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Can people sue you a year later if they fall over on your property?

My brother got a solicitor's letter at the beginning of the week stating a postman and fallen over a 'raised manhole cover' at the back of my brothers flat (in June 2013, over a year ago!) He is now suing my brother stating its his fault he fell over the raised manhole cover even though the postman must have been taking a short cut across my brothers land to get to some other flats to the rear of his property. Is this a scam or can people actually do this with no proof etc?

67 Comments

scottish laws and english laws vary,but as far as am aware one has 3 years since date of accident to lodge a claim

Original Poster

Is there a reason the person has waited for so long, surely if you had an accident you'd report it and claim straight away? Also how can he prove he did it where he said he did?

If this kind of thing can happen. Then anyone can have an accident, at home, out whilst drunk etc then the next day or two say they had the accident elsewhere and place the blame onto someone else

is the flat purpose built?

if so the grounds are normally comunal and therfore not your brothers responsibility

Original Poster

The 'person' is using a no win no fee lawyer. My brother works 6 days a week to pay his mortgage etc and no way can he afford to pay lawyers etc to fight this, it could cost £1000's. Can he use a no win no fee lawyer to fight this as the 'postman' is obviously trying to pull a fast one and get some money for nothing?

Original Poster

The flat is purpose built but there are only about 8 of them (look like detached houses, flat upstairs, flat downstairs with concrete steps up the side) and the gardens front and rear are split between them, he owns the rear the person downstairs owns the front.
Edited by: "steevieboy4u" 15th Jul 2014

Press charges for illegal entry or trespassing

Original Poster

Thats one route he is considering but doesn't want to start sending letters to the other persons solicitor incase he words something wrong or by responding it means he's admitting blame..... You know what i mean.... Legal jargon!

if your letter box is at the front he had no reason to be at the back so it was his choice to be there therefore the consequences are HIS responsibilty

did you sign for the letter?

Original Poster

sponduli

did you sign for the letter?



Which letter, the one from the solicitor he got the other day? Not sure if he did or not....why?

if he didnt sign thrn he never got it

does letter say he eas injured if so he will have needed to attend adoctor as proof of injury

Original Poster

Not sure that would hold up in court if it came to that though.

It states he's got 21 days to respond before further action is taken and apparently the postman was that badly injured that his dislocated shoulder needed surgery!

apparently if thr postman acted in an unexpected or unusual manner he has no claim so ig no letter boc at back

What was he up to in the back garden?

soz

if no letter box in back garden
what was he doing there?

Really sorry to hear this story. Hope justice is served and your brothers worries are lifted. Genuinely hate the legal system in the country sometimes.

Some solicitors offer a free 30 min consultation

The postman (if RM) has "legal right" under law to access your property to post mail - that said if he took a shortcut through your property and injured himself he would not be "following the law" so to speak. Depends where your letterbox is and where this manhole cover is.

I suggest you also contact the local RM delivery office to enquire if it was an accident that has been reported on said date.

Seems like this claim is another of those insurance scams but if your brother cannot afford legal fees he just needs to clarify how the accident could possibly have happened if the postman was going about his duty in the correct manner. Take photos /video of letterbox location and manhole cover to free consultation. Has your brother home insurance?



Edited by: "philphil61" 15th Jul 2014

yes, i think they have 2 years or something quite long like that to make a claim on anything.

Original Poster

Tell me about it. I get the impression he's hurt his shoulder at some point in the past and is now trying to get some money for nothing the easiest way possible. I just can't believe he can even try and do this. Unless it's on video how can he proove with no doubt he did it how he's saying he did?

Like i said previously if this is allowed to happen and solicitors are willing to back you when trying this, then anyone can sue anyone and then its just their word against yours, so how can that be legal or even be entertained in court?

Get the damaged manhole cover repaired asap or the next postie will have a claim.

steevieboy4u

Not sure that would hold up in court if it came to that though.It states … Not sure that would hold up in court if it came to that though.It states he's got 21 days to respond before further action is taken and apparently the postman was that badly injured that his dislocated shoulder needed surgery!



Without seeing what they actually said and who it is I would initially say Do Not Reply, sounds like typical scaremongering tactics to get someone to Self Admit Liability without doing anything, as a lot do as it can scare some, which is what they rely on.

Respond in what way?
Have they shown/provided any evidence?
They need proof of accident.
Proof of injury. (If there is, do the times fit with when they are saying)
Was he even on duty on that day?
Why was he in the back.
Why left so long to claim?
If he was on duty why didn't his employers contact anyone and is he allowed to make a personal claim while on Duty?
Proof of damaged Manhole Cover at the time?
How did he get access to the rear of the property?
Is the Manhole fixed now?

Just some things to consider.

What I would do is pop over to CAG and check out the section that deal with these types of Claims as the Company may be known and whilst there are some good replies I think they might have more specific answers for you.

consumeractiongroup.co.uk/for…php


Edited by: "Likely2" 15th Jul 2014

We had a case similar to this at work where someone had entered the yard of one of our properties, private land and not open to the public. She stated she had tripped on a pot hole and badly sprained her ankle. She was suing for damages.

We firstly took the view that she was trespassing and as such she shouldn't have been there in the first place.; Unfortunately our solicitors advised that if the land is open, i.e not gated and locked, contained by a fence that could not be easily stepped over or easily circumvented then we could be held liable for her injuries. It comes under a land owner having a duty of care for anybody on their property whether invited or not. Our public liability insurance ended up paying her a settlement.

That said as it stands your brother is simply being accused of being liable, the claimant stills has to provide proof of that liability.

If I was your brother I would first reply to the solicitors letter and ask them to forward to you any evidence they have to support their clients claim. He doesn't need to get into any type of discussion at this point, just a polite letter stating simply that. He can then decide how to proceed when he receives the evidence.

Also get your brother to check his household insurances as many have legal cover and limited public liability cover.

you could try CAB but i normally find them useless.

i would ignore the letter until they take further action.

Original Poster

Think he definitly needs to get some legal help before doing anything as this could turn into a big can of worms

steevieboy4u

The land at the rear of his property is open plan.My brother has … The land at the rear of his property is open plan.My brother has buildings and contents insurance so don't think that would cover this kind of claim against him. Will have to ask him if he went for the additonal legal cover.Some good advice there Likely2.I was going to send him the link to this post but after reading what happened to you Argoj don't think i will now oO



Thanks, there were more but don't want to confuse the issue, used to be a Private Investigatior for a Company who specialised in false insurance claims....and the odd following the unfaithful wife....:)

Just to add, where is the Manhole Cover in relation to the path, is it on the path, is it easy to see, is it in plain view, has anyone else hurt themselves....you get the idea.

Edited by: "Likely2" 15th Jul 2014

Original Poster

Thanks to everyone for the advice

Will keep you posted

Just thinking,on the day he supposedly "hurt himself" he would then of had to inform his employer (post office).He would have to fill in a riddor report within a time period ,I can't remember possibly 2 days.This then goes to the HSE.You need to find out about this and if he didn't fill it in you should be OK.I'm no expert but it could be worth a try mate.

Original Poster

Cheers witters21

Will pass on that info

I worked for a litigation solicitor for 8 years. They will take on many claims as they are eager to claims their 'costs' at the end of the claim. They are ruthless. Has your brother checked his household insurance as many have public liability incorporated into them. Also is your brother in a Union as they also usually provide legal advice and assistance to members. As previously mentioned, there should be evidence of the postman's injuries either on his GP or hospital records and an entry in Royal Mail's Accident Book if the claim is legit. The Claimant (postman) has 3 years from the 'date of knowledge' of any injuries he has sustained. The letter your brother has received is probably a Letter of Claim which does need an acknowledgement I think within 21 days. They will continue to send letters and finally will use the services of an investigator to trace your brother. Your brother does need some help as this postman will also claim for other things, such as loss of earnings, loss of overtime and bonuses, handicap on the labour market, assistance with decorating and gardening - the list is endless. I do sympathise with your brother as he is totally innocent. Good Luck.

If he has car or house insurance unless he unticked it he could make use of the legal protection most insurance companies force upon you.

Original Poster

Thanks annec4

Yes he's done nothing wrong and now he's got all this hassle, stress and worry for nothing

Original Poster

Thanks djnaff, will get him to check. I always thought the legal cover was just for the specific item though, i.e car, house etc?

steevieboy4u

Our thoughts exactly, but the no win no fee solicitors involved must … Our thoughts exactly, but the no win no fee solicitors involved must think he has a chance otherwise they wouldn't have represented him. So now just wondering whats the best option for my brother as he's got enough problems to deal with and this one now is a real shock and he's really worried he's going to end up losing his home etc if he has to fight this and pay for all the costs associated with doing that



you are spot on,if they didnt think he stood a chance winning his claim then they wouldnt take him on...i had a minor accident last year outside a Tesco store,my trolley caught the corner of a broken slab right outside their entrance,it toppled over on my foot causing a hairline fracture and soft tissue damage,my £25 of ornaments i had just purchased where smashed to bits.....not only would they not replace the damaged items,i never got an apology,was told i was lucky to have received first aid and there was nothing they would do,not even replace the broken slab.....i contacted a lawyer and showed them pics of the damaged slab,i have medical records as i had to attend the hospital,was on crutches and lost time off work,none of that matters apparantely,as the hole only measures around 2.5 centimeters by 3.5 centimeters,its not big enough for them to take my case on....over a year on and i now have what am guessing is athritis in my foot,i often walk with a limp now when my foot stiffens up,i cannot wear a certain type of shoe now.....its causing me no end of problems at work and as time goes on my foot is getting worse....so if a lawyer is taking his case then he stands a very good chance of winning...unlike me,who is genuinely still suffering and knows there is not a thing i can do about it.

People saying that the claimant has a good case are talking without knowing enough to say.

It's nothing to panic about.

Simply acknowledge receipt of the letter and pass no opinion on it's claim. Say that you are unaware of any event occurring. In this light ask for any evidence that the accident occurred on this property. Ask for any corroborating evidence of an incident such as accident reports, photographs of the area and any medical reports. Point out that the area is not a public right of way and that access to the property is trespass.

Send the letter with proof of postage and naturally keep a copy.

good luck no win, no fee companies have standard letters where they simply alter names/ addresses and hope to get some admission of liability. those they pursue.

Can't believe this cr4p and what your brother has to go through.

My opinion is that try to get evidence either way on wether the postie filed a report or not at work. Take it from there.

I'm seething that people can pull stunts like this a year later.

what about your brothers employers,lots of them have free legal advice phone numbers you can ring as part of their benifits but must people forget its even available to them

Original Poster

jonnithomas

People saying that the claimant has a good case are talking without … People saying that the claimant has a good case are talking without knowing enough to say.It's nothing to panic about. Simply acknowledge receipt of the letter and pass no opinion on it's claim. Say that you are unaware of any event occurring. In this light ask for any evidence that the accident occurred on this property. Ask for any corroborating evidence of an incident such as accident reports, photographs of the area and any medical reports. Point out that the area is not a public right of way and that access to the property is trespass.Send the letter with proof of postage and naturally keep a copy.good luck no win, no fee companies have standard letters where they simply alter names/ addresses and hope to get some admission of liability. those they pursue.



I suggest this to him - Thanks

Original Poster

EN1GMA

Can't believe this cr4p and what your brother has to go through. My … Can't believe this cr4p and what your brother has to go through. My opinion is that try to get evidence either way on wether the postie filed a report or not at work. Take it from there. I'm seething that people can pull stunts like this a year later.



Exactly, my brother works so hard to make ends meet and then some low life tries to shaft him by doing this. Wish we could turn the tables so the person suing then had to pay compensation, costs etc for all the stress, grief he's causing. He might think twice about doing it again then to someone else!
Edited by: "steevieboy4u" 16th Jul 2014

This is sick I hope he doesn't get a penny and gets caught out, it's always the innocent people paying, nothing bad happens to these scum. Keep us updated and I wish you and your brother good luck.

Original Poster

Cheers MrMan2011
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