Bizarre accidents

The Most Bizarre Accidents from way back when...

We've taken a trip down memory lane to look at some historical personal accident claims dating back to Victorian times and they are very bizarre to say the least...

If you thought claiming for personal injury began when those TV ads graced our screens depicting banana-slipping and ladder-falling workplace accidents, then you're sadly mistaken.


Blind Man’s Bluff was a popular game in the 1800s, unfortunately for a grocer from Lancashire, it wasn’t his lucky day when he slipped over mid-game.

£15 paid out in 1878
Today's equivalent: £1,111

Blind mans bluff



An innkeeper from Handsworth, Birmingham, mistook a poisonous potion for a sleeping medicine, and it's safe to say that he probably didn't get a good night's sleep after that...

£1,000 paid out in 1878
Today's equivalent: £89,070



A pharmacist from Dublin had hoped for a relaxing Turkish bath but unfortunately slipped on the steps.

£33 paid out in 1885
Today's equivalent: £3,271

Slip on steps




That old saying your grandmother would use when it's windy: "Mind you're not blown away, dear" rung true for a poor Artist from Swansea who was blown down by a gust of wind.

£30 paid out in 1886
Today's equivalent: £2,999



Rats are not fun at the best of times, so being bitten by a rat in the Victorian times was not ideal and an unfortunate farmer from Sudbury found out the hard way.

£132 paid out in 1887
Today's equivalent: £13,470

Bitten by rat


Missed his seat

A tailor from Launceston, Cornwall, only wanted to sit down, but unfortunately missed his seat and sustained an injury as a result.

£58 paid out in 1887
Today's equivalent: £5,919



Everyone loves a good wedding, and confetti-throwing (well, rice in this case as that was the tradition in Victorian times because it was considered a 'life-giving' seed) is a tradition, but it didn't go down too well for a merchant from Essex who injured his eye when he threw some rice in celebration.

£50 paid out in 1892
Today's equivalent: £4,990

Rice in the eye


Catching wife


A merchant from Glasgow attempted to help his wife who had fainted by jumping out of bed to catch her, but it didn't end too well as the husband injured himself in doing so.

£42 paid out in 1895
Today's equivalent: £4,452



It happens; that moment you're tucking into a delicious meal and ugh, you choke. So when a shipbuilder from Great Yarmouth swallowed a fish bone, he was having none of it.

£1,000 paid out in 1900
Today's equivalent: £99,300

Choke on meal


Watch your head


It's human nature to be intrigued, but when a travelling salesman from Belfast was too engrossed watching an accident from the top of a tram, he had a little accident of his own and hit his head on a pole. Oops!

£7 paid out in 1904
Today's equivalent: £692.10

Source: Research Archive from Aviva Insurance in 2011