Accidents in a public place claims

This refers to injuries caused by slipping or tripping over an object in a public space or being struck by an object. An example of this is falling over a broken step or paving stone which then causes an injury.

Many people recover from their injury but there are others who find that they have developed a long term disability which then impacts upon many areas of their life.

The physical aspect of the injury is pain, discomfort plus psychological distress. But it has other consequences as well such as financial stress caused by having to take time off work which results in a loss of earnings.

If you sustain an injury in a public property such as a restaurant or pub then the responsibility for your accident will rest with the owner or local authority. They have a duty of care to ensure that the general public are protected against accidents and that steps have been taken to minimise this risk.

But if that duty has failed or was substandard in any shape or form then there may be grounds for a compensation claim.

The onus is on you to prove that your injury was not your fault and has been caused by someone else’s negligence.

Most common types of accidents in public places

These include slips, trips and falls in the following public places:

  • Supermarkets*
  • Pubs
  • Nightclubs
  • Shops
  • Cafes
  • Restaurants

These are some of the most common places for accidents.

*Supermarkets are dealt separately in our shopping centre and supermarket accident claims section.

It is easy to assume that a slip, trip or fall is due to simple carelessness or if it occurs outside a pub, as a result of excess alcohol. But this is not always the case.

Accidents do happen but there are many situations in which someone has a fall due to a lack of care and attention by someone else.

An example of this is someone tripping on a broken step outside a pub or restaurant. Whilst it is tempting to think that this is caused by too much alcohol in many cases this is simply not true. These accidents have occurred when the person is sober and due to another persons’ negligence.

There are occasions when any of us slips or trips over something which is our fault and something that we recover from very quickly. But the fact remains that there are situations where people sustain an injury which is not their fault due to a lack of awareness by other people.

If you do have the misfortune to become injured from a slip, trip or fall in a public space then make a note of your accident; take a photograph of the place where it happened, e.g. broken paving stone; and obtain names and addresses of any witnesses.

These will all help when making a claim for compensation.

Making a claim for compensation for an injury in a public place

Look for a personal injury lawyer, solicitor or claims management company who have experience in these types of claims. Ideally, they will have handled numerous claims such as these and can advise you accordingly.

They will be able to tell if you have a strong case for compensation –if negligence can be proved, and what the possible outcome will be.

A personal injury can have a devastating impact upon you and your family. Your injury may be serious enough to prevent you from working which then affects your income level. A loss of earnings and pension rights causes stress for not only you but your family as well and may result in financial hardship.

If your claim is successful then the payout will help to ease any financial difficulties. It can pay for any rehabilitation you may need, medication, specialist aids plus any additional expenses, e.g. taxi fares to hospital.

For more information about the claims process, visit our making a claim for compensation section.

Time limit for claiming compensation for an injury in a public place

Find a lawyer or solicitor as soon as possible as there are strict time limits in regard to personal injury claims.

There is usually a 3 year time limit from the date of the accident, injury or diagnosed illness. But, this does vary in certain types of claims.

Your personal injury solicitor or lawyer will advise you about the time limit and your claim in general.

Personal Injury Guide

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