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Accident in Brussels

(14 Posts)
lozzyblue Mon 15-Aug-11 15:21:49

Hi there, not sure if anyone can help? We recently relocated to Belgium and on a house viewing I fell over and seriously injured my foot. I have actually broken the ligament and dislocated my mid foot (across the instep) ouch. And with 3 children under the age of 4 to look after (youngest being only 9 weeks) this has really been a huge inconvenience! My leg is in plaster for the next 5 weeks minimum, I have to use crutches and have been told this could lead to permenant damage :-(

I have been asked by a number of family members if I have considered making a claim against the home owner as he had just had the driveway of the property resurfaced and when we went to view the property he made a ramp across the drive with an old door so we didn't have to cross the wet cement. It was off this 'ramp' that I fell.

I'm not sure if I can make a claim or what the process would be here. If anyone has any suggestions I'd be really grateful to hear.

neolara Mon 15-Aug-11 15:27:05

Why do you think you can make a claim? Why was it the home owners fault instead of your own fault?

lozzyblue Mon 15-Aug-11 15:32:42

I'm not sure if I can make a claim. That was why I posted.

I've been asked if I have considered making a claim by family as they feel it was wrong to have people walking over a make shift ramp. I am however aware that I was not forced across it!

Please don't attack me for asking a question. I was hoping for some input such as yes you may have a case - you would need to contact x, or no you would have no case - you chose to walk and you fell!


belgo Mon 15-Aug-11 15:35:11

Sorry to hear about your injury. Do you or your dh work in Belgium? I assume you have full medical insurance? Is there anyone from your or his work that could advice you on legal matters?

Do you honestly believe that the home owner was at fault, or was it a simple accident? Belgium in general does not have the same culture of 'suing' that the USA and the UK have (thank God).

belgo Mon 15-Aug-11 15:39:14

Do you belong to BCT? I am checking their website now to see if they have any information on legal matters.

belgo Mon 15-Aug-11 15:51:28

I do know that some of these houses to rent in Belgium can be in an atrocious state. It seems reasonable to me to cover wet cement with a ramp, but the question is, how stable was the ramp? Did you fall because the ramp collapsed suddenly?

Did you take any photos?

ragged Mon 15-Aug-11 16:02:16

Pursuing a claim is likely to be hugely stressful.
fwiw, my dad fell & slipped in an Italian hotel room, breaking his arm in 3 places, causing enormous pain for weeks afterwards, much income loss, & a huge amount of stress. He considers it the fault of the hotel room for having such slippery flooring but & he does not plan to sue. We are American, and my dad used to be a lawyer, too! But it's simply not worth the hassle. I'm sure you'd have to get Belgian lawyer to advise you.

lozzyblue Mon 15-Aug-11 16:20:26

Thank you for your kind replies. It wasn't particularly stable - was just an old door balanced on a neighbouring low wall but to be honest it didn't collapse. I just lost my footing on a wobbly door I guess. Sounds like would be very stressful and I'm trying to keep calm as I can with everything else on my plate. We do have health insurance thank goodness - I'm just feeling a little sorry for myself! sadblush

belgo Mon 15-Aug-11 16:47:17

I recommend you join BCT for support, they have coffee mornings and nights out and they provide vital support for expats (mainly english speaking)with young children in Belgium.

Look out for Belgian mumsnetters threads as wellsmile

lozzyblue Mon 15-Aug-11 18:56:08

Thank you! smile

sneezecakesmum Mon 15-Aug-11 19:08:47

I really don't know anything about belgium law and cant imagine anyone here does so you will have to consult a lawyer in belgium,

What I do know is that homeowners liability makes them liable for any accidents on their property which are the result of negligence. It WAS negligent to ask to to step on an unsafe wonky door to go across the wet cement causing your injury. In this country he would have to claim off his house insurance policy. Or you take him to a small claims court. Whatever - he is liable here.

We were doing this in our GCSE and I was shock to learn if a fireman injures himself putting out a blaze in your property because you let a chip pan fire start negligently then you can be sued (your insurance company actually) but its true unless they changed the law!

belgo Mon 15-Aug-11 19:22:56

Yes if you are facing permanent injury it is worth contacting a lawyer.

In Belgium home owners are liable for injuries in their house and outside of their home as well, which means keeping the pavement safe (ie. de-icing it in the winter) but in practise I don't know how easy it is to get compensation.

beck79 Wed 17-Aug-11 15:41:31

Where were you domiciled at the time of the accident: ie which country were you actually living in at the time of the accident? England or Belgium?

lozzyblue Sat 20-Aug-11 11:34:37

Hi beck79, only just saw your reply. We had just relocated to Belgium, living in temp accomodation provided by my husbands employer.

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