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Occupier’s Liability Claims

If you suffer an injury at work but your employer does not own the land, the occupier could be liable.

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I am very happy and satisfied with the settlement you achieved for me and the service was excellent and thank you very much

Mrs E.Swaffield
Loughborough

Claiming for occupiers' liability

Do you know what happens if you have an accident and injure yourself when working on premises or land not owned by your employer? You may be delivering or collecting goods or carrying out a job and site conditions cause you to slip, trip or suffer another physical injury. 

The consequences of your accident may cause you physical harm that not only requires medical treatment but can also lay you off work for weeks or month at a time. There may even be long-term complications which affect your ability to return to work as before, which can then affect any dependents you may have.

Under the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957, the owner of the business who occupies property or premises, through ownership or lease, is responsible for the safety of all those who visit those premises for reason of work. Their role in controlling all activities there also places upon them a ‘duty of care’ to ensure your safety and minimise the risk of harm while you are on their property or land. Sometimes, the occupier of the premises will try to avoid responsibility for your accident if you are not one of their employees, but an occupier still has a duty to protect you and keep you safe.

Under the Act, the definition of ‘premises’ covers any fixed or movable structure, such as a warehouse, car park, lift, scaffolding, ladders and chairs.  An ‘occupier’ refers to the individual, company, partnership or local authority legally in charge and in control of properties, land or spaces.

A person who enters the premises is someone who has been invited onto the premises by the occupier. Under a common law duty of care applied to all lawful visitors, the occupier should see that “the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the reason which he or she is invited or permitted to be there.”

Liability for your safety also extends to a ‘manager’ of a workplace, which means that more than one person can be held to be the occupier of the premises.  

If you have been involved in an accident at premises not controlled by your own employer, then the occupier, whether the owner or manager, should be held to account for the injury you have suffered.

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Our expert team will call you...

Alison Saul, Director of Personal Injury leads our Personal Injury and Road Accident teams.   A fully qualified solicitor with over 15 years of experience and expertise, Alison is dedicated to achieving the highest levels of compensation for her clients as well as ensuring high-quality client care.

Occupiers' liability claims team

Alison is assisted by her team managers, Philip Waters Lee Quinn, Jenna Hargreaves, and Kathryn Langton.  Philip, Lee, and Jenna lead legal teams focussing on Road Traffic Accident cases while Kathyrn leads our Personal Injury team.  Together they have a wealth of experience in personal injury compensation.

Philip, a qualified solicitor, has over 18 years’ experience in personal injury compensation.  Having previously worked for a large insurance company, he has extensive insights on how to engage effectively with insurers to achieve the level of compensation our clients deserve. Philip deals with cases of high value, complex cases, and recently secured £1.6 million in compensation for one of his clients who suffered catastrophic injuries in a road accident.

Lee has over 15 years’ specialist experience in Personal Injury claims and also manages a wide variety of high value, complex cases. Lee has extensive experience of working with insurance companies, acting for both claimants and defendants, and so understands how to secure the highest levels of compensation for the victims of road traffic accidents.

Jenna is a qualified solicitor and has studied to become a barrister. Jenna leads the internal reviews of our case management processes to ensure excellent, efficient case handling and high levels of client satisfaction.

Kathryn, also a qualified solicitor, specialises in accidents at work, public liability and accidents abroad.  Kathryn deals with a wide variety of cases, often including accidents that involve serious, complex injuries.

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There are many people injured in accidents each year through no fault of their own and the circumstances will be different in each instance. Our team has extensive experience of successfully managing a wide range of personal injury claims, so we can help you secure the maximum compensation you deserve.

Alison Saul

Director of Personal Injury

What our customers say

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“I found the staff to be friendly, helpful, courteous and they kept me well informed on a regular basis”

Mrs. Vora,
Loughborough

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“They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently”

Mr Dowse
Leeds

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

10 simple steps to claim

Step
1
Obtaining a full description of your accident
Step
2
Obtaining your medical records
Step
3
Contacting the company responsible for your accident
Step
4
Arranging your medical assessment
Step
5
Collating details of your financial loss
Step
86
Negotiating the maximum settlement possibleProviding you with our valuation of your losses
Step
7
Sending your valuation to the other party's insurer
Step
68
Providing you with our valuation of your lossesNegotiating the maximum settlement possible
Step
9
Issuing Court proceedings
Step
10
Sending you your compensation payment

Your questions... answered

How do I know who the occupier is?

There are a number of factors, including whether the person:

  • Is the owner of the property or premises
  • Has exclusive possession of the property or premises
  • Has the immediate right to enter and to use the property or premises.

Liability for your safety also extends to a ‘manager’ of a workplace, which means that more than one person can be held to be the occupier of a premises. 

If you have been involved in an accident at a premises not controlled by your own employer, then the occupier, whether the owner or manager, should be held to account for the injury you have suffered.

Do occupiers have a ‘duty of care’?

A person who enters the premises is someone who has been invited onto the premises by the occupier. Under a common law duty of care applied to all lawful visitors, the occupier should see that “the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the reason which he or she is invited or permitted to be there.”

The fact that it is a common law duty of care means that it is applied to all lawful visitors.

It is important to know that the duty is to make the visitor safe, not the premises.

Under the 1957 Act, a warning or notification regarding an unsafe aspect of the premises can be sufficient to meet an occupier’s duty of care to keep the visitor safe.

What happens if I have an accident on another premises?

It is important to be fully aware that the duty of care changes if your work involves the delivery or collection of goods or you are contracted to carry out a job that requires visiting premises controlled by someone other than your usual employer.

The safety of everyone who is present at another occupier’s premises, including those visiting the site, is primarily the responsibility of the person in charge of the site as they should control all activities that take place there.

However, there can often be circumstances where the risks and the responsibilities of a delivery, collection or other work-related task may be shared between the main employers and the site occupiers. This arrangement is based on the exchange of information in advance and subject to prior agreement between all parties.

If you do suffer an injury caused by an accident that happened at a different workplace, your injury claim should be addressed to the legal occupier of the site. In some cases, the occupier of the premises may use the agreed sharing of liability as a way to avoid responsibility entirely because you are not one of their employees.

As with a significant number of workplace accidents, you may not only suffer physical harm and need medical treatment but you are likely to be off work for weeks or month at a time. If long-term complications arise, you may not be able to return to your former work at all and the future may start to look even more uncertain.

Your Legal Friend has 30 years of experience and in-depth knowledge of workplace law and personal injury compensation. If you have suffered an injury in a different workplace with a different occupier, our dedicated team of specialist solicitors will provide you with all the expert guidance you need to help you succeed in making your claim and securing the best possible settlement. 

Read less

What is the law on occupiers' liability?

What precisely is meant by ‘premises’ and ‘occupier’:

The premises

A premises covers any fixed or movable structure, such as a warehouse, car park, lift, scaffolding, ladders and chairs.  

The occupier

A person in control of the properties, land or spaces where they are legally in charge.  This may be a company, an individual, a partnership or local authority.

The Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 versus The Occupier’s Liability Act 1984

Claimants in occupier’s liability cases can be divided into two main categories:

  • Lawful visitors – entitled to be on a premises
  • Trespassers – not entitled to be on a premises

The Occupier’s Liability Act 1957 - deals with accidents involving lawful visitors

The Occupier’s Liability Act 1984 - deals with accidents involving trespassers.

Under both Acts, the person who occupies the land can be held liable when injury or harm has occurred to another person while on that land.

Common law duty of care

A person who enters the premises is someone who has been invited onto the premises by the occupier. Under a common law duty of care applied to all lawful visitors, the occupier should see that “the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the reason which he or she is invited or permitted to be there.”

The fact that it is a common law duty of care means that it is applied to all lawful visitors.

It is important to know that the duty is to make the visitor safe, not the premises.

Under the 1957 Act, a warning or notification regarding an unsafe aspect of the premises can be sufficient to meet an occupier’s duty of care to keep the visitor safe.

Read less

How can Your Legal Friend help?

As experienced workplace law and serious injury claim specialists, we know that you may feel uncertain about your chances of succeeding in a occupiers liability claim. However, we also know that you want to see the persons responsible held to account for failing to properly protect you from the risk of injury.

We ensure that your case is properly investigated, both expertly and sensitively, and help you build the best possible case for appropriate compensation to support you now and in the future.

There are a number of factors, including whether the person:

  • Is the owner of the property or premises
  • Has exclusive possession of the property or premises
  • Has the immediate right to enter and to use the property or premises.

Liability for your safety also extends to a ‘manager’ of a workplace, which means that more than one person can be held to be the occupier of a premises. 

If you have been involved in an accident at a premises not controlled by your own employer, then the occupier, whether the owner or manager, should be held to account for the injury you have suffered.

A person who enters the premises is someone who has been invited onto the premises by the occupier. Under a common law duty of care applied to all lawful visitors, the occupier should see that “the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the reason which he or she is invited or permitted to be there.”

The fact that it is a common law duty of care means that it is applied to all lawful visitors.

It is important to know that the duty is to make the visitor safe, not the premises.

Under the 1957 Act, a warning or notification regarding an unsafe aspect of the premises can be sufficient to meet an occupier’s duty of care to keep the visitor safe.

It is important to be fully aware that the duty of care changes if your work involves the delivery or collection of goods or you are contracted to carry out a job that requires visiting premises controlled by someone other than your usual employer.

The safety of everyone who is present at another occupier’s premises, including those visiting the site, is primarily the responsibility of the person in charge of the site as they should control all activities that take place there.

However, there can often be circumstances where the risks and the responsibilities of a delivery, collection or other work-related task may be shared between the main employers and the site occupiers. This arrangement is based on the exchange of information in advance and subject to prior agreement between all parties.

If you do suffer an injury caused by an accident that happened at a different workplace, your injury claim should be addressed to the legal occupier of the site. In some cases, the occupier of the premises may use the agreed sharing of liability as a way to avoid responsibility entirely because you are not one of their employees.

As with a significant number of workplace accidents, you may not only suffer physical harm and need medical treatment but you are likely to be off work for weeks or month at a time. If long-term complications arise, you may not be able to return to your former work at all and the future may start to look even more uncertain.

Your Legal Friend has 30 years of experience and in-depth knowledge of workplace law and personal injury compensation. If you have suffered an injury in a different workplace with a different occupier, our dedicated team of specialist solicitors will provide you with all the expert guidance you need to help you succeed in making your claim and securing the best possible settlement. 

Read less

What precisely is meant by ‘premises’ and ‘occupier’:

The premises

A premises covers any fixed or movable structure, such as a warehouse, car park, lift, scaffolding, ladders and chairs.  

The occupier

A person in control of the properties, land or spaces where they are legally in charge.  This may be a company, an individual, a partnership or local authority.

The Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 versus The Occupier’s Liability Act 1984

Claimants in occupier’s liability cases can be divided into two main categories:

  • Lawful visitors – entitled to be on a premises
  • Trespassers – not entitled to be on a premises

The Occupier’s Liability Act 1957 - deals with accidents involving lawful visitors

The Occupier’s Liability Act 1984 - deals with accidents involving trespassers.

Under both Acts, the person who occupies the land can be held liable when injury or harm has occurred to another person while on that land.

Common law duty of care

A person who enters the premises is someone who has been invited onto the premises by the occupier. Under a common law duty of care applied to all lawful visitors, the occupier should see that “the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the reason which he or she is invited or permitted to be there.”

The fact that it is a common law duty of care means that it is applied to all lawful visitors.

It is important to know that the duty is to make the visitor safe, not the premises.

Under the 1957 Act, a warning or notification regarding an unsafe aspect of the premises can be sufficient to meet an occupier’s duty of care to keep the visitor safe.

Read less

As experienced workplace law and serious injury claim specialists, we know that you may feel uncertain about your chances of succeeding in a occupiers liability claim. However, we also know that you want to see the persons responsible held to account for failing to properly protect you from the risk of injury.

We ensure that your case is properly investigated, both expertly and sensitively, and help you build the best possible case for appropriate compensation to support you now and in the future.