Man Hole Accident Shows the Importance of Keeping Your Property Safe


All homeowners are under a duty to make sure there is a safe access route through their property so that visitors such as postal workers, delivery drivers, and even friends can pass without being put in harm's way.

Manhole Cover

When property owners fail to keep their property safe, accidents can happen that have a serious impact on the life of the person injured. Gary Tierney, a Partner specialising in Personal Injury at Simpson Millar, recently helped a client who was injured because the homeowner hadn't kept their property safe.

Our Client's Accident

Gary's client, a 46 year old postal worker, was delivering mail to a property when he suffered the injury. It was pouring down with rain outside and as he had delivered the mail he walked away from the property and stood on a man-hole cover on the property, it collapsed beneath him and he fell.

He suffered injuries to his stomach, back, wrist and his knee. He later needed surgery to resolve the issues with his knee and he needed time off work for rehabilitation.

Gary was instructed to handle his claim and alleged that the home owner had breached their statutory duty by:

  • Exposing our client to a foreseeable risk of injury or harm,
  • Failing to inspect or maintain the property,
  • Failing to provide a safe access route,
  • Failing to warn visitors and those with the right of occupation of the danger,
  • Allowing the man-hole to become defective so that when he stepped on it, it collapsed.

Specialist Support to Reach a Favourable Settlement

In this case, the other side initially refused to accept liability as they weren't convinced that our client had fallen exactly how he had described. To settle this, a joint engineers report was requested, the results of which supported our client's claim that the accident could have happened in the way he described.

Gary's hard work in pursuit of his client's case paid off and he was able to reach a favourable settlement. With only weeks left until the trial, Gary was able to get the other side to agree to a settlement of £23,000.

Gary comments;

"This shows that even in cases where the other party is determined to contest the details of the accident; it is still possible to turn this around. With the perseverance that goes into requesting the right evidence to support my client's case, we were able to avoid a court hearing and get a good result for him."

"This just shows that home owners must make sure their property is safe and that they provide safe access for all lawful visitors, including postal workers – failing to do so can lead to someone being seriously injured."

Simpson Millar's Personal Injury Experts

We know that, having gone through a serious injury, the last thing you want to do is to be put through the often lengthy court process. As Gary's client's case shows, even where the case is contested we still work tirelessly with the aim of getting a favourable out of court settlement.

Our experts work to make the process as simple, straightforward and stress free as possible for our clients, whilst still getting the best result so you can move forward with your life.

Our Personal Injury solicitors specialise in handling complex claims and can be on hand to offer advice and support if you have suffered an injury.

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