Many pubs and some shops have a cellar where they store their surplus stock. The cellar door is often located in the floor, which combined with busy activity in these establishments, can lead to accidents and therefore injuries when the hatch is left open. If the proper precautions weren’t taken, and you fell into a cellar as a result, you may be eligible to make a cellar fall accident claim.
In this guide to claiming compensation for a cellar fall accident, we’ll explain what types of negligence often lead to cellar falls and we’ll also look at what evidence could be provided to try and improve the chances of winning a claim.
Please call us on 0800 6524 881 if you’ve fallen down a cellar and would prefer to discuss a claim right away, or read on to learn more about the process.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Cellar Fall Accident Claim?
- Common Causes Of Cellar Fall Accidents
- Common Injuries From Falling Down a Cellar
- How Much Compensation For Falling Down A Cellar Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Cellar Fall Accident Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Compensation
- Starting The Cellar Fall Accident Claims Process
The managers or owners of all public places have a legal duty of care to ensure the safety of their employees and members of the public. This includes having procedures in place to protect them from potential hazards such as an open cellar door. This duty of care comes from legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Occupiers Liability Act 1957.
Therefore, to determine your eligibility to claim compensation for a cellar fall injury our advisors will check if:
- The employer/business owner (the defendant) breached their duty of care because they were negligent; and
- You fell down the cellar whilst at work or visiting the premises sustaining an injury as a result of that negligence.
As our solicitors don’t want to waste your time or their own so they can only accept claims where there is a realistic chance of success, so please contact us to discuss how you fell down the cellar and whether you’re eligible to make a claim.
Falling down a cellar can happen due to a variety of reasons, some of the most common that could result in a compensation claim include:
- Insufficient lighting making it hard to see an open cellar door.
- Missing safety barriers or guardrails to stop anybody from falling into the cellar.
- Poorly maintained cellar staircase causing trips and falls.
- A slippery cellar staircase due to spillages in pubs and other establishments.
- Inadequate use of warning signs to indicate a cellar door in the floor is open.
If you discuss the accident with one of our experienced personal injury solicitors, they should be able to tell you if your cellar fall was due to negligence and whether you have a viable cause for claiming compensation.
Some of the most common injuries caused by falling through a cellar hatch include:
- Soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains and bruising.
- Lacerations, cuts or puncture wounds.
- Broken bones or fractures.
- Injuries to the neck.
- Spinal injuries ranging from herniated disks to paralysis.
- Internal injuries.
- Broken ankles and broken kneecaps.
- Psychological injuries such as PTSD.
Minor injuries will usually heal quickly, but issues such as emotional trauma may take longer to recover from. Severe injuries can take even longer to heal, and some may have long-lasting or permanent effects that lead to ongoing health problems, lowered quality of life and loss of ability to perform normal everyday tasks.
If you have suffered an injury in a cellar fall due to negligence, contact our advisors to discuss what types of injuries you’ve suffered and whether a personal injury solicitor could start a claim for compensation.
The exact amount of compensation you could claim for falling down a cellar will mainly depend on how badly you were injured and the expenses you incur that are directly related to the cellar accident. In general, after a no-fault accident, you could claim damages for:
General damages –
- The type and severity of the injury/injuries.
- Level of pain and suffering experienced.
- Level of emotional trauma.
- Any loss of amenity and quality of life.
- Any ongoing health problems and the future prognosis related to the injury.
- Medical expenses that have been incurred from falling down a cellar such as treatment, prescription and therapy costs.
- Travel expenses such as costs of travelling to medical or treatment appointments.
- Vehicle adaption costs if you’ve had to have alterations done to your car because of your injury.
- Loss of income. This also includes predicted future losses, missed bonuses and promotions.
- Care claim award for if you have had to have home help whilst recuperating from your injury.
A solicitor will ensure that all general and special damages in relation to your injury are considered before finalising the award they feel you should receive. They will do their best to get the highest possible compensation payout for your cellar fall accident claim.
If you decide to claim with one of our personal injury solicitors, they’ll be able to estimate a compensation figure once all of your evidence has been considered. However, in the meantime, you can use our compensation calculator to look at some potential compensation amounts for a range of injuries you may sustain from falling down a cellar
The figures shown in the compensation calculator are based on the latest guidelines from the Judicial College. However, please note that these figures are just a guide. Every claim is different and your settlement may be higher or lower than anything listed here.
If you had an accident and fell down a cellar either in an accident in the workplace or in a public place accident, there are several steps you can take that can help support a cellar fall accident claim, these include:
- Accident reports. Ensure your accident is reported and recorded in the accident book and ask for a copy.
- Get medical treatment. Don’t leave any injuries in case they get worse, visit your GP or go to A&E for assistance. Your solicitor could obtain your medical records in support of your claim.
- Photos. Take photographs of where the cellar fall accident took place, and of your injuries.
- Surveillance footage. If available, ask for a copy of any CCTV footage of when the accident happened.
- Statements from witnesses. If anyone witnessed your accident, ask for their contact details in case your personal injury solicitor needs to contact them later on for a statement.
- Keep financial records. For example, keep any bank statements, receipts and invoices to demonstrate any expenses you are seeking reimbursement for.
Your personal injury solicitor will also get a statement from you about the cellar fall. Therefore, it may be helpful to write down all the details of what happened leading up to your fall and keep a record of dates when you were unable to work or participate in your usual activities due to your injuries.
All personal injury claims have a time limit of 3 years in the UK which may start from:
- The date when you fell down the cellar; or
- The date from which your injury was diagnosed.
It’s our opinion that it’s much better to start your claim early than leave it until the last minute. By starting it as soon as possible, you will have more time to secure the evidence needed to support your claim and your solicitor will have enough time to arrange any medical assessments if required.
Starting your cellar fall accident claim with the help of a good solicitor isn’t hard or complicated at all.
Discussing your claims case with our claims advisors enables them to make an informed decision as to whether or not they feel you have an eligible case. If they feel you have a strong case, they will offer to pass it to a solicitor on our team who’ll then proceed with your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
To find out more about making a cellar fall accident claim please get in touch with us on 0800 6524 881 or speak with an advisor via our live chat feature.