As well as a lot of pain and suffering, falling down a drain can be a traumatic experience. While you might recover from any physical injuries over time, any psychological harm could take longer to recover from. Where your accident was caused because of a damaged or missing drain cover (or any other type of negligence), you could seek damages for your injuries.
In this guide to claiming compensation for falling down a drain, we’ll look at what criteria must be met before you can claim, what type of injuries could be claimed for, and how much compensation for falling down a drain might be awarded.
If you’d like to claim compensation for falling down a drain, you can get started now by calling our personal injury advisors on 0800 6524 881. To find out more about how claims work before contacting us, please read on.
Table of contents
- Can I Claim Compensation For Falling Down A Drain?
- Obtaining Evidence To Back Up Your Claim
- Common Causes Of Falling Down Drains
- How Much Compensation For Falling Down A Drain Could I Claim?
- What’s The Average Settlement For Falling Down A Drain?
- How Long After Falling Down A Drain Can I Claim Compensation?
- I’ve Fallen Down A Drain, Do I Need A Solicitor To Claim Compensation?
One of the first things you’ll need to prove before taking action is that you were owed a duty of care by the defendant. For example, if you fell down a drain at work and believe your employer was negligent, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 might be the basis of your claim. Similarly, if you’re injured in a fall on business premises (in a shop car park for instance), the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 might be relevant.
Once a duty of care has been established, you’ll need to show that:
- The defendant in your case was negligent in some way; and
- That negligence led to you falling down a drain and injuring yourself.
Evidence to prove the above will be required to make a successful claim. Therefore, we’ll look at this in more detail shortly.
As you might imagine, many drains are the responsibility of the local water authority. They will need to check them regularly and perform maintenance where necessary. Usually, you can identify which provider is responsible for the drain by checking the wording on the drain cover.
In some instances, homeowners or businesses might be responsible for drains within their properties. Therefore, it might be up to them to replace damaged drain covers rather than the water authority. If you are injured by falling down a drain, it’s a good idea to record where the incident happened to help identify who your claim will be made against.
A vital part of virtually any claim is showing a) who was responsible for you falling down the drain b) what suffering they caused. To help with this task, you can supply various pieces of evidence including:
- Witness information. It is a good idea to ask any witnesses for their contact details. Should the defendant argue over your version of events, statements could be sought by your solicitor to verify what happened.
- Medical notes. X-rays and medical records from the hospital or minor injuries unit you visited could be used to prove what injuries you sustained and the treatment you needed.
- Photographic evidence. We always suggest that it’s a good idea to use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene. If possible, these should be done before the cause of you falling down the drain is fixed or removed.
- Accident reports. You should let the defendant know about your accident. By law, businesses, local authorities, and water companies will need to record the incident in an accident report book. Your copy of their report may be used to show when and where you fell down the drain.
- CCTV footage. If your accident took place in a place covered by security cameras, ask for a copy of the relevant footage. This step should be prioritised as many security systems wipe data regularly.
- Financial evidence. Where your injuries result in you losing money, you should keep hold of any receipts or invoices if you wish to claim these losses back.
When you have collected your evidence, do give us a call. You’ve got nothing to lose as we’ll review your evidence and provide free legal advice regardless of what you choose to do next.
To give you some idea when it might be possible to claim compensation for falling down a drain, we’ve listed some common causes below. They include:
- If you fell down a drain because a rusty drain cover broke while delivering a parcel to a residential property.
- Where you were injured after falling down a drain because the cover had not been replaced after recent work.
- If you had an accident at work and fell down an open drain on a building site because it was not cordoned off.
- Where you work for a water company and you were trapped in a drain after falling because of inadequate safety equipment.
- If you fell down a drain on the high street because a cordon was not used while work was being performed.
- Where you fell down a drain that collapsed as you walked over it because of structural damage.
There is a vast array of injuries that could result from falling down a drain. Some of the more common include:
We could help you claim even if we’ve not listed your injury here. To discuss whether you are eligible to seek damages, contact us today.
The amount of compensation you could get for falling down a drain, if your personal injury claim is successful, will be calculated by our solicitor based on two types of damages. These are:
- General damages. Pain, suffering and loss of amenity can all be claimed in this section. Loss of amenity is where you claim if you’re not able to do things you normally enjoy because of your injuries, explained in more detail here.
- Special damages. Where your injuries mean you have to pay out for medical costs, travel expenses or similar costs, they could be claimed back here. Furthermore, you could claim back any lost income caused by your injuries.
To help prove the extent of your injuries, a medical assessment is typically required for all personal injury claims. If you claim compensation for falling down a drain with us, your solicitor will usually be able to book your assessment locally.
When solicitors, lawyers and courts settle injury claims, the amount of compensation they award is usually based primarily on figures advised by the Judicial College. Therefore, the average settlement you could receive for falling down a drain is based on the same data provided in our compensation calculator below.
|Ankle Injury||Extremely Severe||£50,060 - £69,700||The most serious ankle injuries can result in deformity, joint deterioration, and even amputation.|
|Ankle Injury||Moderate to Severe||£13,740 - £50,060||When evaluating the degree of compensation for ankle injuries in this group, fractures, intensive treatment, and disability are just a few of the elements that will be taken into account.|
|Ankle Injury||Mild||Up to £13,740||Ankle fractures and sprains are less serious ankle injuries.
Amount of recuperation time, discomfort, scars, and other factors would be reviewed.
|Arm Injury||Severe||£38,780 - £160,980||For substantial pain and suffering caused by a major limitation and impairment in one or both arms.|
|Arm Injury||Less Severe||£19,200 - £39,170||The range given is for people who have limited movement and/or impairment in their arms but have made significant progress.
Simple forearm fractures should be near the bottom of the bracket.
|Back Injury||Severe||£38,780 - £160,980||Serious injury to the upper or lower back, which may result in paralysis or other problems with the lower body's organs.|
|Back Injury||Moderate||£12,510 - £38,780||This range of compensation amounts could apply to a variety of back injuries, including lumbar vertebrae compression, ligament or soft tissue injury, ongoing pain, and/or discomfort.|
|Back Injury||Mild||Up to £12,510||Strains and sprains, soft tissue injuries, a slipped disc, and muscle soreness are all examples of less serious back problems.
Recovery time and treatment would also be taken into account.
|Elbow Injury||Less Severe||£15,650 - £32,010||There is now a restriction of movement in the arm as a result of the elbow injury, but it does not cause substantial handicap and no major surgery is required.|
|Elbow Injury||Mild||Up to £12,590||A mild to moderate elbow injury that is currently causing pain but will allow full range of motion in the future.|
|Hip/Pelvis Injury||Significant||£26,590 - £39,170||There has been a significant hip injury, although the accompanying impairment is mild.|
|Hip/Pelvis Injury||Less Significant||£12,590 - £26,590||Continued symptoms that are regarded to be more serious than minimal following hip surgery or replacement|
|Hip/Pelvis Injury||Moderate||£3,950 - £12,590||Injuries that resulted in a temporary but non-permanent disability.|
|Hip/Pelvis Injury||Minor||Up to £3,950||Damage to soft tissues that will recover completely.|
|Leg||Extremely Severe||£97,980 - £282,010||One or both legs are amputated.
If the leg has been amputated below or above the knee, the compensation range takes that into account as well.
|Leg||Moderate to Severe||£27,760 - £96,250||Leg injuries that have resulted in movement restrictions and impairment with a long-term prognosis.|
|Leg||Less Severe||Up to £27,760||Leg fractures with an incomplete recovery range from simple leg fractures, breaks, or soft tissue trauma that has impacted the muscle.|
An important point to note is that we can’t give a realistic estimate of what settlement you might get for falling down a drain without all the relevant details at hand.
When seeking personal injury compensation for falls down drains, time limits apply. Your time limit will be 3-years from the date you fell down the drain, or when your injuries were diagnosed. Claims that are made too late may become statute-barred which means you wouldn’t (in most circumstances) be compensated even if somebody else did cause your suffering.
We believe it’s best to begin the claims process straight away. That will make it easier for your solicitor to collect supporting evidence. Furthermore, if liability is agreed upon, your solicitor might be able to ask for an interim payment for private medical treatment to be paid for by the defendant to help you recover sooner. Interim payments are explained here.
No, you don’t, but even if your claim seems quite straightforward, you may have to convince the defendant’s insurance company as to why they should compensate you. If you can’t demonstrate how their client was responsible for you falling down the drain, you might not be paid.
To make this process easier, we suggest that you have a specialist solicitor on your side. We believe you’ll improve your chances of winning compensation if your case is handled by a solicitor from our team.
If your case is accepted, your solicitor will try to achieve the maximum level of compensation possible to cover your suffering. They’ll shield you from all calls so you won’t need to discuss anything directly with the defendant. So that you’re aware of how the case is progressing, you’ll be sent regular updates.
To start a claim with us today or to find out more, please call us on 0800 6524 881. If suitable, your claim could be handled by one of our No Win No Fee solicitors, and once they know all about what’s happened they’ll be able to provide a better idea of how much compensation for falling down a drain you could get.