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Accidents involving falls are one of the most common causes of catastrophic or fatal injury. Falls whilst working at heights account for a quarter (25%) of all workplace deaths. A fall of less than two metres can be enough to cause permanent disability from brain damage, spinal cord injury, major trauma or other serious injury, with life-changing consequences for the injured person and their family.

Serious injury can also occur in accidents involving falls at or below floor level, from moving vehicles or where injury is caused by something else, such as an object, that is falling.

The law requires employers, councils and other business owners to take effective measures to prevent injury from falls or falling objects to their employees or other visitors to their premises. This also applies to schools, or public places and buildings, such as playgrounds, parks, hotels, and sports and leisure facilities. If their negligence results in serious injury from a fall, the injured person may be entitled to compensation.

Boyes Turner’s serious injury specialists have helped countless clients rebuild their lives after accidents left them with permanent disability from head injury, spinal cord injury (SCI) and major trauma.

We provide:

  • free advice from our experienced, specialist solicitors;
  • claims handled on a no win no fee (conditional fee or CFA) basis;
  • early access to (defendant) insurer-funded rehabilitation;
  • interim (advance) payments to pay for urgent needs and ease financial hardship;
  • high value compensation settlements;
  • personal injury trusts and deputyship to protect vulnerable clients;
  • specialist experience of complex claims involving catastrophic injury or contributory negligence.

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What kind of falling accident can lead to a serious injury compensation claim?

You should seek advice from a specialist solicitor if you or a family have member suffered a serious injury in any kind of fall which was caused by somebody else’s negligence. Even if the injured person was partly, but not entirely, to blame, they may still be entitled to substantial compensation. Where the accident results in permanent disability, such as from injury to the brain or the spinal cord, compensation may be a lifeline to rehabilitation and financial help with the costs of care, home adaptations and other necessary equipment.

Four types of accidents involving falls often lead to injury compensation claims:

  • falls from heights;
  • falls on same level;
  • falling from a moving vehicle;
  • being hit by falling objects.

We investigate each accident thoroughly to establish who was legally responsible for our client’s injury, so that we can notify them of the claim and make contact with their insurers.

Falls from height

Common claims arising from serious injury from falls from heights include:

  • falling from unsafe public or school buildings, such as defective windows;

  • unsafe hotels or holiday facilities, such as balconies, unguarded staircases or windows;
  • unsafe leisure facilities, such as cable cars, rollercoasters;
  • unsafe school or sporting facilities, such as climbing walls, zip wires, trampolines, gymnasium ropes.

However, most claims arise from accidents whilst working at heights, particularly in the construction industry, where it accounts for 60% of construction-related deaths.  

Examples of workplace accidents involving falling from heights leading to serious injury compensation claims include: 

  • falling from rooftops;
  • falling from scaffolding;
  • falling through fragile flooring, roofing or glass;
  • falling from unguarded elevated areas, such as platforms;
  • falling from ladders; 
  • falling from cherry pickers;
  • falling from trees;
  • falling from barn lofts.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in many cases where a person falls from a height, safe access has not been provided. Working at height is dangerous. Employers and contractors must comply with a strict hierarchy of controls set out in health and safety regulations  when assessing the risks, to ensure that wherever possible working from height is avoided, falls prevented or their impact is minimised if they do occur. This means that it is not enough to provide a worker with personal safety equipment, such as a harness, if other ways of doing the job, such as using extending equipment from the ground, could have avoided the need for him to work at a height at all.   

Employers must:

  • avoid the need for working at height unless the task cannot be safely and practicably carried out from the ground;
  • prevent falls by having the work carried out at a safe place of work that is already set up;
  • prevent falls by using equipment that protects all those at risk, such as guard rails on work platforms;
  • prevent falls by using personal (individual) safety equipment, such as a work restraint;
  • minimise the distance and impact of falls by using equipment to protect all those at risk, such as soft-landing systems or nets;
  • minimise the impact of any fall by using equipment to protect the individual, such as a fall arrest system.

Employers must also reduce the risk of injury from falls by other measures, including:

  • providing adequate training, instruction and supervision; 
  • selecting, inspecting and maintaining appropriate equipment;
  • ensure equipment is used by competent people;
  • use signs and warnings;
  • provide suitable footwear and clothing;
  • provide a safe environment, such as adequate lighting;
  • taking weather conditions into account when assessing the risks and planning how work will be carried out.

Falls on the same level

According to the HSE, nearly a third of all reported workplace non-fatal injuries in 2019/2020 were from falls on the same level. Compensation claims for falls on the same level arise when serious injury is caused by accidents involving:

  • falling into manholes, drains or other uncovered or unguarded areas;
  • falling into deep water;
  • grain silos, vats or storage tanks;
  • slipping accidents;
  • tripping accidents (from trailing cables, raised flooring, paving or ramps).

Slipping accidents commonly occur as a result of:

  • spillages or leaks, such as oil or water;
  • dirty or contaminated flooring, such as powder or factory dust;
  • unguarded wet or slippery floors after cleaning;
  • inappropriate footwear for the floor surface;
  • icy steps or paths (unguarded or ungritted).

Tripping accidents are commonly caused by:

  • trailing cables and wires;
  • obstructions in walkways;
  • failure to clear up debris;
  • raised, uneven or broken surfaces, such as paving, carpets, stair risers/nosing or mats;
  • poor lighting.

Falls from moving vehicles

According to the HSE, falls from vehicles are the most common accidents involving workplace transport. Employers may be negligent where they failed to provide safe systems of work, appropriately secured ladders and guardrails, appropriate training, or failed to restrict vehicle access to employees who need to use them and are competent to do so.

Falls from moving vehicles also lead to serious injury in accidents on holiday, at theme-parks and sightseeing attractions and as a result of foolish behaviour.

Whatever the circumstances, specialist advice should always be sought where the fall resulted in a severe injury. As long as the employer, driver or business owner was partly responsible for the accident, we can usually secure essential rehabilitation and financial assistance for the injured victim through a compensation claim.

Examples of injury claims arising from falls from vehicles include:

  • falling from tractors and other agricultural vehicles;
  • falling from the forks of forklift trucks;
  • falling from the back of a lorry;
  • falling whilst climbing or walking on top of tanker trucks;
  • falling while climbing onto trailer loads;
  • falling from cable cars, chair lifts or open-sided sight-seeing vehicles;
  • car-surfing.

Injury from falling objects

Employers, contractors, owners of buildings and businesses, councils and schools all have a legal responsibility to protect employees, visitors and the general public from injury from falling objects.

Examples of accidents from falling objects which can lead to injury claims include:

  • heavy items falling from poorly stacked, high shelves or storage areas;
  • items falling as a result of incorrectly used or faulty lifts, hoists or other machinery or equipment;
  • being hit by toppling heavy trolleys or vehicles;
  • being hit by items falling off a moving vehicle, forklift etc;
  • falling masonry;
  • defective or poorly installed fittings;
  • falling bricks, glass or roof tiles;
  • collapsing ceilings;
  • co-worker negligence, such as dropping things, incorrect stacking, incorrect use of equipment.
Read more

Who do I claim against for injury caused by falls or falling objects?

Claims may be against one or more of the following:

  • the injured person’s employer;
  • owner/management of a business;
  • owner/occupier of building or premises;
  • a contractor;
  • the supplier of a defective product;
  • the driver of vehicle;
  • the council or local authority;
  • a school.

Injury claims arising from falls or being hit by falling objects are most common in the following industries or environments:

  • construction industry;
  • food and drink retail industry;
  • commercial kitchens;
  • maintenance work;
  • transportation and storage industry;
  • farming and agricultural industry;
  • warehouse work;
  • factories and workshops;
  • sports and leisure;
  • public buildings and facilities; 
  • schools, parks and playgrounds;
  • hotels and holidays. 
Read more

Can I claim against my employer after a fall at work?

The law requires employers and business owners to take effective measures to prevent anyone from being injured by falling or being hit by a falling object. This may include:

  • carrying out a thorough risk assessment;
  • finding ways to avoid working at heights, such as by using extending equipment from the ground;
  • planning and organising work tasks to make sure they are safe;
  • identifying what precautions are needed;
  • providing adequate training;
  • providing adequate supervision;
  • ensuring that employees are competent to work safely;
  • providing appropriate safety equipment;
  • where working at height can’t be avoided, taking steps to reduce the distance and impact of a fall.

Employers must take measures to protect the safety of:

  • their employees;
  • contractors;
  • temporary workers;
  • visitors and the general public.
Read more

What health and safety errors lead to falls/falling objects injury claims?

Falling accidents, serious injuries and their causes are often complex, involving more than one contributing mistake. Workplace accidents often arise from a combination of an unsafe environment and a co-worker’s negligence. The injured person may also have been partly to blame. Where severe injury has occurred, the injured person or their family should always seek advice from solicitors with experience of complex accident claims and of securing rehabilitation and compensation for severe injury and disability. 

Injury compensation claims relating to falling accidents often arise after negligent mistakes including:

  • failure to carry out and properly implement a risk assessment;
  • failure to comply with H&S guidelines;
  • failure to provide an available, alternative way of working, to avoid unnecessarily working at height;
  • failure to provide adequate training;
  • failure to provide safe access, such as handrails on elevated platforms and steps;
  • failure to provide adequate safety equipment, such as work platforms, hoists, harness;
  • failing to provide a safe system of work;
  • defective product (eg ladder) or machinery, hoist, cherry picker;
  • failing to supervise;
  • failing to provide personal protective equipment or PPE;
  • unsafe buildings or premises;
  • failure to guard, fence off or warn about tripping, slipping or falling hazards;
  • poor lighting in areas with obstructions or tripping hazards;
  • failure to grit, or divert people away from, icy walkways;
  • failure to secure items on moving vehicles;
  • co-worker negligence:
    • incorrect use of workplace vehicles, forklifts, trolleys etc;
    • negligent driving of vehicles;
    • incorrect stacking of items;
    • causing spillages or tripping hazards;
    • failing to clear up or clean up debris, spillages etc;
    • unsafe use of equipment, such as ladders;
    • dropping items;
  • failure to minimise the impact of a known falling hazard, such as soft landing surface under a climbing frame;
  • failure to supervise users of sports or leisure facilities, such as climbing frames, walls or swimming pools;
  • driving with a passenger on the exterior of the vehicle.
Read more

Who can we help make a personal injury claim?

If I make a claim for compensation, will I need to go to court?

How long do personal injury compensation claims take?

What compensation can I claim for serious injury?

What is an interim payment?

How do I get started with making a claim?
How are personal injury claims funded?
What injuries can lead to a personal injury compensation claim?
What is a personal injury claim?
What are the time limits for making a personal injury claim?

Injury from falls cases

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"Happy to recommend your services"

Thank you again for all you have done for us and the way you have done it. We would be happy to recommend your services to anyone else in a similar position.

Boyes Turner client

"I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in my recovery"

"It really does turn your life upside down in a moment, not just for me but for my family as well. It’s been a difficult journey, sometimes very emotional, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in my recovery and in being able to tell this story tooMy story shows what can be achieved with the support of the right people and a little determination. I look back on where I was and I’m delighted with where I am now. I’ve still got a way to go and I still have some effects from the accident to deal with but I hope people see what I’ve achieved and it helps them as they begin their recovery."

Jessica Stevens

"We'd like to express our thanks to Kim and the team at Boyes Turner..."

We’d like to express our thanks to Kim and the team at Boyes Turner for the expertise, experience and professionalism in handling our daughter’s serious injury claim following a road accident. From arranging a team of rehab specialists and the necessary funding to the negotiation of the final very satisfactory settlement, the whole operation has been conducted very smoothly and we can recommend their service to anyone in a similar position.

"Thank you so much for all you have done..."

Thank you so much for all you have done for C and the family. I know that you have absolutely given it everything you’ve got and your devotion and commitment to the case has been spectacular.

Third party forensic accountant

"I wanted to take the opportunity to express my thanks..."

I wanted to take the opportunity to express my thanks to you for your professional attitude and handling of the claim throughout this tragic case.  It is in cases like this where the compensation can never compensate for the loss suffered, but hopefully it will help in some way to move forward.

Third party insurer