How Do You Prove Fault In A Slip And Fall Accident?
By Cat Reeves. Last Updated 21st April 2023. Welcome to our guide, looking at how to prove fault in a slip and fall accident. Proving fault in a slip and fall injury is very important if you want your personal injury claim to be successful. This guide aims to provide you with information on demonstrating liability for a slip or fall accident.
A slip, trip or fall may seem like a relatively minor accident, and you may not expect to come away from an accident like this with severe injuries. However, these kinds of accidents can cause serious implications.
For instance, you may experience a broken bone or cuts and lacerations if you fall on something sharp. In some cases, you may even experience a head injury that leads to brain damage. But if you can prove that the accident in which you were injured was the fault of someone who had a duty of care towards you, then you may be able to claim.
How Do I Show Who Was At Fault In A Slip And Fall Accident?
If you have any questions about proving fault following a slip and fall injury, then get in touch with us. Our advisors are standing by to answer your questions and offer advice. The more information we have regarding your circumstances, the more accurately we will be able to value your potential claim.
If your claim is deemed valid, we may be able to connect you with a personal injury lawyer from our panel. They may be able to help you pursue your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
Get In Touch With Our Team
There are a number of ways that you can reach us. We’ve listed the main ones below.
- Call us on 020 3870 4868
- Use the live chat function in the bottom right corner
- Use our online form to see if you have a claim
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About To Prove Fault In A Slip And Fall Accident
- What Is A Slip And Fall Accident?
- Occupiers’ Duty Of Care To Prevent Slip And Fall Accidents
- What Are The Main Causes Of Slip And Fall Accidents?
- Could Your Slip And Fall Accident Have Been Prevented?
- How To Prove A Slip And Fall Accident Caused Your Injuries
- Establishing The Other Parties Liability For Your Injuries
- Slip And Fall Accident Compensation Calculator
- Clumsiness And Reasonableness in Accident Claims
- How Long After A Slip And Fall Accident Could I Claim?
- I Suffered A Slip And Fall Accident, What Should I Do?
- Claim For A Slip And Fall Accident On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Related And Similar Guides
- FAQs About Slip And Fall Accident Claims
A slip, trip or fall can occur almost anywhere, including the workplace and many public places too. It’s important that you demonstrate someone else was at fault in a slip and fall accident. If the accident was entirely your fault, then it’s unlikely that you’ll receive any compensation.
Even if you were partially responsible for how you were injured, you could still be awarded a partial payout. A personal injury claims calculator will not necessarily take this into account, and as a result, may not give you an accurate valuation. It’s always best to speak to someone about this, like one of our advisors.
In this guide, we will look at the duty of care that you’re owed at work or while you’re in public. In addition to this, we will look at how a breach of this duty can cause you to be injured and how to prove that a breach has occurred.
You may be wondering how much compensation you could claim for injuries sustained in a slip, trip or fall. If so, our compensation table could help illustrate how much some injuries could be valued.
Finally, we will look at the role a No Win No Fee agreement could play in funding legal representation for your claim. We’ll conclude by providing some internal and external resources and answering some frequently asked questions about these kinds of claims.
Slip and fall injuries can occur in a number of ways. However, to form the basis of a valid claim, you must be able to establish negligence. This is where a breach of duty of care causing harm has occurred.
Some examples of how a slip and fall accident could be caused by negligence include:
- Inadequate PPE: You may wish to seek slip and fall compensation if you fell at work because your employer provided inadequate PPE. For example, if you work in an environment that requires non-slip boots and your employer knowingly supplies you with faulty PPE, this could result in a fall.
- Trailing leads: Trailing leads and wires can pose a tripping risk. If they are not appropriately covered and signposted, this could lead to someone tripping and falling.
- Spillages: Spillages should be signposted and cleared up in an adequate timeframe. If they aren’t, this could allow someone to become injured by slipping and falling.
Slip and fall injuries can have several consequences and can result in injuries like a broken wrist or a fractured forearm. Our advisors are here to help if you would like to learn more about slip and fall claims. They can offer a free consultation and evaluation of your claim when you get in touch today.
Slip and fall accident statistics
Slips, trips and falls on the same level made up over a quarter of workplace injuries in 2019/20. This is according to statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
As we can see from the graph below, there has been no clear trend in the rate of non-fatal injuries caused by slips, trips and falls since 2014. The number of injuries each year has fluctuated somewhat; however, the number of injuries reported in 2019/20 was the lowest in this time frame.
The person in control of a public space is referred to as the “occupier”. The occupier has a duty of care to make sure that the property is safe for the intended purpose. This legal obligation is stated in The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 (OLA).
This does not mean all injuries sustained on their property are examples of negligence. If all reasonable measures have been taken to reduce the risks of accidents resulting, then they have not breached their duty of care. As a result, a claim is unlikely to be successful.
An occupier is expected to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that the space is safe to use. The OLA does not specify who the occupier of a space is; however, it should be someone who could have reasonably predicted an accident could have happened and who has the power to stop it from occurring.
Proof would have to be presented in order for you to claim compensation. Proving liability can be achieved by presenting evidence such as photographs, CCTV footage, and witness statements. Medical reports can also help to prove the extent of your injuries that occurred as a result.
Both slips and trips can cause a person to fall. Proving liability is vital if you want to make a successful personal injury claim. So, it’s important to have a good understanding of the duty of care towards you and what negligence is defined as.
Slips tend to occur when the grip of walking surfaces has been reduced, and this can happen for a number of reasons. These include:
- Wet floors – this could be caused by cleaners, spillages, or even rainwater being tracked in due to foot traffic.
- Slippery floors – even in dry conditions, some surfaces such as glossy tiles could become a slip hazard. This could happen if the wrong cleaning products were used on the surface, for example.
- Dusty floors – dust can also reduce the grip of what would otherwise be a safe walking surface.
Trips are more likely in situations where there are physical obstructions or damage in the area of the walking surfaces. They can be equally as dangerous as slips.
- Obstacles/obstructions – leaving items where people walk can cause trips. Even essential work equipment must be properly stored. Debris like cardboard boxes or bottles could also cause someone to trip.
- Loose/uneven flooring – unsafe flooring conditions must be fixed as soon as possible. This goes for all settings, from pavements to staircases.
- Trailing cables – many workplaces use appliances that run on electricity. Wires must be secured to avoid trips and falls.
If you know who was at fault for your injury but need some help on how to prove fault in a slip and fall accident, get in touch with us today. Our advisors are ready and waiting to help you. The advice is free, and you may be able to claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
As part of the process to prove fault in a slip and fall accident, you need to also establish if the accident could have been prevented. As mentioned earlier, anywhere open to the public must fully comply with the OLA. If these rules are followed, the risk of slip and fall accidents should be kept to a minimum.
Establishing that your injuries could have been avoided via preventative measures taken by the occupier, then your chances of success are increased. For example, if cleaning had taken place and no wet floor signs were put out, then this would be a violation of the OLA.
However, cleaning needs to take place to meet health and safety standards. Therefore, if the occupier ensures that wet floor signs are being used, this would be seen as taking a reasonable precaution to reduce the risk of slips and falls. In this instance, it could be more difficult to claim for injuries that you sustained when you slipped.
A large part of the process when trying to prove fault in a slip and fall accident is to gather plenty of relevant evidence. You need as much evidence as possible to improve your chances of success.
This evidence could include things like:
- Photographs – photographic evidence of what caused your injury (e.g. obstruction in walkways or unsafe stairs).
- CCTV footage – you have a legal right to request footage of yourself. In public places, your accident may have been captured on video.
- Witness details – anyone who witnessed you being injured can supply their contact details so that they can provide a statement at a later date.
- Medical evidence – medical reports, X-rays and prescription slips can all prove the extent of and recovery time of your injuries.
There are other forms of evidence, but these are some of the main ones. If you have any more queries regarding potentially relevant evidence, then reach out to us today. Our number can be found at the top and the bottom of this article.
There are a few cases where the occupier of a public place is at fault for the accident in which you were injured. For example:
- There was a hazard in the area that could not be removed, for example, an unusually high step. The occupier of the building knew this but failed to signpost the hazard.
- A member of staff was mopping the floor but did not put down a wet floor sign.
- There was a hazard in the building that could have been repaired, like a loose floor tile. This was known by the person in control of the space, but they failed to do anything about it.
If you can prove fault in a slip and fall accident in these situations, then your case could be made much quicker and simpler. Speak to our team today for more free legal advice about making a claim.
Compensation payments can be made up of two main figures. These figures are called general damages and special damages. General damages are awarded to the claimant to address the pain and suffering caused by the injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident.
A publication called the Judicial College Guidelines can be used to help calculate general damages. This is an extensive list of what certain injuries of varying severity could be worth in compensation. These guidelines are updated semi-regularly, with the last review taking place in 2019.
We’ve included a table below to give some examples of what could be awarded, using figures from the latest edition of the JCG.
|Brain Damage||Moderate (iii) - Where there's an affect on concentration and memory, there's a reduced ability to work and a small risk of epilepsy. There will be a limited dependence on others.||£43,060 to £90,720|
|Brain Damage||Less severe - A good recovery will have been made and the injured person will be able to start work again and have a normal social life. However, they may be left with some memory problems and disinhibition of mood.||£15,320 to £43,060|
|Chest||Rib fractures or soft tissue injuries that cause disability and pain for some weeks.||Up to £3,950|
|Neck||Minor (i) - Where the injured person makes a full recovery from injuries such as minor soft tissue injuries within one to two years||In the region of
|Neck||Minor (iii) - Where a full recovery is made from injuries such as minor soft tissue injuries within three months||Up to £2,450|
|Back||Severe (iii)- Where a back injury leads to chronic conditions where disabilities such as severe pain and impaired sexual function remain.||£38,780 to £69,730|
|Back||Minor (i)- This bracket includes injuries that recover fully or to nuisance level without surgery within about two to five years.||£7,890 to £12,510|
|Shoulder||Serious- Where the shoulder is dislocated and the lower part of the brachial plexus is damages, resulting in shoulder pain and restricted shoulder movement.||£12,770 to £19,200|
|Clavicle||Where the clavicle is fractured. The amount of compensation awarded will depend on how bad the fracture was and whether the effects are permanent or temporary.||£5,150 to £12,240|
|Pelvis and Hips||Severe (iii): Injuries in this bracket include fractures that necessitate a hip replacement.||£39,170 to £52,500|
|Pelvis and Hips||This bracket will include soft tissue injuries from which a complete recovery is made.||Up to £3,950|
If you can prove fault in a slip and fall accident, then you could also be entitled to special damages. Special damages are paid to the claimant to cover any financial losses or additional outgoings that occur due to their injuries.
Some examples of special damages could include:
- Loss of earnings – an injury may cause you to take time off work, so special damages can reimburse you for lost wages you would have earned during this period. If your injuries stop you from returning to work at all, then you may be able to claim future loss of earnings, too.
- Damage to property – an example of property damage could be if your phone screen was cracked because it was in your pocket as you fell. You could also claim for things like the cost of replacement clothes if yours were damaged.
- Medical costs – you may have to pay for prescription medication or receive treatment not covered by the NHS. If so, you could receive the cost of this back.
It’s very important to maintain records of these financial losses, or you may not be able to reclaim them. You could support your claim for general damages with things like invoices, receipts or payslips.
Clumsiness and reasonableness are both things that could negate or reduce the value of your No Win No Fee personal injury claim. Reasonableness basically questions whether reasonable steps were taken by the occupier of the building or area to avoid the injury.
For example, if the hazard had only presented itself a matter of seconds or minutes before the accident, then it could be viewed as unreasonable for the occupier to know about rectify the situation. An example of this could be if you were walking down the aisle of a shop and another shopper dropped an egg just in front of you while you’re walking, which you slip on. It would not be reasonable to expect a member of staff to clean up this hazard in the few seconds between it happening and you slipping.
Clumsiness brings into question whether or not a different person would also have experienced the same or a similar accident. If not, at least part of the responsibility may rest with the claimant. Some examples of this would be if the claimant was engaged in another activity that was dividing their attention (such as looking at their smartphone).
If you’d like to know more about how these two factors could influence your personal injury claim, get in touch with our team today. We can provide free legal advice and a no-obligation valuation of your claim.
The Limitation Act 1980 states that you generally have 3 years to start a personal injury claim. This either runs from the date of the accident or the date that you became aware that your injuries were caused by negligence (the “date of knowledge”.
However, in some circumstances, you could still make a claim after this time window has expired. We’ve listed some examples below.
Child Accident Claims
Children cannot make a personal injury claim for themselves. Their 3-year time limit is suspended until their 18th birthday. If they wish to make a claim before then, they must act through a litigation friend. This is an adult who claims on behalf of the child.
Claiming on Behalf of Someone With a Reduced Mental Capacity
If someone lacks the mental capacity to make a claim, the time limit is suspended unless they recover. If they do recover, they have 3 years to start their own claim. A litigation friend can also claim on their behalf while they lack the mental capacity to claim.
These time limits and the exceptions that apply can be complex. If you’re not sure of your time limit to make a No Win No Fee claim, then contact us today, and we can let you know.
Following a slip and fall accident, there are a number of key steps you should take. Initially, you should always seek medical attention. This could be in the form of first aid, but you may also need to go to A&E in some cases.
Medical attention will ensure that you get the treatment you need for any injuries you have sustained. In addition to this, it will generate medical reports that could support your claim.
One of the next steps should be to gather evidence of how the accident that caused your injuries occurred. This is also an important step when trying to prove fault in a slip and fall accident. You could provide photographs of the hazard which caused you to slip or trip or CCTV footage that shows the accident take place.
Next, you should seek legal advice. While this isn’t a legal obligation, their support and guidance could help you get more money from your claim. Our advisors could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel; read on to the next section to find out exactly what this means.
A No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor means that you won’t need to pay your solicitor if your case is unsuccessful. You also won’t need to make any upfront payments or pay them anything as they work on your claim.
Following the conclusion of a winning case, they will take a legally capped success fee which will be a percentage of your compensation. This legal cap ensures that you always get the majority of the settlement you are awarded.
Our panel of lawyers have worked with many clients in the past under a No Win No Fee arrangement. To find out how we can help you to do the same, get in touch with us today. You can do so in one of the following ways:
- Call us on 020 3870 4868
- Use the live chat function in the bottom right corner
- Use our online form to see if you have a claim
We’ve also included some links to additional material regarding the subject of how to prove fault in a slip and fall accident.
- More information on what a litigation friend is.
- Government information on Statutory Sick Pay.
- Your legal right to request CCTV footage of yourself.
- How to claim for a slip, trip or fall on ice at work.
- Another of our guides regarding slips, trips and falls.
- What to do if you hurt yourself at work.
- Fell In A Pothole In A Yard Or Car Park – Personal Injury Claims
- How To Claim For An Accident At Work Caused By Oil
- What Could You Claim For A Workplace Carpet Accident?
- How To Make A Personal Injury Claim After A Slip And Fall Accident
We’ve included the answers to some of the more common questions we’re asked.
How often do claims go to court?
Only a very small percentage of cases end up going to trial. Many personal injury claims are settled before that stage. A claim may go to court if there is a dispute over liability that cannot be resolved.
Will I need to visit my solicitor’s office?
There’s no requirement to meet with your solicitor face to face. All aspects of your claim can now be handled remotely.
How long would it take to settle my claim?
There is no single answer to this question. Some simple cases could be concluded in a matter of weeks or months. More complex cases could take much longer to resolve.
Who will pay my compensation settlement?
Your compensation settlement may be paid by the insurance company associated with the area you were injured. For example, your employer has a legal obligation to hold liability insurance. This means that if you make a claim for a slip, trip or fall at work, your claim should not affect the finances of the company.
Thank you for reading this guide on the importance of being able to prove fault in a slip and fall accident.
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