Homeowners Unaware Of Safety Obligation To Visitors


The Law Of... knowing when you're liable

For many homeowners, having guests to visit is an everyday part of life. We open our doors to family and friends, the takeaway delivery man, and even the postman. But many are unaware of the legal obligation they have to all visitors to their property to ensure they are kept safe for the purposes of their visit.

Home Sweet Home

Ruth Magee, Associate Solicitor in our Multi-Track Personal Injury department, explains how some unknowing homeowners are paying the price.

Homeowners Risk Personal Injury Claims

Over the years, it appears there has been a marked increase in the number of claims being brought against homeowners by individuals who have sustained injuries whilst on a person’s property.

The numbers are particularly high amongst those who are delivery personnel, which could be attributed to an increase in internet shopping. With the availability of apps like Deliveroo and Amazon Prime offering cheap ways to get your items, it is no wonder that more and more people are turning to the internet for deliveries.

But could this be putting homeowners at risk of compensation claims?

Simpson Millar's Personal Injury Successes

Mr A Awarded £8000

In a recent case, we successfully acted for Mr A, who slipped on a build-up of moss on steps whilst delivering mail to a property and was awarded £8,000.

As a result of the claim being made, the homeowner ensured all future deliveries were made to their property by an alternative route.

Liability was denied throughout and once proceedings had commenced an offer of £8,000 was made to settle Mr A's claim, which he duly accepted.

£11k Out Of Court Settlement

Similarly, Mr B was delivering mail to a property when he slipped on an indoor mat that had been placed outside on wet decking. This caused him to fall and injure himself.

If suitable outdoor matting had been placed on the decking the accident would not have occurred.

Liability was denied throughout and this case settled not long before trial for the amount of £11,000.

Mr B was overjoyed with the work carried out, saying:

"Ruth, thank you so much for all your hard work and help."

Early Liability Admittance

Mrs C was delivering mail to a property when she stepped onto the step at the front door of the property. As she stepped onto one of the paving slabs that formed the step, the slab moved, causing her to lose her balance.

Trying to regain her balance, Mrs C stepped onto another slab, which subsequently broke, causing her to fall and sustain injury as a result.

The homeowner had failed to maintain or repair the broken slabs on the step and was clearly liable for Mrs C's injuries. This was admitted early on in the claim and Mrs C received £10,591 in compensation.

Mrs C commented on the helpful approach by Ruth:

"Thank you for everything you have done for me…you have made it stress-free."

Ruth comments on her winning cases:

"It is great to hear such positive feedback on my cases – for many people approaching a solicitor can be a daunting prospect, especially when they are already distressed from sustaining an injury."

"These cases highlight the fact that homeowners must be fully aware of their legal obligations to all visitors who enter their property. For example, neglecting maintenance and upkeep could result in an injury claim being made against them which could have been avoided with a few simple steps."

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