Fall on station platform can a lawyer help?


Before Christmas my husband fell on our station platform in a crowd rush to catch a train which had come in on the "wrong" platform (not the one normal or announced), several trains already cancelled or delayed. He was hurt and so couldn't travel. He is facing several weeks without proper use of his arm (dislocated shoulder, severe rotator cuff injury). Long story short, a No Win No Fee lawyer known to a friend, said that the case wasn't strong enough for them to take on (of course we requested the CCTV footage, and alas it wasn't working that day, apparently) but we might find a company that specialised in "slips and trips".  He can work (freelancer) but not his normal hours.

And the train company, which runs both the trains and the station, has not even refunded his ticket yet!  We seem to be blocked in all directions.

Any advice from experience? Is this just too fragile to get involved with, or is there some course we can take? AFAE, there seems to be nobody we can complain to about the train company, except the train company.

Thanks for any advice
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  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,740
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    Crater said:
    AFAE, there seems to be nobody we can complain to about the train company, except the train company.
    There's a rail ombudsman to whom complaints can be escalated:

    https://www.orr.gov.uk/contact-us/help-passengers/making-complaint-about-your-train-company

    I can't see any basis for holding the train company liable for a fall, but if his ticket was refundable then they should repay a valid claim on that front....
  • swingaloo
    swingaloo Posts: 2,637
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    Need to write this off to experience I'm afraid. You would have to prove negligence on the part of the train company to have any kind of case against them. Changing platforms is not negligence.
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 71,829
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    edited 24 January at 5:29PM
    I'm sorry to hear about your husband and hope he recovers soon.

    Unfortunately an accident is sometimes just that , 'an accident' and blame can't be laid on a third party. There would need to be some sort of negligence on the part of the person or business being claimed against, and unfortunately I suspect a crush and a rush on a platform is going to be difficult to turn into negligence.

    As others have said if a NWNF organisation say they don't want it, then I suspect you will struggle to find someone who will take it- without wanting buckets of money up front to cover their costs if they lose. 
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  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,572
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    As someone who once got bowled over while coming down a fight of overpass steps by someone dashing to catch a train about to leave, I have sympathy,  but agree with the others that I can't see the rail company as being at fault here. 
  • MeteredOut
    MeteredOut Posts: 1,055
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    Where there's a train, there's a claim.
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,670
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    edited 24 January at 5:45PM
    As above, I agree that for a claim in negligence you need to show that a duty of care existed and that it was breached, and that is just not the case here.

    The rail ombudsman covers many but not all transport systems. It calls those it covers Participating Service Providers

    I note that you emphasise 'the train company, which runs both the trains and the station...' 

    In the case of main line trains Network Rail runs the stations, track, etc. but the various train companies run the trains, so can we assume the ticket was for a different transport system such as Glasgow Subway? 
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,740
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    Alderbank said:
    I note that you emphasise 'the train company, which runs both the trains and the station...' 

    In the case of main line trains Network Rail runs the stations, track, etc. but the various train companies run the trains, so can we assume the ticket was for a different transport system such as Glasgow Subway? 
    Network Rail owns most stations but only actually runs twenty of them, the others being managed by the train operating companies:

    https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/passengers/our-stations/
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 8,852
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    Crater said:

    Before Christmas my husband fell on our station platform in a crowd rush to catch a train which had come in on the "wrong" platform (not the one normal or announced), several trains already cancelled or delayed. He was hurt and so couldn't travel. He is facing several weeks without proper use of his arm (dislocated shoulder, severe rotator cuff injury). Long story short, a No Win No Fee lawyer known to a friend, said that the case wasn't strong enough for them to take on (of course we requested the CCTV footage, and alas it wasn't working that day, apparently) but we might find a company that specialised in "slips and trips".  He can work (freelancer) but not his normal hours.

    And the train company, which runs both the trains and the station, has not even refunded his ticket yet!  We seem to be blocked in all directions.

    Any advice from experience? Is this just too fragile to get involved with, or is there some course we can take? AFAE, there seems to be nobody we can complain to about the train company, except the train company.
    Why do you feel that the rail company caused him to fall? Did he trip on uneven surface? Was grip tape missing from the edge of steps? or is purely because he was rushing?

    The "lawyer" you spoke to, what is their speciality?

    In most cases conditional funding agreements (aka no win, no fee) involve buying ATE insurance which requires the solicitor to attest to the fact they are 51% or more confident of winning. If they can't then there is no ATE and with no ATE you're exposed to defence costs and disbursements. 

    Do you have Legal Expenses insurance anywhere? Many have it on their Home insurance or may get it as being part of a Union. 

    Without knowing your allegations of negligence on the surface it sounds like a simple slip which you cannot pin on the rail company simply because the train came into the wrong platform.
  • billy2shots
    billy2shots Posts: 1,122
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    Break this down.

    The train arrived at a different platform than it was supposed to due to various possible reasons.

    Does that warrant compensation?


    Next

    Your husband falls over with people around him. You say people were rushing and did not mention any physical contact.

    Does that warrant compensation?

    Even with physical contact, what on earth does that have to do with the train company?

    Really sorry your husband fell over, but taking the time to contact solicitors,  requesting cctv etc. Well the mind boggles really!!!


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