Accidents in a public place. What to do.

Taking your children to the local park, Walking to your local shop or simply crossing the road may seem like a normal every day task with minimal risk. These are all simple things we may take for granted. You could be the most careful person on the planet but through no fault of your own end up the victim through someone else’s negligence.

Your local highway authority or the owner of a public place is legally responsible for the maintenance of their building or road. If you sustain injuries whilst lawfully visiting the premises of an occupier and those injuries are caused by the occupier’s negligence, or breach of duty, you may be able to claim compensation. Premises include

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Cinemas
  • Pubs/ bars
  • Shops
  • Petrol stations
  • Hospitals
  • Banks
  • And the homes of individuals, just to name a few.

Most common accidents that occur might involve slipping on wet floors, tripping over obstructions or defective floors. Occupiers have a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the reasonable safety of any lawful visitors using the premises for the purposes for which the visitor is permitted to be there under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 or even owe a duty to unlawful visitors under the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 which extended the duty of care to trespassers

Not only can a slip, trip, or fall in a public place be embarrassing, it can cause painful injuries and even lasting damage. Let alone any financial losses such as Loss of earnings, Medical expenses, Travel expenses,   Specialist rehabilitation.

In order to have a successful occupiers or public liability claim it is important to have evidence to prove the premises or highway was unsafe and that a risk of accident was foreseeable.

If you ever find yourself in the situation where you have been involved in an unfortunate accident of this kind you should:

  • Immediately see if there are any witnesses around that have just witnesses your incident or witness who can comment how long the defect has been in that state.
  • Report the incident straight away to the public building owner / manager or local highway authority
  • Take photographs of the defect in question. If possible include a guide of measure such as a ruler in the photo.

Take photographs of the defect including the surrounding area

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