Public liability accidents are very common in the UK and are most often related to slips, trips and falls in public places such as high streets, shopping centres, supermarkets, hospitals and schools. These accidents usually lead to head injuries, broken bones and back injuries but can in the worst cases result in paralysis and death. If you have previously suffered an accident in a public place you could be entitled to compensation, read on to find out more.
What To Do
If you’ve been in an accident in a public place you should do the following;
- Take note of details of the accident.
Where did the accident happen? Take the name of the place and its address. What exactly happened to cause the accident?
- Gather evidence at the scene.
Take photos of the scene and if the accident was caused by a defect (e.g. a damaged paving stone) or foreign object (spilled liquid), make sure to note details and take close up photos
- Ask for the accident to be reported.
Ask to speak to a senior member of staff like a store manager or hospital administrator. Ask them to record the incident in their accident book and take the persons name and contact details for future use.
- Ask for witness contact details.
If there were any witnesses to the accident as them for their name, number and address. A statement from an independent witness can be very useful in proving your claim.
- Visit a doctor.
If you have been injured in the accident, it is important to visit a doctor so there is a medical report than can be used in during the claims process.
After seeking medical attention the next step is to speak to a reputable specialist personal injury lawyer. The first thing they will ascertain is who is liable for a claim based on where the accident occurred. If your accident is caused by paving stones, the local council could be liable. If the incident occurs in a hotel, supermarket or dentist clinic, the owner of the premises will be liable.
Public liability compensation claims are more complex than other personal injury claims such as road traffic accidents and work place accidents. Collecting evidence is difficult and it can be hard to determine who to make a claim against in some cases. We highly recommend speaking to a specialist solicitor who will help you assess your case. Important information to provide them with will include;
- What kind of accident was it?
- Where did it take place?
- Was the defect reported to the liable 3rd party?
- If a slip or fall, what footwear were you wearing at the time?
- What were the weather conditions like?
The amount of compensation you can claim depends on the seriousness of your injuries (this is why a medical report is vital). The compensation is intended to provide financial support for any area of your life that has been affected by the accident, including covering the cost of any required medical services and replacing income lost as a result of the accident. The damages awarded in public liability cases usually range between £1,000 and £200,000.