A Guide On How To Claim For An Accident In A Public Place
By Daniel Cruise. Last updated on 15th December. When you go out to a public place you have a right to be able to go about your business there without fear of being injured by safety hazards that could have been addressed by the owners and the operators of that premises. If controllers of premises have failed to meet a reasonable standard of safe operation and maintenance members of the public could be injured. If you have been hurt in an accident while in a public place that was not your fault, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim.
This page is a guide intended to introduce you to how making these types of claims work. It will cover what the obligations of operators of public spaces are and how and when they can be violated by a public space operators negligence. As well as explaining the law around when and how you could be able to make a compensation claim for an accident in a public place, this article will show how compensation claims are calculated.
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If you would like to know more information about anything you have read here about making compensation claims for accidents in public places call our advisors. Or if you would like to have your case assessed for free then get in touch about your claim online. Alternatively, you can reach our team directly by calling 020 3870 4868.
Services And Information
- Everything You Need To Know About Claims For An Accident In A Public Place
- What Is An Accident In A Public Place?
- What Is A Public Place?
- Common Types Of Accident In A Public Place
- Accident In A Public Place Compensation Calculator
- Who Is Responsible For An Accident In A Public Place?
- Council And Local Authority Accidents In A Public Place
- Private Occupiers Of Buildings Or Spaces
- How Much Time Do I Have To Claim For An Accident In A Public Place?
- I Suffered An Accident In A Public Place What Should I Do?
- Public Place Accident Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Other Information
- FAQs About Accidents In A Public Place
If you have been injured in an accident in a public place then you may be wondering if you could be entitled to claim compensation. This page is a guide that aims to explain if you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim. It does this by explaining what the law says the obligations of property owners are. Also what kind of situations could constitute a violation of these obligations and therefore what could entitle you to make a claim for compensation.
We will also go into the workings of making a compensation claim. This includes things like the process of working out how much your compensation payout could be worth. Additionally, we will look at how to start gathering evidence to support a claim. As well as how long you are allowed to wait before starting a claim. Importantly we will advise how you can make a claim without having to pay solicitor legal fees upfront.
All kinds of accidents can potentially occur in public places. There are a variety of different environments that you could find yourself in when out in public. Also, a variety of different hazards and injury risks could arise. It is important to note that not all injuries sustained in public places will mean you qualify for compensation.
Sometimes, accidents happen and they are no one’s fault. We can’t go over every specific possible outcome on this page. But we can list some frequent examples of accidents and the injuries that could result from them in the chart below. This is a means of illustrating some of the kinds of accidents that we are referring to in this article.
|Dog bite||Broken bones, lacerations|
|Slips, trips falls||Broken bones, lacerations|
|Exosure to hazardous materials||Allergic reactions, chemical burns|
|Electric shocks||Burns, nerve damage.|
A public place is any space or property, whether owned or operated by a public or private institution that is open for the public to enter and make use of. It can include things like:
- Shops, bars and restaurants
- Cinemas, shopping centres
- Swimming pools, gyms or recreation centres
- Art galleries, theatres or museums
- Parks and pavements
- Town halls, music venues and stadiums.
Some of the accidents that could occur in a public place as a result of negligence and could be grounds for making compensation claims include:
- Slips, trips and falls
- An injury in a park or a gym
- Being attacked by a dog
- Injuries in shops
- Injury on council property
- Injuries to children
- Exposure to hazardous materials and substances
You are possibly most concerned with how much compensation you could be awarded for your injury above everything else. This is understandable. If it were possible we would use this page to tell you now what amount of compensation you could be entitled to.
However, this is not possible. Calculating your compensation requires looking at specific details which we are not privy to at the moment. These details include things like, the severity of your injury, the prognosis of your injury, the amount of mental distress and trauma it has caused you, and so on.
Working out the value of these issues will involve seeing a doctor, possibly even if you have already done so. And receive a full medical assessment of the injuries you suffered as a result of the accident.
These results will then be discussed between you and your solicitor so that they can assign a financial value to the harm you have suffered. In the table below you can see a list of examples of some of the potential injuries. The approximate monetary values ascribed to them are by calculations released by the Judicial College.
|Severe leg injury||£90,320 to £127,530|
|Less serious leg injury||£16,860 to £26,050|
|Severe knee injury||£65,440 to £90,290|
|Moderate knee injury||£13,920 to £24,580|
|Very severe ankle injury||£46,980 to £65,420|
|Moderate ankle injury||£12,900 to £24,950|
|Serious Achilles injury||£23,460 to £28,240|
|Minor Achilles injury||£6,820 to £11,820|
|Amputation of one foot||£78,800 to £102,890|
|Amputation of both feet||£158,970 to £189,110|
What this table doesn’t show is the amount of special damages you could be entitled to claim. This is additional compensation you could be entitled to claim for losses of money that you suffered as a result of your injuries. For example, losing wages from taking time off work, spending money on treatment or physiotherapy for the injury and so on. For more details about how your compensation can be calculated, call our team for free advice.
In a public place, the body or persons responsible for the public’s safety are those who control the premises. They are held responsible for making sure that the premises and any facilities that they are responsible for supplying and operating are maintained to a safe standard. The controller of the premises will usually be the person who can foresee hazards and be able to make changes.
This is outlined in law under the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957. It means that if you suffer an accident in a public place because that public place was in an unsafe condition, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim. This would be against the controller of the premises. Importantly, you must have suffered an injury to be able to make a personal injury claim. Your injuries can be physical, but also psychological.
In public places that are operated by the local council or some other public authority, the council or public body is responsible for maintaining them and ensuring safety. This is to the most reasonable extent, of those on the property. These kinds of premises can include; public parks, recreation and community centres, gyms, swimming baths, libraries, local council offices and town halls to name just a few.
In order to make a valid claim, you must be able to prove that you were owed a duty of care. Also that there was negligence that breached this duty of care. Finally, that you suffered harm because of this negligence.
You could claim if you have an accident such as slipping, tripping or falling on public property for example. However, you need proof in the form of evidence to prove that it was a breach in legislation that caused your injury. You could also be entitled to make an accident claim if facilities made available for use in a publicly owned property, such as exercise equipment in a gym, causes you to suffer an injury because it is faulty.
Maintaining pavements and paths, unless they are on private property, is generally the responsibility of the local council. Therefore the local council could be liable for a compensation claim if their failure to adequately maintain public pathways causes an avoidable injury.
If the public place that you had an accident in was private property or owned by a private company you could still be entitled to make a compensation claim. Under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 the controller of a property has an obligation to make sure that the state of the property does not endanger any customers or members of the public on their property.
This duty of care means that if you have an accident and suffer an injury while on a business’s property, in a shop or a hotel, for instance, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim. However, only if you can provide proof that the property controller did not do enough to keep their premises in a safe condition.
In personal injury cases, there is a time limit that applies to how long you can wait before you begin the claim. Bringing claims forward as soon as you can, can prevent evidence deterioration or witnesses who can no longer provide reliable testimony. The time limit to making a claim is generally three years. Where the time limit actually begins can vary. It may be from the day the injury occurred. Or it could be from the date you are knowledgeable.
There are exceptions to the three-year time limit. In some cases, the three-year time limit could be waived if the victim was in some way incapable of bringing a claim forward themselves. For example, if they were suffering from mental health issues and had to be declared incompetent. Or if they were in the hospital for an extended period of time during the time limit and were incapable of beginning a claim.
Another exception to this rule are cases involving children. If the person who suffered the injuries was a child at the time and under the age of 18, then their parents or guardians have the right to bring a claim forward until they reach the age of 18. Once the victim turns eighteen, they have the right to attempt to start a claim until they turn 21, equivalent to the three-year time limit.
If you have suffered an accident in a public place, then as soon as possible you should seek medical attention, your health and safety take priority over everything else. This may be redundant as a bystander might step in to call an ambulance for you if your injuries are very bad. As well as ensuring that your injuries get treated, being seen by a doctor also helps your case for making a claim, as it establishes a medical record of your injuries.
If it is possible at the scene of the accident, you can begin to gather some of the evidence to help your case. One thing you could do is take photos of the scene of the accident. Also, the cause of your injury, such as a broken paving slab you have tripped on for example.
Evidence You Could Collect For Your Accident In A Public Place
Being able to prove that your injuries took place and that they were caused by negligence is vital to the success of your claim. Your own testimony will not be enough to receive compensation. You need to back up your claim with evidence.
The more pieces of quality evidence you have, the better. Here are some good examples:
- Photographs – these can capture both the extent of your physical injuries, as well as possibly what caused you the accident. For example, you may have tripped and fallen due to a loose paving stone or broken drain cover. Having visual evidence of this could help you in your claim. It may be repaired before your claim is made.
- Medical reports – during your treatment, information regarding any procedures and/or medication prescribed etc will be recorded. Having this information at hand can assist you in your claim.
- Written witness statements – if there was anyone present when you were injured, they could submit a written statement of their version of events. This could corroborate your story.
- CCTV footage – if your accident in a public place took place in an area covered by CCTV cameras. then you can make a request for the footage if you appear in it. It’s important to act quickly with this, as the footage can be deleted either manually or automatically.
There are other forms of evidence you can obtain too if you have experienced an accident in a public place. For more information, get in touch with our advisors today.
If you want to make a claim with the help of a solicitor but wish to avoid expensive legal fees, what could you do? You could use the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor. This is a type of agreement is where you and your lawyer will sign a contract. It will state that the only payment to which your solicitor could be entitled would be a portion of the compensation payout which you could be awarded if the claim is a success.
This portion is capped. Under this agreement, you would not be obligated to pay further solicitor fees on top of this. Nor would you be obligated to pay solicitor fees before starting the claim, or after the claim in the event that it failed.
All of the solicitors on our panel can handle personal injury claims on a No Win No Fee basis. If you would like to approach us to start a claim, please contact us using the contact details provided. We are happy to give you an advisor to speak to you about the details of your case. If you would like more information on how making a No Win No Fee claim could help you out, call our claims team today.
We’ve included some links below on the topic of what to do if you have an accident in a public place and other related topics.
What is a public injury?
A public injury is an injury that occurs in an accident in a public place. To have a valid claim you would have to prove three things:
- You were owed a duty of care.
- This was breached.
- Causing an avoidable injury.
Can you sue a public park?
The operators of public parks have a legal obligation to keep their properties and public spaces in decent condition. This is to reduce as much as possible the danger of people being injured in accidents caused by unsafe conditions, such as broken pavements for example.
Thank you for reading our guide on what to do following an accident in a public place.
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