Every year in the UK, thousands of people are injured due to an accident in a public place. The owners and maintainers of public spaces have a responsibility to keep these places safe. This is known as a ‘duty of care’ to keep the public space safe and maintained.
Icy sidewalks, broken railings, tripping hazards and other dangers can cause serious injury at public areas such as shopping centres, car parks, play areas, schools and more. These injuries might be small, but they can also be very severe and can cause on-going pain and long term disability.
If you have injured yourself in a public place and you are able to prove that it was due to a hazard created by someone else’s neglect, you could be eligible for compensation. The person responsible for the property will likely have public liability insurance to cover such incidents.
Gather All of the Information You Can
One of the first steps to making an injury claim is to gather as much information as possible about the incident and how it occurred. Visit the spot where you hurt yourself and take photos to illustrate the danger. For example, if you fell down a set of stairs because one stair was broken, take a photo of the broken stair as well as the entire staircase and its surroundings.
If the accident occurred within a building, such as a restaurant, shopping mall or supermarket, make sure that you notify the staff and that the incident is recorded in their accident book.
Also, if anyone was nearby to you and saw your accident, have them write down their account of how it happened in as much detail as possible and sign it. After getting medical treatment for your injuries you should keep any documents and details about your treatment and any receipts for expenses related to your injury. When you make a claim, you may be able to be compensated for these costs.
Making a Claim
Once you have all of the evidence that you need to make a personal injury claim for your accident in a public place, you will need to contact a lawyer who has experience in this area of law. Make sure that you choose a legal professional who has a good reputation, positive references and a proven track record of success.
Your lawyer will help you make the case that the person responsible for maintaining the public place breached their duty of care and was negligent. They will also have to prove that your injuries were a direct result of that negligence. For example, if you slipped and broke your wrist due to a spill on the floor of a supermarket which should have been cleaned up, you might be able to hold them responsible for your injuries as well as the time you spent off work recovering.
The Two Parts of Your Compensation
When you claim compensation for your injury in a public place, your lawyer will be fighting for two different types of compensation. The first is general damages and it refers to the pain and suffering you went through as well as your inability to do things after the accident as you did them before.
The second part of compensation is for all of the expenses occurred by your medical treatment and any other costs that were a result of the accident. You should be compensated so that your financial position is where it would have been if the accident had never occurred.
If you have injured yourself in a public place and you think that you are eligible for a compensation claim, don’t suffer in silence! Talk to a lawyer to find out what you are entitled to.
Have you sustained an injury for an accident in a public place? Here are some things you need to know before speaking to Solicitors Woking and making a claim.