When And How Can I Claim For Falling Down Stairs At Work?
By Cat Reeves. Last Updated 17th May 2023. If you’re interested in learning how to claim for falling down the stairs at work. Did you slip, trip or fall on a wet floor or because of a broken bannister on a staircase? Or perhaps poor housekeeping meant that you tripped on an obstruction near the top of a staircase? If you can show that employer negligence led to your injuries, you may be able to claim.
This guide will address exactly what responsibility your employer has to keep you safe in the workplace. In addition to this, we will address the different ways that an accident could occur. We will also look at your rights after an accident at work.
You can get in touch with an advisor today if you’d like to start a claim, or if you have any questions at all. You can:
- Call us for a free, initial consultation on 0203 870 4868
- Fill out our online callback form
- Or speak to an advisor through our live chat feature
Select A Section
- Could You Claim For Falling Down The Stairs At Work?
- Action Employers Could Take To Reduce The Risks Of Slips And Falls On Stairs
- What Injuries Could Falling Down The Stairs Cause?
- How To Report Injuries In The Workplace
- How Much Could I Claim For Falling Down The Stairs At Work?
- Why Is It Important To Contact A No Win No Fee Solicitor?
Firstly, it’s important to understand that not every accident at work is automatically the fault of an employer. Under Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974, employers have a duty of care to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the safety of their employees. For example, they’re expected to carry out regular risk assessments, provide training and supervision, and ensure that workplace machinery and equipment is safe and well-maintained.
There are three criteria that must apply in order for you to claim for falling down the stairs at work:
- You were owed a duty of care
- This was breached
- You suffered an injury as a direct result
Fundamental to a successful personal injury accident at work claim is being able to prove that your employer breached their duty, so in the next section, we will look at some of the actions they should be taking to help prevent injuries like this.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the government agency responsible for enforcing and promoting workplace safety. They provide specific recommendations to employers when it comes to safety on or around stairways that they should:
- Provide handrails on all staircases.
- Ensure that step heights (risers) and depths (goings) are consistent
- Provide adequate lighting.
- Use colour contrast strips to highlight step edges.
- Provide anti-slip surfaces.
- Organise work in a way that avoids employees having to carry large or awkward items up or down the stairs.
- Keep stairs free from obstructions.
- Clear up spillages on stairs
If your employer fails in any of the above, and you’re injured because of this, you could claim for falling down the stairs at work. For more information on the validity of your claim, speak with one of our advisors today.
Falls are a common kind of workplace accident, accounting for 8% of non-fatal accidents reported during 2020/21. Given the nature of a fall, it can be quite possible to injure any part of the body on the sharp-edged stair treads as you tumble down. For example, you could sustain:
- A twisted or broken ankle
- A broken knee
- An Achilles’ tendon tear
- Broken fingers or toes
- Acquire a neck injury
- A dislocated or fractured shoulder
- A skull fracture or a head injury
If the fall is down a particularly steep or hard flight of stairs, you could suffer a combination of these injuries. As a consequence, slip, trip, and fall accidents could leave you with life-long health problems both now and in the future.
If this injury happened because of a breach of duty of care, you might be able to claim. Speak with an advisor for more information.
Each workplace that employs ten or more people must have an accident book where incidents that occur in the workplace can be recorded. The accident book will detail the time and place of the accident, and person involved, and a brief description of what happened.
Certain incidents at work must be reported under the RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013). It includes (amongst other issues) any injury that has caused an absence of more than 7 days from work.
Reporting your accident and injuries is an important factor in your claim for falling down the stairs at work. However, you can speak to our team if you didn’t report an accident at work as you may still be able to make a personal injury claim.
I Fell Down The Stirs – How Long Do I Have To Claim For My Injuries?
There is a time limit in place for starting a claim for injuries sustained by suffering a fall down the stairs. This time limit is set out by the Limitation Act 1980, and states that most claimants have three years to start a claim, beginning on the date that they were injured when they fell down the stairs.
One exception to this rule is for claimants under the age of 18. In this case, the time limit is frozen until the claimant turns eighteen. Then, the time limit will reinstate and run until they turn twenty-one. While the time limit is frozen, a court-appointed litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf.
Another exception is that the time limit is suspended indefinitely for those who lack the mental capacity to make a claim for themselves. During this time, a litigation friend could claim on their behalf. If a claim has not been made and they recover the mental capacity to claim, the time limit reinstates on the date of their recovery.
To learn more about being a litigation friend claiming compensation for someone falling down the stairs or to find out if you are within the correct time limit, get in touch with our team today.
When it comes to calculating how much compensation to request in your claim for falling down the stairs at work, two types of damages can be considered. The first is called general damages; this is the part of your compensation that covers you for the pain and suffering you have experienced.
The Judicial College Guidelines offers guideline compensation brackets based on previous compensation awards; this is used to help value compensation claims. It’s important to note that the amount you receive will likely vary from the amounts in these guidelines.
We’ve included some extracts from these guidelines below:
|Injury||Severity||JC Guidelines amount||Notes|
|Head||Moderately severe brain damage (b)||£205,580 to £264,650||Leaving serious disability and dependence on others|
|Neck||Severe (a) (i)||In the region of|
|Incomplete paraplegia and severe pain despite wearing a collar constantly for years|
|Back||Moderate (b) (ii)||£11,730 to £26,050||Soft tissue injuries and disturbed ligaments|
|Shoulder||Moderate (c)||£7,410 to £11,980||Limited movement and discomfort for 2 years; also soft tissue injuries that persist for 2 years but are not permanent|
|Elbow||Less severe (b)||£14,690 to £30,050||Impaired function but not surgery is not required|
|Wrist||Simple fracture (e)||In the region of|
|An uncomplicated Colles' fracture|
|Leg||Severe (b) (iii)||£36,790 to £51,460||Serious fractures or joint and ligament injuries, long treatment, scarring and arthritis risk|
|Knee||Moderate (b) (i)||£13,920 to £24,580||Dislocation and torn cartilage|
|Ankle||Severe (b)||£29,380 to £46,980||Period in plaster and pins with residual instability and scarring|
|Foot||Moderate (f)||£12,900 to £23,460||Metatarsal fractures leaving permanent deformity|
In addition to general damages, if you have suffered financial damage because of your fall and can prove it, these amounts could be included in your claim. This part of your claim is called special damages, and you must have documented evidence to back them up. This can be in the form of bills, receipts, wage slips, or any document.
As part of special damages, you can claim back:
- Loss of earnings
- Travel costs for medical appointments
- Domestic care and help at home from family or friends
- Any medical procedures not freely available on the NHS
- Damage to your pension or attendance bonus
Proof of financial damages like these could form part of your overall request for a compensation claim for falling down the stairs at work. Speak with our team now to see what other costs you might be able to claim back.
It’s important to note that anyone is free to start a personal injury claim for falling down the stairs at work themselves. It is not a legal requirement to engage a solicitor. However, working with a solicitor has a number of benefits. They can explain complex legal jargon to you, and can also advise you on when to accept an offer of compensation.
If you choose to do this, working with a personal injury solicitor under a No Win No Fee agreement could help avoid the upfront costs that this usually entails. There are numerous advantages to an arrangement like this:
- There are no fees needed upfront to hire the solicitor or to retain them
- Furthermore, no fees are due to a No Win No Fee solicitor if the case fails
- A successful outcome to your claim will require a maximum 25% fee from your settlement to cover the solicitor’s costs.
Why not get in touch with our team to see how a No Win No Fee agreement could help you fund legal representation for your claim? You can get in touch by:
- Calling us on 0203 870 4868
- Reaching out online with our ‘call back form’
- Or get help through our ‘live support’ portal
Claim For Falling Down The Stairs At Work – Related Guides
More information on falling down the stairs at work claims
Advice on claiming for a slip and fall on ice at work?
General information on how accident at work claims work
Advice on safety at heights in the workplace
Advice from the NHS about the costs of self-funded care
If you have any questions about making a claim for falling down the stairs at work, why not reach out to us?
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