If you or your child have received a personal injury whilst visiting someone else’s home, then you may be able to claim compensation if the injury was caused by the occupier’s negligence.
The Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 (the Act) imposes a duty of care on occupiers to all lawful visitors to ensure that they are reasonably safe for the purpose for which they are on the occupier's premises.
The extent of the duty is to take such care as is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purpose for which they are invited by the occupier to be there. The common duty of care applied may be greater when dealing with children or disabled visitors.
"Occupier" means the person in control of the land, building, premises, shop, warehouse, car park, etc. In case law, the Act has been given a wide scope, covering ships, hovercraft, scaffolding and quaysides. The occupier can be a local authority, a company, or an individual.
There are three types of lawful visitor:
Yes, but it is far less onerous than the duty owed to lawful visitors.
There are four main defences available to the occupier. They are:
The first step in claiming compensation is to contact a personal injury solicitor. At the time of the accident, it is important that you obtain as much evidence as possible from the scene, for example, take photographs and obtain the name and contact details of any witnesses. Make sure you also provide your solicitor with a copy of your medical records following the incident.
Most personal injury solicitors work on a ‘non win, no fee’ basis. This means, if you lose your case you will pay little or no fee to your solicitor, depending on the agreement you have made with them.
Making a personal injury claim under the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 can be complex. To stand a good chance of receiving compensation, it is imperative that you instruct an experienced personal injury lawyer.