Claiming Compensation for Accidents in Public Places

| September 18, 2013

claimThe law states that members of the public have the legal right to be safe when out and about. Therefore, it’s the case that owners and occupiers of all premises open to the public have a duty to ensure this is the case. Reasonable care should be taken to ensure adequate risk assessments have been carried out and steps taken to minimise any possible risk.

With this in mind, anyone who has been injured in a public place may have a case for compensation.

When could a compensation claim be made following an accident?

If the incident occurred within a building, the occupier’s public liability insurance policy should cover compensation claims where it can be established without doubt that the accident was due to a breach in the occupier’s duty of care. An example of this might be an unmarked slip or trip hazard.

If the fall took place outside, such as on a council-owned public footpath or in a park, you may be able to bring a case against the local authority.

Amounts awarded vary, but if compensation is granted it should reflect the pain and distress suffered. An accident could cause both physical and psychological harm, which could be long or short term in nature.

In addition, any compensation should include funds to cover medical bills and expenses relating to equipment and adaptations necessary for long-term disability and rehabilitation, as well as to cover bills if the injured party is unable to work.


To successfully make a personal injury compensation claim, it is necessary to prove that responsibility for the injury rests with another person, such as the owner of the building in which the accident occurred.

It is important to immediately report the incident to a staff member and the person in charge of the premises. Ask for a report to be filed in the accident book, ensuring you take a copy of the document for your records. Take names and addresses of witnesses and try to describe what happened in as much detail as possible. Take photographs of the faulty area or equipment, using a ruler or another object to provide a sense of perspective. It would also be worthwhile to find out if CCTV footage of your accident is available.

Seek medical advice for any injuries, including psychological trauma. Keep medical reports, as these will need to be submitted as evidence of the harm you have suffered.

In addition, retain all receipts or expenses incurred as a result of the injury, such as medical bills, prescription charges and transport costs.

Starting a claim

It is best to begin your claim as soon as possible as there are strict time constraints. Contact personal injury lawyers while the accident is still fresh in the mind of yourself and any witnesses.

Contact to find out if you have a viable case for claiming compensation. Their personal injury lawyers specialise in accident and injury claims on a no win, no fee basis.

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