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Thread: Valid Injury Claim or Not??

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  1. #1
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    Default Valid Injury Claim or Not??

    Hi - I am posting on behalf of a distressed friend.

    He was injured when he slipped on water which had leaked from a piece of equipment in a communal area of a residential building.

    This leak had been reported to the relevant people many times, and we have in writing the 'job sheets' which actually state a leak was identified, and the engineer decided to simply tighten connections and see what happened.

    We have further written confirmation that it was indeed still leaking, and reported to the relevant people, 24 hours before my friend had the accident.

    However, on trying to obtain legal representation, my friend has been told that, because this happened in a communal area, it falls within a loophole where a claim cannot be made against those responsible for the decision to leave equipment with a known leak.

    We feel their actions were nothing short of negligence, resulting in physical injury, (which could easily have been worse than it was) but two legal firms have said the same thing - no valid case to take forward.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, including any firms you may know of who would be the right people to have on board, if there is a strong case in your opinions.

    Thanking you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Valid Injury Claim or Not??

    Did they say why there was no valid case to answer?

    If the property is owned by a third party who is responsible for maintenance this would appear to be a possible claim under the premises liability policy of the owner.

    There might be a problem holding the owner liable, as the gentleman who slipped presumably knew the floor was wet, and so should have taken appropriate care.

    How badly injured was the gentleman, and what amount of damages was hewanting to claim.
    If the claim is for less than £1000, it would go through the small claims track, and the owners insurers woud likely cosider an offer rather than pay a solicitor £thousands to defend it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Valid Injury Claim or Not??

    Quote Originally Posted by des8 View Post
    Did they say why there was no valid case to answer?

    If the property is owned by a third party who is responsible for maintenance this would appear to be a possible claim under the premises liability policy of the owner.

    There might be a problem holding the owner liable, as the gentleman who slipped presumably knew the floor was wet, and so should have taken appropriate care.

    How badly injured was the gentleman, and what amount of damages was hewanting to claim.
    If the claim is for less than £1000, it would go through the small claims track, and the owners insurers woud likely cosider an offer rather than pay a solicitor £thousands to defend it.
    Hi des8, thank you for your reply.

    As far as I know, the reason given to him by the two law firms was as I mentioned earlier, in that it being in a communal area so no liability could be brought. It doesn't make sense to me, I have to say.

    My friend did know the equipment had been leaking, but he and other people in the building knew the engineer had been out, so assumed the leak had been fixed - nobody would assume it had been verified leaking but then left in that state, particularly as it is in a walkway.

    There was no wet floor sign or other indication that there was water on the floor.

    My friend was knocked unconscious, hit his head and back, went to A&E in an ambulance, and was very shaken. Weeks on, he is still in pain.

    He hasn't disclosed to me the amount he would be claiming.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Valid Injury Claim or Not??

    To make a claim it is first necessary to identify who is liable.

    You said the incident occurred in a residential building.
    What sort of residential building?
    Is he a resident, or was he visiting?
    If he is a resident, does he own the lease or rent his accommodation?
    If leasehold I would expect the freeholder to be responsible for communal areas
    If renting it would normally be the landlord respnsible for communal areas.
    If there is a Residents Management Company the responsibility would lie there.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Valid Injury Claim or Not??

    Quote Originally Posted by des8 View Post
    To make a claim it is first necessary to identify who is liable.

    You said the incident occurred in a residential building.
    What sort of residential building?
    Is he a resident, or was he visiting?
    If he is a resident, does he own the lease or rent his accommodation?
    If leasehold I would expect the freeholder to be responsible for communal areas
    If renting it would normally be the landlord respnsible for communal areas.
    If there is a Residents Management Company the responsibility would lie there.
    Would it be alright for me to pm you?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Valid Injury Claim or Not??

    Quote Originally Posted by HateInjustice View Post
    Would it be alright for me to pm you?
    Yes, but not encouraged by forum rules.
    This is for everyone's benefit.

    If we are PMing, and for some reason I become inactive, no other beagle will be able to pick up the thread.
    If you think more privacy is advisable you can always become VIP.

    If you do PM me, I might (if appropriate) respond on open forum, but I will not releease any personal identifying details.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Valid Injury Claim or Not??

    Following your PM, where tenants identify to the HA that repairs are necessary to communal areas or services, the HA should carry out repairs as soon as possible.
    Failure is negligent, and they become liable for damages if harm befalls a third party.
    The tenancy agreement would normally state for what each party was responsible.

    In your first post you said the water leaked "from a piece of equipment in a communal area".
    Presumably this was HA's equipment, and not the responsibility of eg one of the other tenants?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Valid Injury Claim or Not??

    I haven't heard of such a thing as a communal exemption under such circumstances. You must first visit your state insurance website and check the norms. However, it's advisable that you consult with an attorney under such cases of negligence.

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