Q: I have a prosthetic lower left leg. A few weeks ago I was in a local pub where the toilets were upstairs. After visiting the toilets I caught my right foot in some loose carpet on the way back down the stairs and fell. The result is that I broke my collarbone and shoulder and cannot work.
As I am self-employed this is causing me considerable financial hardship. I realise that an able-bodied person may have been able to regain their balance and, in fairness, there was a handrail but I just couldn’t grab it in time to save myself. The question is, would I qualify for compensation and could I get help with legal fees?
A: Even if you did not have a prosthetic leg it sounds likely that you could still have tripped and fallen. The issue is that a public building should not have loose carpet on the staircase as it is a hazard.. You should make an appointment to see a reputable local injury compensation solicitor as soon as possible so that he or she can assess whether you have a viable claim and also confirm whether or not your prosthetic leg did contribute in any way to your injury.
Even if it is deemed that the public house management is not entirely to blame for your injuries, it may still be possible for your solicitor to negotiate a deal based on a percentage level of contributory negligence. This would mean that if you were found to be say 15 percent responsible for your injuries you would receive 85 percent of any compensation award.
Regarding legal costs, it may be possible to enter into a No-Win, No-Fee arrangement with your solicitor whereby there would be no fee to pay if you were to lose the case.
(Article published 24/04/2017)