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Hello, this is Jim and I am a dual-qualified lawyer (UK and Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you this evening.
She has a potential claim and ideally there would be an insurer to claim against. I do not know if she took out any? If not then she has to prove her claim and cite a breach of the Occupier's Liability Act 1957 (in failing to repair and maintain the property) she has to prove the cupboard was in a dangerous condition and the accident was reasonably foreseeable.
She has a 51% burden of proof to overcome to establish negligence on your part - she would need an expert witness report to support her claim. You could also obtain your own report if you did not agree to hers (if indeed she actually makes a claim against you) - one possible defence would be that this accident was too remote to establish liability (i.e. not reasonably foreseeable) and that this was a pure accident. If she goes to a no win no fee lawyer, that lawyer will want to know if you have insurance - so that the insurer can meet a claim for not just compensation but also legal costs. If you tell them no insurance - they will reassess the claim as the prospects of recovering compensation and costs from you personally diminish. Her claim is probably worth less than £15,000 (for injuries excluding lost earnings) based on a broken nose, fractured wrist, etc. I do not know if the cupboard fell off or she pulled it - you would need to establish exactly what happened. If the latter then I would be defending the claim. But to answer your question regarding whether she has a claim, the answer is potentially yes - but she has to prove it not only from a liability standpoint but also her injuries have to be proven in medical evidence too. Finally, check her social media posts if you can - see if she has put anything on there (you would be surprised at the stuff claimants do post - which can harm their claim if they put anything on there which casts doubt over their credibility).
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Thanks, she has likely spoken to the ex partner anyway, sadly we live in a litigious society.
She has to prove the cupboards were in a poor state and dangerous - you may well receive a letter of claim from a lawyer to allege negligence and to ask for details of your insurers. You should respond to their letter - this then buys you 3 months to confirm your liability decision (by law). She could pursue the builder and indeed you should provide the builder's details to her so she can pursue them and not yourself.
If/when you receive a letter of claim, you should reply within 21 days. If you want to come back to this site I can guide you on responding to it. Just don't admit liability to her (if she contacts you) or in writing either. Keep the powder dry for now.
OK, one thing you can do is if they sue you, you can counter claim against the builder.
Ideally they sue the builder and bypass yourself. Another scenario is both of you are sued (two defendants) but the builder is likely to be liable here - they should have performed the work with reasonable care and skill.
I would make great play (in reply to the claimant) that the builder was at fault and the kitchen fitters confirmed this too - then provide her with the builder's details.
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Hi there, that reply is fine and comes across well. I would send it on to them. I would also recommend you furnish the builder's details to them too - they will be keen to start a claim from the tone of their email to you so if you have the details handy then so much the better.