Derby accident compensation claim solicitors

McIntosh Fleming Lawyers, specialise in no win, no fee accident claims, and we guarantee that you keep all of your compensation without any deduction for our charges.



Occupier’s Liability

In claims which arise from the condition of premises, the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 (OLA 1957), the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984 (OLA 1984), and the Defective Premises Act 1972 (DPA 1972) are the most important features of the legal landscape. These three acts provide the legal framework for accidents involving visitors, trespassers and tenants respectively.

In the most common type of claim, an ‘occupier’ owes a duty of care to his ‘visitor’ in respect of the state or condition of that which is occupied by him. There is no statutory definition of ‘occupier’; it is a term of the common law to denote a person who has sufficient control over premises to put him under a duty of care towards those who came lawfully on to the premises.The person need not have entire control and may not even have exclusive occupation: there may be more than one occupier at any one time and practitioners should be alive to the possibility that more than one defendant should be named in the pleadings.

For the purposes of the OLA 1957, that which is ‘occupied’ does not just include fixed premises, but extends to movable structures and conveyances including vessels, vehicles, and aircraft since the common duty of care is extended to apply to persons having control over any fixed or moveable structure, including any vessel, vehicle, or aircraft.

The occupier’s duties are owed to ‘visitors’ which broadly includes all those entering onto or present upon the subject premises, structure or vehicle by invitation or licence, whether express or implied, together with those who enter in exercise of a right conferred by law. The duty does not extend to activities in the premises as opposed to their use or condition.

The occupier owes the common duty of care to all visitors which is ‘a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there.

in determining whether the occupier has discharged the common duty of care:


  • any warning that the visitor may have been given is not to be treated as absolving the occupier from liability unless in all of the circumstances it was enough to enable the visitor to be reasonably safe (s 2(4)(a), implying that ‘reasonable warning’ may be a defence);


the occupier is not to be treated, without more, as answerable for a danger caused by the faulty execution of any work of construction, maintenance or repair by an independent contractor employed by him, as long as he acted reasonably in entrusting the work to an independent contractor and had taken such steps as he reasonably ought in order to satisfy himself that the contractor was competent and that the work was properly done (s 2(4)(b), implying that the employment of a reasonably competent and reasonably supervised independent contractor may be a defence).


Apart from the foregoing, all of the usual defences including contributory negligence and volenti non fit injuria (to a willing person, no injury is done) are available in actions against occupiers both in negligence and breach of statutory duty.

Special provisions apply where the subject premises are subject to a tenancy and as between the parties between whom the landlord and tenant relationship exists.

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