Mr L was renting a property from a local letting agency in Redhill who he assumed were responsible for the upkeep of the communal areas. Mr L was descending a set of communal stairs but when he reached the last step his toe got caught in the defective nosing along the edge of the step causing him to fall and tear his achilles tendon on his left foot.
Mr L instructed Hayward Baker solicitors to act on his behalf in his claim for personal injury compensation. What Hayward Baker did was firstly identify who was responsible for the upkeep of the communal areas in particular the stairs at Mr l’s place of residence. This proved to be a little bit difficult at first as numerous parties were named by the letting agents as being responsible but eventually Mr L’s solicitor managed to identify the party responsible and wrote to them stating the following reasons why they were at fault for the accident caused by the defective step:
‘You have been negligent and/or in breach of the statutory duties you owed to our client as a tenant using the communal part of the building. In particular, you have failed to inspect the steps and thus you allowed the nosing to become and remain loose thus causing a dangerous hazard to our client. You failed to maintain the nosing and make it safe and secure at all times as a means to protect tenants and other lawful visitors to the premises. As a result you have exposed our client to an unnecessary risk of injury.’
in accordance with the personal injury protocol the defendant insurers were allowed a period of time to investigate the accident after they had acknowledged the claim. After their period of investigation had expired they wrote to Hayward Baker and admitted liability for the accident caused by the defective step and asked for proof of the injury.
What Hayward Baker did to prove the injury was to obtain copies of Mr L’s medical records which would show treatment to the ankle on the day of the accident. A medical appointment was then made for Mr L with an Orthopaedic Consultant who would examine Mr L and then formulate a report upon his injuries which would then be used as evidence in support of his claim and his solicitor would use this same report to aid them in valuing the claim.
Mr L attended the medical appointment and the report followed some weeks later and within it the consultant had confirmed that the injury is consistent with the accident circumstances. The report was then forwarded to Mr L along with a schedule of his out of pocket expenses to date.
After a lot of negotiating and numerous offers passing to and from Mr L’s solicitor to the defendant insurers and that Hayward Baker had issued and served proceedings on the defendant and wanted the matter to go to court for trial and let a judge decide what the claim was worth, the matter finally settled out of court for £5,500.00 to include compensation for his injury and suffering, loss of earnings, travel expenses and care and assistance.