Claiming Compensation Boils Down To Accurate Records

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Following the recent contamination crisis in Lancashire businesses are urged to keep full and accurate records of losses suffered to make the process of claiming compensation as smooth as possible.

The boil water notice, affecting thousands of households and businesses, has been in place since early August following traces of the cryptosporidium parasite being found at a water treatment plant near Preston.

Whilst households have been boiling water and using bottled water as a substitute this often isn’t practical for businesses for who the contamination has seriously affected their trade. Stories have been circulating about swimming pools being forced to close and hotels losing bookings as a direct result of the outbreak.  Small businesses, particularly in the catering and hospitality industries have, in some cases been unable to trade at all during this period, due to health and safety restrictions and it being uneconomic.

Business affected by the unprecedented crisis are expected to make claims for compensation running into tens of thousands of pounds for lost revenue. The process will be made easier where businesses have full and accurate records of any losses suffered, ensuring that all supporting evidence is retained. It may also help those affected to keep a diary of the steps taken, the reasons why and any attempts to minimise losses going forward. The better the record kept of losses, the more likely businesses are to maximise the compensation available.  It may be prudent in cases where significant indirect losses have been suffered, to take legal advice as to how best to obtain compensation from United Utilities.

Whilst direct losses such as the cost of buying in bottled water may be fairly easily recovered, the normal contractual or common law principles will apply to the more ‘indirect’ losses that businesses may suffer, such as a fall in revenue due to lower bookings or indeed the closure of some or all of the business.  These may be more difficult and complex to quantify as it will be necessary to show a link between the contamination scare and the indirect losses suffered.

United Utilities have acknowledged they have an obligation to compensate businesses in the aftermath of the contamination and this will be done on a case by case basis. It is unclear how United Utilities will approach these claims for compensation but certain aspects of the claims may be complicated to quantify or prove.

Forbes’ dedicated Dispute Resolution Team can represent businesses in relation to these potential claims, not merely processing claims but analysing, advising and guiding clients through the whole process.

What’s more, a range of funding options will be available, including ‘no win, no fee’ type agreements, to ensure client’s need pay nothing towards costs until the claim is finalised.  Forbes’ high quality and experienced legal professionals can provide businesses with the necessary expertise to maximise potential recovery.

Contact Tom Smith on 0800 689 0831 or make an enquiry here for a no obligation review of your potential claim

Tom Smith

About Tom Smith

Tom is a Partner and Head of the Dispute Resolution Department at Forbes Solicitors. Tom’s blogs cover his specialisms of business disputes involving commercial contracts, shareholders, partnerships, share sales and warranties, banking issues, restrictive covenants and professional negligence.
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