Compensation claims where liability is in dispute


For the majority of personal injury compensation claims, it is usually easy enough to see who is liable. In cases such as car accidents where one car crashes in to the rear of another stationary vehicle, it is easy to apportion blame and therefore workout who will be the liable party when it comes to making a claim for compensation. In such a circumstance, it is usually a simple process to get a claim for compensation placed with a solicitor.

However, in cases where it is not so cut and dried as to who was at fault for an accident leading to an injury – such as a slip or trip accident where it is not known who owns the land in question, whether the land is owned by more than one party or if the injured client was partly responsible for their own misfortune, it can be harder to know whether or not you would have a viable claim for compensation. One of the key elements of being entitled to compensation is having a liable person, party or organisation to make a claim against. But if liability is in dispute, can you still claim personal injury compensation?

Contributory negligence

In some cases, a claimant may find that they will have to accept a percentage of the responsibility for an accident. This is called contributory negligence. An example of contributory negligence would be a person who is injured after slipping on a wet floor whilst intoxicated. When asking if you have a valid slipping accident claim, your condition (drink and drugs etc) at the time is relevant. If you were drunk, the 3rd party responsible for the floor where you slipped may admit that it was dangerous and wet with no signs erected and therefore to an element of liability. However, if they are aware that you were drunk at the time (your medical records will show this – and you should always be honest!) the 3rd party are likely to state that they are of the view that the person would not have fallen if they were not drunk. In such a case, the claimant may have to accept that they are 25% or 50% responsible for the accident and as such, for every £1000 of their final settlement value, accept the relevant reduction (%) in accordance with their contribution to their own accident.

Liability denied

There are also cases where a 3rd party defence solicitor will refute any liability whatsoever. In these cases, your Direct2Compensation specialist personal injury solicitor will advise you as to whether or not they feel you have any realistic prospect of succeeding if your claim were to go all the way to court. If neither side can agree on liability – i.e, your solicitor feels that the 3rd party are liable and the 3rd party deny it, the only place for the claim to be decided is by a judge, in court.

Neither side would wish to go to court if they didn’t feel that they were likely to win. Going to court is unusual and unlikely in MOST personal injury claims, but you should always be aware that it is always a possibility with any claim. If your solicitor is of the view that the defence raised by the 3rd party is strong and that a court is likely to uphold the defence, your claim will be closed. Whilst this would be disappointing, you should bear in mind that you will not have to pay any costs for your claim as it will have been managed on a 100% No Win No Fee basis. You also have the option of finding another solicitor for a second opinion.

In all claims for personal injury compensation, any claimant must be able to demonstrate that there is a 3rd party for a claim to be made to and that the 3rd party is at least partly responsible for the incident that lead to the injuries forming the basis of the claim. Where an injured person is obviously 100% at fault for their injuries, there will be no basis to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation.

34 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

  1. We were hit by a car on the motorway – it was side impact and the driver of the vehicle claims that “they think” another car was turning into her lane which made her swerve and subsequently hit us. The police report confirms that she hit us and her statement of another car however there are no witnesses to this phantom car. There is no cctv available as the camera was not facing the right way. Is this clean cut to claim? I have a ruptured bicep & psychological damage as I have not been able to drive on the motorway again.

    • It would appear that you have a valid claim for road traffic accident compensation and the injuries you describe (particularly the psychological aspect) are common in such road traffic collisions on high speed roads. Whether or not the person who collided with you believed that there was a 3rd party vehicle encroaching on their lane space is somewhat irrelevant in that it was their vehicle that hit yours and as such, a claim should be made against the insurers of that vehicle. That insurer may then in turn wish to re-direct the claim to the other insurers if they can be found.

      Do you know if any admission of liability has been made with regards to vehicle repairs?

      We would be happy to investigate your claim further and if you would like us to do that, please us our ‘start a claim‘ page to get the ball rolling.

      • Thank you for your reply. The insurance company have paid out for our car that was written off in the collision. They did not state with the payment that it was a goodwill gesture nor have they accepted liability as they are arguing it should go to MIB as the supposed “third car” is at fault .we are still out of pocket all our damaged items & holiday we were on our way to.

  2. Is it breaking health and safety laws if a workplace doesn’t put up caution hot water signs next to hot water taps? I’m strongly thinking about putting a claim in for a burn injury from a faulty tap thanks

  3. I had an accident at work, I felt very dizzy while on the stairs and I fell all the way down 10 steps. The aircon hasn’t been working for more than a month, it was very hot and I believe this is the reason that I collapsed and fell.

    I hit my left leg with a big bruise, my left elbow with a superficial cut, my back and right shoulder. Nothing is fractured luckily, but I have been advised from my doctor to do some physiotherapy to recover my shoulder. Is the employer responsible?
    They are denying the existence of an insurance covering my accident and the aircon hasn’t been fixed yet with an inside temperature of 29C degrees.

    • This is a difficult one as to succeed with your claim you would have to prove that the cause of your collapse was a direct result of the lack of air con. As you can imagine, this will be difficult to establish.

      • I understand this…not taking in consideration the reason of my fall but only the fact that I fell on the stairs a
        while carrying out my duties at work, is the employer responsible to take care of my recovery?
        Is working without aircon an hazard during hot season and having all other collegues and clients complaining about the heat?

  4. I was scalded in the face and suffered whiplash when a tap at work exploded boiling in my face, this tap had no caution hot water signs above it and was never or very rarely checked for faults could my employer be at fault here?

    • Our initial view is that you have a valid claim for workplace injury compensation here and we would be happy to pursue this further for you. If the employer cannot demonstrate that they have an adequate maintenance and inspection regime in place regarding the plumbing within the workplace, they could struggle to defend any claim. If you would like to pursue this further, use our ‘start a claim‘ option and we’ll be able to call you back to take some further details from you.

    • Is it breaking health and safety laws if a workplace doesn’t put up caution hot water signs next to hot water taps?

  5. Hello Ian,
    My daughter claims to have been indecently assaulted by a security guard at a hotel at which we were guests. The security guard has denied that anything happened. There is no evidence that what my daughter said is true as it was an indecent assault. The guard apparently hugged her and placed his tongue in her ear.

    Please advise if I may be able to successfully claim under the security guard’s employer’s public liability insurance, that is if they have.

    • As you rightly point out, the problem here is the lack of independent evidence to support any claim. Whilst we have no reason to doubt your daughters version of events, without any evidence to support the claim it is unlikely that a Solicitor would be able to offer to pursue the matter on a No Win No Fee basis.

      The best thing to do – if you haven’t already done so – would be to try and obtain witness information or any other supportive evidence against the security guard and ask the Hotel if they have any CCTV footage available.

  6. I was injured during physical training at work but my employer is denying liability. Surely in a training setting, whereby we should be being monitored there should be no dispute as to them being at fault.

    • When you say that your employer is denying liability, are you saying that you already have a claim in place and a Solicitor pursuing this for you? If not, the situation you describe is something that we would be happy to investigate for you.

      We have previously succeeded with claims against employers where staff members were injured during physical training exercises, with NHS workers injured during training as to how to handle aggressive patients being one example.

  7. My daughter was involved in a wing mirror clip. The other party would not exchange insurance at the scene but demanded £50 to polish out a scratch to their car. After the bank holiday weekend, they changed that to £1600. We took it to insurance and discovered they had added a ghost passenger and made two PI claims as well. They produced 2 witnesses. I found those witnesses on Facebook and the other driver ended up dropping her claim which also included a personal injury claim. The husband and ghost passenger, continue with their claims and want 50/50 – although her made up, dramatic collision story against my daughter collapsed. So it goes on, causing my daughter enormous stress and worry. Can I claim against them for mental stress and fraud?

    • Whilst the actions of the other driver have been extremely bad and seemingly fraudulent, for you to succeed against them with a claim for psychological stress and trauma would be difficult. This is because such a claim would not be without risk and as such, for a specialist Solicitor to pursue this claim it is unlikely that they would wish to do so on a No Win No Fee basis.

      Have you reported the other driver to the Police to allege that they have attempted to commit an act of fraud?

    • Should I? I had thought best to wait and see if the PI claims also collapsed before going to the Police. I don’t understand the process, but assumed that those claims would be made through a solicitor and not through the other driver’s insurer’s solicitor. How can a claim against my daughter succeed if the other driver had to drop her claim once the witness evidence was produced?

      • The claim against your daughter should be fought by her insurers. Make sure that they are taking in to account the fraudulent actions of the 3rd party. However, if your daughter was responsible for or partially responsible for the wing mirror clip, she could be held partly liable in any claim with the other driver having responsibility for their actions.

  8. In my case, the third party said in a telephone to me that they would pay for my car to be repaired. We still had to converse re any personal injury.

    However, the third party are now back tracking and wanting my insurers to say I won’t be filing a claim for personal injury compensation or they won’t be paying for the car damage. This person reversed in to me into me at a junction whilst driving an 18 tonne road line painter wagon.

    In my initial email to them, I said that I would be happy to discuss costs due to me but we hadn’t discussed personal injury at this time. Now they are holding me to ransom. I am now going through my insurers but they are disputing personal injury claim and are not acknowledging this. Help!

    • The situation you describe is a perfect example as to why it is so important to instruct a specialist Solicitor to deal with any claim for road traffic accident compensation and at Direct2Compensation, we have some of the best personal injury Solicitors around available to work for you. Our expert staff know your rights and can quickly obtain the initial information needed to hand your claim over to one of our specialist Solicitors who would then act for you and hold the relevant third party to account for their negligence that lead to your losses and injuries and seek to recover compensation for both for you.

      You should contact us today or use our ‘start a claim‘ function so that we can help take the stress out of this process for you and get the ball rolling in your favour.

  9. Hi i was in a accident where i recieved multiple injuries the other driver has accepted liabilty on my side but as my partner was driving the car btw is a right off the other driver is disputing his claim against my partner ?

    • As a passenger, there really should be any problem for you in terms of making a successful claim for car accident personal injury compensation as whoever was at fault, it will not be you – the passenger.

      Eventually, the liability will be attributed to either the 3rd party driver or to your partner. If the liability is placed with the 3rd party, you can claim compensation from their insurers. If it is found that your partner was at fault, you can still proceed with your claim against their insurance. You really need not worry as whoever is found to be at fault will already have a claim against them for the damage to the vehicles. Therefore, if you then add a personal injury claim on top of that, it won’t change anything in terms of insurance renewal or cost.

      We can help you with this claim, please call us on 01225430285.

  10. Had an injury in work spent three weeks in hospital. Fracctured back. Since then had a visit from the h.s.e. he madean report told me that he had found safety breaches at the site, told me to get a solicitor. Whats my chances of an injury claim ?

    • If someone from the HSE is telling you that you should instruct a Solicitor, it would appear that you have a valid claim for work accident compensation. We would love to help you with this serious matter. Please email your contact details to me by return and I will call you at the earliest opportunity. I’d only need a few minutes on the phone with you at the outset in order to be able to then identify the right specialist Solicitor with relevant experience to pursue this claim for you.

      Alternatively, you can call us on 01225430285

  11. Hi, I got injured at work while taking off hot ampules off the conveyor due to the wrong gloves I was given. An ampule got stuck in a guard smashed through the gloves into the index finger. I had to go the hospital for operation to remove a glass foreign body. I have not worked for three months. How much do you think my claim would be worthy?

    • It is not possible to place a value on your claim or tell you how much your claim could be worth without having seen medical evidence and read a medical experts report in to the extent of the injury and whether any long term damage (such as nerve damage) was caused to you.

      What we can say is that your claim valuation will increase if your scarring remains visible, if there is any nerve damage or loss of dexterity of the finger due to the scarring. At Direct2Compensation, our specialist Solicitors will ensure that your claim is settled at the maximum possible value and they will also ensure that any lost income and costs incurred by you as a result of your injury and enforced absence from work are recovered for you by way of the special damages element of your claim.

      If you would like us to start the claims process for you, please call us on 01225430285. Our expert staff are ready to help you.

  12. hi I slipped in a supermarket in may 2017. I was advised by the the store first aider that there was a pool of liquid by me which I had skidded on. There were no wet floor signs and I slipped by the pharmacy desk where there were 3 cctv cameras in operation. The staff on duty asked if I wanted the incident reporting to their incident line and they did this in my presence whilst I was awaiting the ambulance.
    I was taken to the AE department where I was diagnosed with a fractured elbow, likely fractured bone in my spine and severely sprained ankle, I spent 2 nights in hospital and I am still undergoing physiotherapy now.
    The supermarket have denied liability and in their words, they have provided the appropriate documentation to demonstrate that they have safe systems of work in place, however they state that they have no CCTV footage of the event.
    My solicitor has indicated that there may be no way of telling how long the liquid was on the floor. I have received the cleaning schedule from that day and there was only 1x housekeeper on to clean a superstore in conjunction with this on the incident report it states initially that they had retained the CCTV footage and then further down that they hadnt, giving no rationale for why they did or did not retain it. The incident report also states the area I fell in was not cleaned and the area I fell in is not made referance to on the cleaning schedule. I would be really grateful for any advise you could give me on this matter

    • You have certainly suffered some very nasty injuries in this accident and the severity of them proves that what can initially appear to be an innocuous accident can lead to very serious injuries in slipping accidents.

      The issue that is causing problems in your claim is a common one that affects many slipping accident compensation claimants in that the lack of a hazard sign being on display is not in and of itself enough to enable a claimant to succeed. Previously, the courts have been fairly lenient with the defendants in slipping accident compensation when it comes to a claimant having to prove that the spillage or item on the floor was there for a sufficiently long period of time that the defendant ought to have been able to notice it, place a sign out and arrange a clean up. It is for this reason that businesses such as supermarkets maintain a hand written log of cleaning inspections and housekeeping work. To summarised, the courts have basically said that as long as a business can demonstrate that it has an adequate cleaning regime and regular inspections of each area of their premises they will not be held liable if someone were to slip and fall. In essence, this is usually taken as the supermarket having to check each aisle of their store at least every 30 minutes. If they can provide a log that shows this, it is unlikely a claim will succeed against them. The courts have found that if a shopper were to drop an item and caused a spillage, it would be unreasonable to expect the store staff to notice, erect a hazard sign and begin clean up unless the item had been on the floor for more than 30 minutes. Of course, without CCTV, it is very hard to have the evidence to support your claim as it cannot be proven that the spillage was on the floor for 30 minutes or more.

  13. Hi I was injured at work supporting a client threw a seizure as trained in my training I was told to attend to a client promptly closely monitor their breathing and observe and document all signs of seizure whilst loosening clothing putting protective head gear on if required and giving the client plenty of reassurance placeing a pillow under their head to support them from injury etc client had a seizure I responded promptly and worked as trained I placed the clients cover back on as it had fallen off during seizure whilst reassuring my client that they would be ok the client came round and flung their arms around my neck causing me injury to my neck and shoulders I filled accident book in and daily care plan had to have around 10 days off work on diazepam to relax my muscles I have since had acupuncture physio and had time off work every so often when the injuries flare up so put a claim against them they have denied liability saying I should of sat on a chair that the client doesn’t have and spoke words of comfort none of this was in my training they also said I should of had phonecon me to ring for second staff to assist who was sleeping upstairs although I haven’t been supplied with a phone we only have portable house phone that is rarely charged and also care plan states to reassure client 1-1 as to not overstimulate them and call for assistant if uncontrollable they also say I had mva training I never did a full course only update as I made my manager aware also we are taught in epilepsy not to hold a seizuring client and only breakaway techniques we were shown were if someone pulls your hair to hold it and shout for your team also to redirect punches and clothing grabs not sure me shouting would of woke my colleague who is upstairs other side of building sorry long message

    • Rachel

      On the basis of your comment, we would like to speak with you. It sounds as if your employer has only provided part of the required training and also failed to give you the tools you need to work safely (in this case a phone).

      Please call us on 01225430285 or email us: as we will be able to give you some useful assistance and help you get your claim for compensation started.

      We look forward to hearing from you.

      Yours sincerely


  14. hi – while on a short break in a caravan – the steps of the caravan completely came away from the side of the caravan while i was stepping down them. injury occured to my leg and hand (still sore 5 months later) – contacted a well known solicitor who has only just told me they are not willing to take my case to court as caravan site can prove they had the relevant quarterly inspection records for the steps and that no other accidents like this have ever happened. bitterly disappointed as we have photos of corroded holes in caravan, photos of the stairs lying on the ground,, photos of my injuries.. just because they say the have inspected the stairs and they couldnt have forseen this happening im left with nothing but memories of a ruined holiday and a sore leg. fair?

    • Karyn

      I can appreciate that the news your previous Solicitor has given you is disappointing and left you feeling somewhat let down. This is understandable, given that you have suffered a painful injury and also had a ruined holiday.

      The courts have taken a view that as long as a landowner carries out regular inspections and has an appropriate maintenance regime in place, that they can be absolved of liability should a hazard arise in the periods between inspections. The key thing here though is that the inspections MUST be adequate and that the maintenance regime must carry out adequate repair work.

      However, on the basis of you having photographic evidence of corroded holes on the caravan it may be that your Solicitor could argue that their inspection regime was inadequate in that the corrosion would not have developed in a 3 month period. Indeed, an argument here would be that the inspection carried out previously should have noted signs of corrosion if it were an adequate and thorough inspection. This would have have lead to maintenance work being carried out that would have avoided your accident and injury.

      Whilst we cannot guarantee that we could re-open the claim and succeed, we would certainly be able to have one of our partner solicitors obtain the file of papers from your previous solicitor to review them and then discuss with you as to whether or not they feel that there is a sound argument to be made about the inspection regime being inadequate.

      I hope that this helps. If you would like us to take this action, please go to and make an enquiry. We’ll then call you to discuss matters.

      Yours sincerely


  15. Hi,

    My partner suffered a back injury at work during a compulsory training exercise he had to do. He had to rely on two other female trainees to keep him help up during a grappling exercise

    Unfortunately they couldn’t hold his weight and he was dropped on the mat and badly hurt his back (he has an existing back problem which was declared on initial employment with the company and before the training exercise itself)

    He was in unbearable pain and was shaking and was nauseas. An ambulance was rung and he was taken to local community hospital.

    This put him out of work for some time, he has been appointed a solicitor through the union he was with at the time and they have since said that the third party insurer are not accepting any liability…

    Please can you advise based on the information if you think there is reasonable prospects, Im not sure he is getting the support and help from the solicitors dealing


    • Angelina

      Hi, we are currently helping a few claimants with claims following injuries sustained in exactly the same scenario. Whilst their claims have not yet succeeded, they are progressing well and we our partner solicitors advise that they are confident of succeeding with these matters.

      On the basis of your description, the employer would have appeared to have been negligent in failing to note your Husband’s disclosed back injury problem and for not adequately risk assessing the mandatory training with regards to his known medical history.

      If the claim being made via the union solicitor is not progressing well, we would be more than happy to have one of our specialist solicitors review the file and if they felt that it were practical, they would be able to take over the running of the claim for your husband.

      If you need our assistance further, please call us on 01225430285 or go to the ‘Start a claim’ page of our website at: and submit a contact request. We;ll then call you to discuss this and offer assistance.


      Ian Morris

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