Having a basement in your property can add a lot of space. Some basements are used solely for storage while others are used as man caves, utility rooms or gyms. What’s true in all cases is that, if you rent your property, your landlord must ensure access to the basement is safe. Therefore, if you fall down the stairs leading to a basement because of a defect, you could be entitled to compensation. This guide about basement fall accident claims will explain what types of accidents could allow you to do so.
We specialise in personal injury claims and can review your options for free. During your initial consultation, a specialist will find out what caused your accident and consider whether you might be entitled to compensation. If the grounds for your claim are strong enough, you could be partnered with a personal injury solicitor from our team. They’ll represent you on a No Win No Fee basis if the claim is accepted so you won’t pay any legal fees unless you’re compensated.
Please call us today on 0800 6524 881 to discuss your claim or read on to learn more about basement fall accident claims.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Basement Fall Accident Claim?
- Negligence Leading To Basement Fall Accident Claims
- Common Injuries Caused By Basement Falls
- How Much Compensation For Falling Down A Basement Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Basement Fall Accident Claim
- Can I Claim Compensation If I Fell In A Friend’s Basement?
- Time Limits For Claiming Compensation
- Do Claims Against Landlords Go To Court?
- Starting The Basement Fall Accident Claims Process
So that your time is not wasted, our personal injury solicitors only take on claims with a reasonable chance of success. That means before they take on a claim for a fall down the basement, they will check whether:
- Your landlord acted negligently in some way; and
- You had an accident in your basement as a result; and
- You sustained injuries during the fall.
Essentially, your landlord must’ve done something (or failed to do something) that caused your basement fall accident. If there was no way they could’ve prevented the accident, a claim would not usually be possible.
Whether you rent a property from a private landlord, the local authority or a housing association, you’ll have a number of rights. Firstly, your landlord’s responsibilities mean they’ll need to do anything that’s listed in your rental agreement.
More generally, the landlord must provide a home that is fit for human habitation and make any repairs needed to keep the property safe. Therefore, you also have a duty of care to try and maintain the property and to inform the landlord of any problems as they arise.
To prove how your landlord neglected their duty of care which caused you to fall down the basement, you’ll need to supply as much evidence as possible. We’ll explain what you could use to do this, shortly.
Your landlord might be to blame for a basement fall if your accident was caused by:
- Stairs that were damaged or in a poor state of repair.
- Stairs that were too steep or narrow.
- Handrails that were damaged, loose or missing.
- The landlord’s possessions blocked the stairs to the basement.
- A lack of anti-slip measures for stairs made of particularly slippery materials.
- Inadequate or faulty lighting.
If any of the above caused you to fall down a flight of stairs when entering a basement, you may have grounds to seek compensation for your injuries. Remember, though, you wouldn’t be able to claim for injuries caused by defects that you were aware of but that had not been reported to the landlord.
If you’ve fallen into a basement due to somebody else’s negligence, you could be eligible to claim for any injuries. Some of the most common injuries caused by such falls include:
- Spinal injuries including herniated discs.
- Head and brain injuries including concussions.
- Tears, sprains and strains of muscles, ligaments and tendons.
- Broken collarbones.
- Cuts and abrasions.
- Broken legs.
- Severe bruising.
- Psychological injuries.
To prove how seriously you were injured, your basement fall compensation claim may need to be supported by an independent medical report. Your solicitor will therefore book an appointment with a specialist who’ll examine your injuries. They’ll also discuss the impact of your injuries before producing a report that details your prognosis. The report will also be sent to your landlord’s insurance company and will be used by both parties to determine compensation levels if the claim is successful.
Unfortunately, personal injury claims aren’t just about requesting a set amount of money you’d accept to settle the claim. Instead, you must be able to justify the amount you’re claiming for. The two main heads of loss are:
- General damages – to cover pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
- Special damages – to cover any costs or expenses incurred.
If you make a successful basement fall accident claim, any compensation could cover the following:
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Anxiety, depression, distress and other forms of mental harm.
- Lost earnings.
- The impact on hobbies and your usual family activities.
- Care costs.
- Medical expenses including physiotherapy and prescription costs.
- Fuel, parking and public transport fees (e.g. for hospital visits).
- Future loss of income for longer-term injuries.
- The cost of replacing clothing or other items damaged in the fall.
- Modifications at home or to your vehicle to make dealing with an ongoing disability easier.
We believe that claimants have a better chance of being compensated fairly if they’re supported by a specialist injury solicitor. To see if one of ours could help you to claim, please call today.
We can’t offer a personalised compensation estimate until your claim has been reviewed properly by one of our solicitors. However, our compensation calculator, below, gives some potential compensation figures for a range of different injuries caused by basement falls:
Compensation claims for injuries caused by basement falls are usually handled by insurance companies. Generally, they won’t accept liability for the claim unless there’s strong evidence to show how you suffered and why their client was to blame. Therefore, you should try to provide as much evidence as possible to support your case. This could include:
- Emails, text messages and other correspondence with your landlord highlighting faults or concerns.
- Photographs of the fault or defect that caused your accident as well as photos of any visible injuries.
- Medical notes and x-rays from the hospital that examined you and treated your injuries.
- Details of anybody else who saw the accident happen. Witness statements may be taken by your solicitor if necessary.
- Financial records including bank statements, receipts and invoices to show any costs that you are claiming back.
Your solicitor will also take a statement from you about what happened. Therefore, you may wish to write down everything that happened before your fall. Also, you could keep a record of the dates when you couldn’t work or attend your usual activities because of your injuries.
While we’ve concentrated on the landlord’s duty of care towards tenant safety, you could also be eligible to claim if you were injured at a friend or relative’s property. In this scenario, the duty of care to provide safe access to the basement will lay with the property owner. As such, if their negligence caused you to fall and injure yourself, you could claim against their home insurance policy.
As with other types of personal injury claims, a 3-year limitation period applies to basement fall accident claims. In most cases, this will start from the date you fell into your basement.
To make it easier to collect evidence to support your claim, it’s probably better to begin the claims process sooner rather than later. Additionally, this could allow your solicitor to request interim payments to cover medical expenses or loss of earnings before the claim is finalised (if the defendant accepts liability).
There’s no set time for basement fall claims but straightforward cases could be settled in around 6 to 9 months. Where the extent of your injuries isn’t yet known or negotiation regarding liability is needed, claims may take longer than one year.
In the majority of cases, compensation claims will be settled out of court. That’s because it’s beneficial to both parties to reach an amicable agreement rather than to waste time and money in court. However, if your solicitor feels a compensation offer is too low or the defendant won’t accept liability for your injuries, a court hearing may be necessary.
You could start a personal injury claim against your landlord with one quick call to our advice centre on 0800 6524 881. A specialist advisor will guide you through the process and answer any questions you might have before assessing your chances of being compensated.
Remember, if your claim is taken on by one of our solicitors, they’ll manage everything for you on a No Win No Fee basis. In our experience, knowing you don’t need to pay legal fees unless you win the claim usually makes the process much less stressful.
If you have any more questions on basement fall accident claims, please connect to our live chat service today.