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Public liability claims

If you’ve had an accident in a public place and suffered injuries that weren’t your fault, you may be able to make a public liability compensation claim.

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Key points for making an injury claim

The most important things to remember when claiming for injuries caused by an accident in a public place:

  • You can start a public liability compensation claim if you’ve been injured in an accident in public that wasn’t your fault, and you can prove that someone else’s negligence caused the accident
  • Compensation amounts for injuries sustained in a public place will depend on the part of your body you have injured, the severity of your injuries and the effect they have had on your life
  • In most cases, you have up to three years from the accident date or the date a medical professional diagnosed your injuries

What is a public liability claim?

A public liability claim is a type of personal injury claim that can be made if someone is injured in a public place through no fault of their own. In most cases, you have three years to start your claim.

The most common types of public liability compensation claims are slips, trips or falls in public places such as shops, supermarkets, restaurants, bars, parks or uneven pavements.

The claim is brought against the person or company responsible for your safety. Depending on where in public your accident occurred, this could be the local council or a company.

At Express Solicitors, we understand the considerable impact an accident in a public place can have on you and your family.

Our experienced no win no fee solicitors have a distinguished track record of recovering the maximum compensation you are legally entitled to.

When can I make a public liability claim?

You can start a public liability compensation claim if you’ve been injured in an accident in public that wasn’t your fault, and you can prove that someone else’s negligence caused the accident.

In some cases, claims can be made even if the other party involved were only partly responsible.

Claims can be made for accidents and injuries in any public place, including, but not limited to:

  • Public places such as pavements, paths, walkways, roads, and parks
  • Shopping centres and individual shops
  • Supermarkets, including accidents in the car park
  • Restaurants, pubs, bars, and nightclubs
  • Gyms, sports venues

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  • Over 1,000 years of combined legal expertise
  • We’ll get you more compensation than anyone else
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Our specialist public liability claim solicitors have extensive experience helping people claim compensation for injuries suffered from accidents in public places.

The most common types of public liability claims involve injuries caused by the following examples of negligence by those legally responsible to keep you safe.

  • Slips, trips or falls caused by poorly maintained paths, walkways, roadways or pavements, including broken, cracked or uneven paving stones
  • Slips, trips or falls on an uneven surface
  • Slips, trips or falls on a wet floor
  • Slips, trips or falls on an icy surface
  • Slips, trips or falls caused by insufficient lighting
  • Slips, trips or falls caused by spillages on the floor
  • Slips, trips or falls caused by broken glass or other debris on the floor
  • Slips, trips or falls on uneven steps, poorly maintained staircases, and handrails
  • Accidents on escalators or lifts
  • Injuries suffered from falling objects falling from height
  • Burns from spilt food or drink in restaurants or coffee shops
  • Accidents in the park or park playground

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We have recovered an additional £21.2m more in compensation for clients who switched to us from their previous firm.

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How much compensation can I claim for being injured in a public place?

Compensation amounts for injuries sustained in a public place will depend on the part of your body you have injured, the severity of your injuries and the effect they have had on your life.

How is public liability compensation calculated?

Compensation amounts for injuries suffered from an accident in a public place are calculated by combining the compensation you may be legally entitled to for both general and special damages.

General damages amounts relate to the severity of your injuries, while special damages relate to the effects the injuries may have on your life.

The Judicial College Guidelines from the Ministry of Justice provide guidance on the amount of compensation you can claim for general damages. These amounts relate to the part of the body injured, how severe the injury is, and if any ongoing symptoms may develop.

Public liability compensation claims calculator

Our public liability injury claims calculator below will give you an approximate amount of compensation you may be able to claim if you’ve been injured in a public place through someone else’s negligence.

The calculator considers the part of your body you have injured and the severity of your injuries and provides an approximate level of compensation based on recent case law and the Judicial College Guidelines.

Alternatively, see our table of public liability accident and injury compensation amounts at the bottom of this page or try our compensation claim calculator to find out how much you may be able to claim.

Find out how much you could claim

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Compensation amounts are estimated based on the level of injury below

In addition to the amount you may be able to receive for your injuries, known as “general damages”, you can also claim for “special damages.”

Compensation for Special damages can be claimed to cover expenses you may have already incurred or will incur because of your injury.

Compensation could be claimed for expenses that may include, but would not be limited to;

  • The pain, suffering and the impact your injury may have on your life
  • For loss of income and the loss of potential future earnings
  • Medical expenses for ongoing care, rehabilitation
  • Compensation for PTSD or other psychological injuries you may suffer from as a result of your injuries, such as depression and anxiety
  • Any costs associated with your rehabilitation or ongoing medical treatment
  • Any costs related to adaptations you may need to make to your home
  • Any costs for the care you may have or will need to receive, even if a family member or friend provides this
  • Any out-of-pocket expenses you or anyone who has cared for you may have incurred

Our specialist public liability solicitors recognise that no amount of money can make up for what you may have suffered, so we take the utmost consideration into ensuring you are compensated correctly in relation to the severity of your injuries, the effects the injury has had on your life, loss of earnings and changes to your lifestyle.

Why should you choose us?

100% No-Win-No-Fee

Contact us with the comfort of knowing you’ll never be at financial risk when you claim with us. We cover all legal costs, never charge upfront fees, and we only get paid if you do.

Advanced payments available

We understand how an accident can affect your financial position. We always look to collect an early compensation (interim) payment where possible.

We can take over your case

With legal specialists for every type of accident claim, we can take over your claim at any stage from another solicitors. We take pride in winning cases other firms turn down.

What is the time limit for making a public liability injury compensation claim?

You have up to three years from the accident date or the date a medical professional diagnosed your injuries. However, there are some exceptions to the three-year statute of limitation.

The three-year time limit does not apply if the injured person is mentally incapacitated. It will only begin if they regain mental capacity.

If claiming for a child, you can make a claim anytime until their 21st birthday.

We recommend you start your public liability claim as soon after your accident as possible, as we have the best chance of collecting all the evidence we need to mount the strongest case.

Can I make a no win no fee public liability claim?

Yes. Our public liability injury compensation claims are provided on a no win, no fee basis.

No win no fee agreements are also known as Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA). This agreement means that there is only a fee on the condition that your claim is successful. The fee amount will be agreed upon when you enter into the agreement at the start of the claim process.

It means you are safe to pursue a compensation claim, knowing you have no financial risk if it’s unsuccessful.

When a no win no fee agreement is set up, your solicitor will take an insurance policy out on your behalf. The policy covers any costs incurred relating to your claim. These costs could include legal fees, medical reports, court, and other expenses.

The insurance policy, known as after-the-event insurance, fully protects the person claiming if the claim is unsuccessful and from any costs during the compensation claim process, meaning you can make a claim without paying a penny.

What counts as a public place?

Knowing what counts as a public place can be confusing. According to UK law, it refers to a place where, at the time of an accident, “the public have or are permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise”.

Even if a place is a private property (like a supermarket or a cinema), if the public is allowed access to it, it is covered by the phrase ‘public place’.

This means that ‘public places’ can refer to many places:

  • Shops, supermarkets, hotels, cafés, museums, theatres, and cinemas
  • Public streets, footpaths, and parks
  • Public transport stations
  • Places of work – your employer is usually responsible for maintaining the space, though some responsibility may fall to the building owner

Rented accommodation is more complicated but is classed as a public place. However, responsibility for a building’s safety comes down to the landlord – with guidance found in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

As a rule, if you don’t own a place but are allowed to be there, it counts as a public place.

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What do I need to prove to claim compensation for an accident in a public place?

To help support your claim for compensation, we will need to build a case to prove that your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence.

When you contact us, You’ll receive free, unlimited legal advice, and we’ll ask you for some information about how your accident happened.

The more information you can provide, the better we can advise you of your rights and how much compensation you may be able to claim.

We may ask some of the following questions;

  • Where and when the accident took place
  • The injuries you’ve suffered as a result of the accident
  • Who may have been at fault for the accident
  • Any reports of the accident that were made
  • If you have any of the following (if applicable) witness statements, accident reports, photographs, police reports or CCTV of the accident scene
  • What medical treatment you’ve received, and when you received it
  • If you have medical reports
  • What injuries and pain you’ve suffered, and are still suffering
  • The amount of time you’ve had to take off work
  • The amount of loss of earnings you may have incurred
  • Any adaptations you’ve had to make to your daily life, home and routines

We understand the financial impact of an accident.

In 99% of cases, we recovered more compensation than the insurer’s first offer. We’ll provide financial security with our interim payments wherever possible, meaning you don’t need to rush into an offer that is lower than you’re legally entitled to.

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Who do I make a public liability injury compensation claim against?

Your public liability injury claim will be made against the insurance company of the organisation responsible for your accident, as it is a legal requirement for organisations to have specific liability insurance to cover situations when someone under their duty of care may be injured.

Such organisations may include:

  • The local council
  • The supermarket, shop or shopping centre where your accident took place
  • The restaurant, pub, bar or nightclub where you were injured

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, all councils, businesses and companies have a duty of care to take all reasonable steps to ensure that all individuals in their care are protected from harm.

If this duty of care is breached through negligence or a lack of action, and you have been injured, you may be eligible to start a public liability compensation claim.

How long does a public liability compensation claim take?

There is no set length of time for a public liability claim to be processed. On average, claims can take a few months to over a year, depending on how the injury occurred, how complex your claim is and how difficult it may be to prove liability.

How much personal injury compensation can I claim?

Can I make a public liability claim for an accident caused by uneven pavement?

Yes, you can make a claim against the local council if you’ve been injured after falling on uneven pavement if you can prove that the council’s negligence caused your accident.

Can I make a public liability claim for an accident in a supermarket?

Yes, you can claim if you’ve been injured in a supermarket through no fault of your own. To be successful, you would need to prove that the supermarket was negligent in their duty of care for you while you were on their premises.

Can I make a public liability claim for an accident in a shopping centre?

Yes, you can claim compensation if you’ve had a no-fault accident in a shopping centre caused by the centre’s negligence.

Shopping centres must comply with the Occupiers Liability Act 1957. This means your claim is not always against the shopping centre’s owner’s public liability insurance – it could be against an occupier’s insurance instead. For example, if the shopping centre owner employs a contractor to clean or perform maintenance, the contractor would be responsible for causing injury.

Can I make a public liability claim for an accident in a shop?

Yes, you can claim for compensation if you’ve been injured in a shop and the store’s negligence caused the injuries. Shops should have public liability insurance in place to compensate any members of the public injured on their premises.

Can I make a public liability claim for an accident in a restaurant?

Yes, you can start a compensation claim if you’ve suffered injuries in a restaurant caused by the restaurant’s negligence.

Can I make a public liability claim for an accident in a nightclub?

Yes, you can claim compensation if a nightclub has been negligent in their duty of care to you while attending their club, resulting in you being injured.

Can I make a public liability claim for an accident in a pub or bar?

Yes, similarly to other injuries suffered in other public places, you can claim compensation from a pub or bar if their negligence was the cause of your injuries.

The place where I was injured doesn’t have public liability insurance – can I still make a claim?

Yes, you still have a legal right to claim even if the party responsible for your injuries does not have public liability insurance.

Although most companies have it, public liability insurance is not compulsory under UK law. For cases against businesses without public liability insurance, the claim will be made directly against the business. Our experienced solicitors can explain your legal right if this is relevant to your claim.

Unlimited legal support.

That’s right, we provide unlimited legal support for our prospective clients. Not sure if you have a claim, or if you even want to make a claim?

You can speak with us for as long as you like and as many times as you like. We’ll let you know your legal rights, completely free of charge and with no obligation to make a claim.

Public liability accident and injury compensation claim amounts

Part of bodySeverity of injuryAmount of compensationTypes of injuries
HeadMinor£1,880.00 to £10,890.00Covers head injury with recovery within a few weeks. Higher compensation if symptoms include headaches.
HeadModerate£13,430.00 to £112,130.00Symptoms ranging from poor concentration, lower and higher risk of epileptic attacks, minor personality changes, depression, more severe intellectual impairment, or injuries/symptoms leading to a vegetative state.
HeadSerious£186,890.00 £240,590.00Covers reduced life expectancy, serious physical symptoms, serious changes to personality or intellect, large dependence on others due to paralysis or otherwise.
HeadSevere£240,590.00 to £344,640.00Covers minimally conscious state (life expectancy less than 15 years), severe disability, brain damage with little/no response, vegetative states needing full-time nursing.
EyeSevere£56,080.00to £229,260.00Complete blindness on one/both eyes or severe visual impairment on one/both eyes.
FaceMinor£1,460.00 to £7,460.00Light or no scarring on the face, but no fractures, loss/damage of one/two front teeth, simple fractures of the jaw or nose, but with a possibility of complete recovery.
FaceSerious£15,320.00 to £26,010.00More serious fractures such as a broken jaw or nose, breaking/damage/loss of several teeth.
FaceSevere£26,010.00 to £38,850.00Severe injuries resulting in facial disfigurement, several jaw fractures, chronic tooth pain, and scarring. May lead to eating restrictions or higher risk of joint arthritis. Covers negative effects on mental health.
Ear/ hearingMinorUp to £5,980.00Possible Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), slight/occasional tinnitus.
Ear/ hearingModerate£12,700.00 to £25,350.00Partial hearing loss or mild to severe tinnitus.
Ear/ hearingSerious£25,350.00 to £38,850.00Complete deafness in one ear. Severity varies based on additional symptoms (e.g. dizziness, tinnitus, etc.).
Ear/ hearingSevere£77,430.00 to £120,040.00Complete deafness in both ears. Higher compensation for child injuries also resulting in a loss of speech.

Public liability accident and injury compensation amounts for back, neck, shoulders and upper body injuries

Part of bodySeverity of injuryAmount of compensationTypes of injuries
NeckMinorUp to £6,680.00Soft tissue injuries or whiplash with recovery within 3 – 24 months. Compensation factors include severity of pain and amount of negative effects on everyday life.
NeckModerate£7,410.00 to £47,760.00Covers injuries that accelerated a pre-existing condition, disc lesions, cervical spondylosis, serious limitation of movement, permanent and/or recurring pain, all caused by fractures or dislocations.
NeckSevere£56,100.00 to £139,210.00Serious fractures, severe soft tissue damage, chronic pain conditions, disc damage, partial paraplegia, or significant, permanent disability.
BackMinor£2,090.00 to £10,670.00Includes lighter strains, sprains, disc prolapses, and soft tissue injuries. Recovery between 3 months and 5 years.
BackModerate£11,730.00 to £26,050.00Includes: spinal fusion, compressed or fractured lumbar spine (possibly resulting in higher risk of osteoarthritis and constant pain), prolapsed discs and other injuries that may require surgery and a continued acceleration/worsening of a pre-existing back condition.
BackSevere£36,390.00 to £151,070.00Typically requires surgery. Injuries include: damaged spinal cord and partial paralysis, psychological issues, loss of bladder and/or bowel function, disc lesions, impaired movement, arthritis, etc.
ShoulderMinorUp to £6,730.00Soft tissue injury resulting in pain. Full recovery between 3 – 24 months.
ShoulderSerious£10,890.00 to £16,380.00Fractured humerus, clavicle or rotator cuff needing surgery.
ShoulderSevere£16,380.00 to £40,970.00Significant disability caused by severe damage to the neck or brachial plexus.
Pelvis & hipsMinor£3,370.00 to £10,750.00Complete recovery after minor soft tissue injuries. Little or no disability within 2 years.
Pelvis & hipsModerate£10,750.00 to £33,430.00No serious disability, but covers injuries requiring hip operations, replacement of hips (or the need for either in the future).
Pelvis & hipsSevere£33,430.00 to £111,690.00Severe hip/pelvis fractures resulting in bowel damage or spinal fusion, childbirth complications, hip replacement, and/or leading to higher likelihood of future surgery.
Scarring (not facial)Minor£2,020.00 to £7,380.00One noticeable scar or several superficial, unsightly scars on the legs, arms, or hands.
Scarring (not facialModerateUp to £7,380.00Full recovery within 2 years, up to a partial recovery with symptoms that are not largely debilitating.
Scarring (not facialSevere£6,680.00 to £19,390.00Several noticeable laceration scars or a single disfiguring scar.

Public liability accident and injury compensation amounts for arm, hand, and finger injuries

Part of bodySeverity of injuryAmount of compensationTypes of injuries
ArmMild£5,630.00 to £16,380.00Fractured forearm.
ArmModerate£16,380.00 to £33,430.00Serious arm injury leading to long-lasting symptoms.
ArmSerious£33,430.00 to £111,690.00Serious injury resulting in an inability to use the arm(s) to some extent. Does not result in amputation.
ArmSevere£82,040.00 to £255,930.00Results may include the amputation of one/both arms. Compensation amount will depends on amputated area, whether phantom pain is experienced, and on other effects on the quality of life.
ElbowModerateUp to £10,750.00Includes: tennis elbow, deep cuts, simple fractures, no permanent damage.
ElbowSerious£13,360.00 to £27,320.00Results in restricted movement but does not require surgery or cause disability.
ElbowSevere£33,430.00 to £46,780.00Injury causes severe disability or requires surgery.
WristModerateUp to £8,740.00Uncomplicated Colles fracture or minor undisplaced fractures with recovery between 1 – 2 years. May include use of plasters.
WristSerious£10,750.00 to £20,900.00Soft tissue damage or broken wrist causing some permanent disability.
WristSevere£20,900.00to £51,070.00.Significant permanent disability or complete loss of wrist function.
HandMinorUp to £4,050.00Covers lacerations and crush injuries, and soft tissue injuries (recovery within 6 months).
HandModerate£4,780.00 to £11,330.00Covers penetrating wounds and crush injuries resulting in permanent but non-intrusive symptoms, or soft tissue damage and deeper cuts resulting in impairment of the hand (may require surgery).
HandSevere£24,740.00 to £171,920.00Covers amputation and rejoining of several fingers, resulting in a clawed, impaired, or unsightly hand, amputation of one/both hands (alternatively, amputation of several fingers rendering the hand almost useless).
FingerMinorUp to £4,055.00Includes: full-healed fractured finger bones (healed within 1 year) with/without minor scarring.
FingerModerate£3,370.00 to £5,000.00Includes: complete (or almost complete) recovery after broken finger, amputation or loss of a part of the little finger.
FingerSevere£10,380.00 to £31,350.00Includes: complete amputation of one/more fingers, fractures of the index finger. Compensation depends on level of disability and suffering.
ThumbMinorUp to £4,055.00Short-term, severe pain gone within 3 months.
ThumbModerate£3,370.00 to £10,750.00Covers fractures with recovery within 6 months, damage to nerves or tendons resulting in partial loss of sensation, and cosmetic thumb deformities.
ThumbSevere£10,750.00 to £46,780.00Partial/complete amputation of the thumb, surgical wire insertions, nerve damage, fractures, inability to grip.

Public liability accident and injury compensation amounts for leg and foot injuries

Part of bodySeverity of injuryAmount of compensationTypes of injuries
LegMinor£7,780.00 to £12,010.00Minor injuries with recovery within a few months (e.g. soft-tissue injuries, bruising, cuts, and contusions). Slightly more severe injuries such as simple fractures of the femur, tibia, or fibula.
LegModerate£15,320.00 to £46,780.00Minor fractures with partial recovery, serious soft tissue injury, injuries to one leg (e.g. broken bones, crushing injuries), ligament injuries, compound fractures leading to near certainty of arthritis or instability.
LegSevere£46,780.00 to £240,590.00Severe injuries resulting in extensive degloving, bone grafting, permanently reduced mobility, or amputation of one/both legs (above/below the knee).
KneeMinorUp to £11,730.00Includes soft tissue injuries (recovery within a few months), a twisted knee, lacerations, or bruising resulting in discomfort or pain.
KneeModerate£22,340.00 to £37,070.00Includes: seriously damaged kneecaps, ligaments, or muscles, dislocation, a torn meniscus, acceleration injuries (over several years), resulting in ongoing discomfort or pain.
KneeSevere£44,470.00 to £82,080.00Covers constant pain, severe disability, or muscle wastage. Higher compensation if need for surgery or injury effects quality of life.
AnkleMinorUp to £11,730.00Smaller fractures, but bone has not been displaced. May include sprains, injured ligaments (likely leads to scarring). Smaller injuries can allow for full recovery within a year, without any scarring.
AnkleModerate£11,730.00 to £42,710.00Includes ligament tears, fractures, leading to smaller disabilities while standing/moving. Increased risk of osteoarthritis. Operation/cast needed. May lead to inability to work or call for special footwear.
AnkleSevere£42,710.00 to £59,480.00Severe injury resulting in deformities, disabilities, or even amputation of the body part down the line.
AchillesMinor£6,200.00 to £10,750.00Minor instability due to tendon damage around the ankle. Some more severe cases might involve scarring.
AchillesModerate£10,750.00 to £17,970.00More serious injury and partially ruptured tendon. More severe cases tend to involve disability and/or permanent scarring.
AchillesSevere£21,320.00to £32,780.00Restricted movement of the ankle due to severed muscle tissue. Small likelihood of further improvement of limp and residual scarring.
FootMinorUp to £11,730.00Includes: minor fractures, lacerations or contusions (with complete recovery within 2 years), ruptured ligaments or other puncture wounds that result in chronic pain or a permanent limp.
FootModerate£11,730.00 to £59,730.00Includes: metatarsal fractures resulting in permanent deformity and ongoing symptoms, fractured heels (both), restricted mobility, degloving and heel fusion.
FootSevere£71,640.00 to £171,920.00Injury needing amputation of one/both feet or traumatic amputation of the forefoot (to prevent need for complete amputation).
ToeMinorUp to £8,190.00One or more broken toes with a varying recovery period. Compensation depends on presence of long-term symptoms and speed of recovery.
ToeModerate£8,190.00 to £11,730.00Multiple fractures, crush injuries to two/more toes, permanent disability. May have involved unsuccessful past operations.
ToeSevere£11,730.00 to £47,830.00Severe crush injuries leading to less/surgical amputation of one or two toes (not including the big toe), amputation of all toes or the big toe.

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