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Staircase Fall Leads to Court Battle

Our client, a delivery driver named Hugh, was in the course of making a delivery when he was injured falling down a staircase. This was more than an unfortunate accident as Hugh felt that the depot owners were responsible due to poor lighting and the dangerous condition of the stairs.

As a result Hugh suffered a serious wrist injury and had to have over 12 months off work. He even needed two operations on his wrist before he could return to work.

Hugh contacted us for help and we sent a letter of claim to the depot involved. However they denied liability. Following the denial they only way we could pursue Hugh’s claim was to issue court proceedings against the owners of the depot. Strangely they failed to respond to the court proceedings in time and we were able to secure a judgment against the company.

As is sometimes the case, that judgement was not the end of the story as the depot then tried to discredit Hugh by claiming that he was not as badly injured as he claimed. We persisted as the medical evidence we had obtained fully supported the extent of Hugh’s injuries and he refused (on our advice) the offer of settlement eventually made as being too low.

Just before the matter was due to go to court (and perhaps having finally obtained proper legal advice) they made an offer of over £30,000, which Hugh accepted. Few clients want their injury claim to drag on but we always recommend getting detailed medical and legal advice on injuries and their implications for the future. Often an insurance company’s first offer will be substantially less than the claim is worth.

Under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957, property owners can be held accountable if they have failed to discharge their duty of care to a visitor; in plain terms, have neglected to ensure the property is safe for visitors. Isn’t that the minimum a delivery driver, or anyone else, should expect? If you have been injured under similar circumstances, you may have a claim. Give us a call for free no-obligation advice: 0800 954 0243.

Edward Seddon
Partner, Irvings Law



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