The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 laid down a rule that the occupier of a building or a piece of land must take such care as is reasonable to see that a person in or adjacent to a building or on land will be reasonably safe whilst he or she is there.

If you have been injured whilst in a building belonging to or maintained by another person, and your injury occurred because of the dangerous state of the premises, you may have a valid claim, but the law is never quite that simple. It can be difficult to decide who is a relevant occupier and persons who enter a piece of land under a right of way are unprotected by this Act. What if the occupier was unaware of the danger or provided a warning, which you ignored? What if you weren’t supposed to be there in the first place or the person injured was a child, and what if it wasn’t a building at all – what if the accident occurred on a train? What if your accident was caused by someone who repaired the building badly, sometime ago but he no longer “occupies” it.

It can be more complicated than you may think to apply these rules in practice.

If you suspect you may have a claim under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 or in relation to a defective state of repair of a building or other structure, we would recommend that you contact us for further advice.