Direct Line Home Insurance: Legal problems & your rights

This information is provided for your assistance only and does not offer a definitive statement of the law.

Personal Injury

Q. Recently while shopping in a large department store I slipped on a wet floor. There were no warning signs and I fell awkwardly breaking my ankle. I have been off work since and I am still receiving outpatient treatment. The store manager sent me a bunch of flowers but I am losing wages. Can I claim compensation?

A. As a lawful visitor, the store owes you a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety. It appears that this duty has been breached by failing to warn shoppers of the wet area or by swiftly cleaning up the mess. As your injuries were suffered as a direct result of the breach, you have a potential claim for damages.


Q. I bought a computer two days ago to help my daughter with her GCSE’s. The computer keeps crashing, I cannot open the DVD drive and the helpdesk is always engaged. The shop manager is refusing to replace the computer. What are my legal rights?

A. It appears that your computer is not of satisfactory quality nor fit for its purpose. The shop that sold you the computer is therefore in breach of the Sales of Goods Act 1979. When such a breach occurs soon after purchase, you have a short time to reject the computer and obtain a refund. After this time has elapsed, you will be entitled to a reasonable repair, a replacement of the computer or a partial refund at the discretion of the shop.

Unless you really want a replacement, you should reject the computer, return it to the shop immediately and request a full refund.


Q. 'I am in dispute with my neighbour over the position of the boundary wall separating our properties. He is insisting he is entitled to an extra foot of my land. We have not spoken for several months after falling out over car parking spaces. If he moves the boundary wall and encroaches on my land what steps can I take?
A. It will be necessary to establish who owns the disputed land. Check your legal documents relating to your property firstly. If you have registered land you can obtain a copy of the Title Certificate and filed plan from the Land Registry. If the land is unregistered you will need to refer to your conveyancing deeds which if you have a mortgage, will be with your lender. Clear evidence in legal documents is normally conclusive as to the boundary. If there is no clear evidence you will need to look at all other facts to see if evidence can be established by different means, such as where existing boundaries are and how long they have been there. If your neighbour attempts to move the boundary without your permission you can apply to court for a declaration of the true boundary and require he removes any trespassing wall.


Q. After working for my employers for the last 5 years I was called into my boss’s office yesterday and dismissed. No explanation was given. After being treated so badly I feel that I must take action. I believe, if you have over one year’s service you can claim unfair dismissal, is this correct?

A. In your circumstances you are correct. Irrespective of your employers reason for your dismissal, it appears that they have not followed statutory procedures they are required to follow in relation to disciplinary and dismissal situations, potentially making your dismissal automatically unfair. You have a right to bring an unfair dismissal claim to an Employment Tribunal. However you should first write to your employers quickly and appeal the decision to dismiss you on-the-spot.
The information in this article is intended to provide you with general information only. You should seek detailed legal advice for individual cases. The information given is based on the laws of England and Wales.
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Link to previous articles : Direct Line Home Insurance: Family legal protection
Direct line Home Insurance Claims FAQ
Direct Line Home Insurance: Insurance claim
Direct Line Home Insurance: Summary of cover
Direct Line Home Insurance: Insurance claim
Direct Line Home Insurance Overview
Directline Car Insurance: Legal Protection


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