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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12088
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am a self employed electrician and done some electrical

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Hi. I am a self employed electrician and done some electrical work for a limited company in a small wooden summer house. Now I have been informed that there has been a fire and the client s insurance company states that the cause might be electric and that further tests will take place. I do not have insurance and also I signed no contract with any of them for the works. I would like to know in what position am I in?
Assistant: Where are you located? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: London uk
Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: At the moment there are talks between the insurance companies. Client` s and the other to Ltd companies involved
Assistant: Anything else you want the solicitor to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not really

Thanks for your question. In order to hold you responsible, they would have to prove that you were negligent in the installation and that your negligence caused the fire. So questions such as how long ago the installation was done, was it altered or tampered with in any way, was it damaged, was there a faulty component that no one including you knew about are all relevant. The insurance company will usually put in a foresnsic investigator specialised in establishing the cause of a fire. As you are not insured this could be very difficult for you if they find that you were in some way to blame. The fact that you had no written contract will not help you. No written contract is needed. You perhaps want to instruct your own expert to carry out investigations on your behalf given the importance of this to you. I had a similar situation where a house burnt down and my client electrician was accused of negligence. He put in his own expert and it transpired that the component was faulty and that is something that no one would have known about and the manufacturer was ultimately found liable and not my client. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.

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Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Hi. In the event that the investigation shows I am at fault, can they force me to pay? ( I can afford to pay meaning I will loose all my lifetime savings, as the damage will be in excess of 50k). Can I be sent to prison for not paying? The installation is 1 year old and only the owner knows if it have been tampered with. Although the investigation didn’t start they are very quick in saying that the couse of fire is electricity which makes me feel the insurance company wants just to blame someone.

You can’t be sent to prison for this but if it found to be your fault then they can pursue you for the cost of the damages. That is why I suggest you instruct your own expert immediately so that the insurer can’t just make assumptions and lay the blame on you.