of 18. You could make a compensation claim on their behalf by applying to the court to be appointed as their litigation friend.
If your accident at home compensation claim is successful, you may have to attend an Infant Approval Hearing in court. Here, a judge will look at the available evidence to decide whether the settlement you agreed upon is fair and covers the claimant’s needs. The funds are typically held in a court bank account and released to the child on their 18th birthday.
How long do I have to claim?
The time limit to claim compensation for an injury is typically three years from the date of an accident. This deadline is set out by the Limitation Act 1980, and your case will be statute-barred and no longer valid if you miss it. There are a few exceptions to this rule:
- In the case of children, the three-year time limit begins on their 18th birthday, regardless of when the accident occurred. Before this date, a parent or legal guardian could claim for them at any time.
- If the claimant lacks mental capacity due to a brain injury, PTSD or another condition, the time limit is put on hold. A litigation friend could claim for them anytime. The time limit would only begin if the claimant regains their mental capacity.
- If you suffered due to a robbery, assault or another criminal act at home, you have two years to claim through the CICA.
- If you lost a loved one due to an accident at home and a third party was at fault, you could make a claim for compensation within three years of their death.
How much compensation could I receive for an accident at home?
Each case is different, and the amount of compensation you may get will depend on your specific losses. These are grouped into two types of damages that your solicitor will consider when calculating how much injury compensation you deserve:
- General damages cover the physical injury and how it has affected your life. They may include physical and mental suffering, scarring and disfigurement, reduced quality of life and loss of amenities.
- Special damages cover the financial losses related to your accident. Examples include private medical treatments, care costs, medical aids, loss of earnings and travel expenses.
You can refer to our online compensation calculator to get an idea of how much you could receive based on the type and severity of your injury according to the Judicial College guidelines.
Can I make a home accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis?
If you have a valid home accident claim, one of the personal injury solicitors we work with will offer you a 100% no win no fee agreement. That means you do not have to pay them a single penny upfront for their services or if your case fails. Your solicitor will only receive a success fee from your settlement if they win your claim.
Furthermore, the After the Event (ATE) insurance policy included in your agreement will cover all the litigation costs if you lose. These include costs and disbursements such as court fees, medical reports, expert witness fees and the defendant’s legal expenses.