Friday 13th - safer at home?
The origin of the superstition that Friday the 13th is unlucky, is unclear. One suggestion is that it dates back to 1307 when King Philip of France ordered the arrest of the Knight Templar Leaders, which then led to the torture and execution of Templars in other European countries. However it originated, it has survived to this day. Which is why you will sometimes hear people say that they choose to stay at home on Friday the 13th, rather than face the possibility of something bad happening to them. It may come as a surprise then to learn that you do not even need to leave your own home to be at risk of injury. An NHS study which looked at a hospital in Oxford, reported that between the 1st January 2012 and the 13th August 2013, of the 26,310 patients they treated in A&E, 10,949 were injured in the home, 6,602 during leisure activities, 4,020 on the roads, 2,620 pupils at school and only 2,119 in the workplace.
The recent case of Pollock –v- Cahill decided in the High Court, concerned a claim for damages for personal injury by a man who had fallen, whilst in the Defendant’s property, and suffered very serious injuries, leaving him paraplegic. Liability was in dispute. The facts of the case were that the Defendant had left open the window, to air the room where the Claimant was staying. It was understood that the Claimant then fell through the open window, whilst trying to find the bathroom, in the middle of the night. Ordinarily, this case may not have succeeded, but a very important aspect was that the Claimant was in fact blind. The Defendant had created a risk to him and had not warned him about the risk. Due to the devastating impact of the injuries sustained, to a Claimant who has already living with the challenges of being blind, the settlement was in excess of two million pounds.
These are obviously very exceptional facts, and an extreme case of danger in the home. But the statistics for where accidents occur make interesting reading, particularly if you were one of those who believed that you were safer indoors.
The next Friday the 13th falls on 13th November 2015…………………………………..