You probably know that if you are injured in a car accident or at work, you could claim compensation for your suffering. But what happens if you’re injured in a public place and who do you claim against? In this guide to claiming compensation for an accident in a public place, we’re defining a public place as any building or location that members of the public can use without seeking permission. Therefore, public places can include parks, footpaths, shopping centres, gyms, supermarkets, and train stations, to name but a few.
Within this guide to public place accident claims, we’ll look at how to make a claim against the council or a business responsible for your accident. We’ll also consider how much compensation could be awarded for certain injuries.
If you decide to make a public place accident claim, we are here to help. Our advisors offer a no-obligation, free assessment of any case. They’ll also provide advice on your options. Should your claim be strong enough, we could pass it to one of our solicitors who will file your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
Once you have read this guide to public place accident claims, please call 0800 6524 881 if you wish to start the ball rolling or would like any questions answered.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For An Accident In A Public Place?
- What Types Of Accidents In Public Places Could Lead To A Claim?
- How Much Compensation For An Accident In A Public Place Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support Accidents In Public Places Claims
- Time Limits For Public Place Accident Claims
- Why Use Personal Injury Solicitors In Public Place Accident Claims?
Laws exist that mean businesses and local authorities have a duty of care to protect the welfare of any person on their premises. That doesn’t mean they need to watch over you for the whole time you are present. Instead, they should carry out regular risk assessments and mitigate any dangers they identify.
Our solicitors will always check to see if the following are true before taking on a public place claim. They’ll do this by checking that:
- The defendant owed you a legal duty of care; and
- Their negligence caused an accident in a public place to happen; and
- Due to the accident, you were made ill or sustained injuries.
Later on, we’ll look at what forms of negligence could result in compensation claims for accidents in public places.
There are likely to be hundreds of different public place accidents that could lead to a claim. Therefore, we can’t list them all here but have provided a few examples below:
- Pavement accident caused by a defect such as a raised paving slab.
- Being injured in a supermarket because an item fell on you because of damaged shelving.
- Being attacked and bitten by a dog on a public footpath or park (this may lead to a criminal injuries claim rather than a personal injury claim).
- Accidents involving children in public places such as being hurt in the local park by damaged playground equipment.
- Accident in a shop due to the owner or staff not adhering to health & safety regulations.
We have listed the above scenarios to give you an idea of what could result in a personal injury claim. If you’re not sure whether you have the grounds to claim or who to claim against, please get in touch. We are happy to review your options with you for free. If your case is strong enough, we could pass it to one of our solicitors for you.
When you ask for compensation, many factors will be considered when calculating how much you could claim. As such, each claim is unique so we can’t tell you how much yours is worth until we’ve reviewed it in detail. However, we are able to look at what could be included. Your claim could be based on:
- The extent of your injuries (including psychiatric harm) and how much pain you endured.
- Any costs that your injuries have caused. This may include lost income, prescription costs, non-NHS treatment or care costs.
- The cost of repairing or replacing items of your personal property that were damaged in the accident.
To help prove the severity of your injuries, you may need to have an independent medical assessment. This can be arranged locally by our solicitors if your public place accident claim is taken on. To find out what could be included in your claim, why not get in touch with an advisor today?
When insurers or solicitors assess personal injury claims, they can refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). That’s because it lists compensation ranges for different types of injuries. Therefore, we’ve used figures from the JCG in the compensation calculator below. As mentioned in the last section, various elements make up the value of a claim and the figures in our table make up just one part.
We haven’t included every injury that could be sustained in our compensation calculator. Therefore, please get in touch if yours isn’t listed. You could still be compensated and we may be able to provide estimated figures after assessing your public place accident claim.
Please note that these figures aren’t guaranteed. Even if you make a successful claim, you may receive a different level of compensation based on your injuries.
To give your claim the best chance of success you should provide evidence of exactly what happened. Here is our advice on how to collect evidence to support any such claim:
- Take photographs/video of the accident scene before it is cleared.
- Report the accident where possible. If you can, ask for a copy of the accident report as it will help to prove the date, time, and location of the accident.
- Seek medical attention. Rather than relying solely on first aid, try to attend a minor injuries unit or A&E department. Medical records could then be used to show how serious your injuries were.
- Write down the details of anybody else who saw the public place accident happen. A solicitor might ask them for a statement at a later date.
- If the area has CCTV cameras, try to obtain a copy of the footage. Details of the camera operator will be on a signpost near the cameras in many cases.
- Keep a record of any expenses you incur because of your injuries. These could be added to the value of your public place accident claim.
We can look through any evidence you have already when you call our team. Your advisor will let you know if you have enough to proceed or whether further evidence is needed.
You might be aware that there are time limits for making personal injury claims. Mostly, this is a 3-year period. It will either begin from the date of your public place accident or from when your injuries were diagnosed if this was later.
An exception to this rule is where a child sustains injuries. In this scenario, the claim time limit essentially doesn’t apply so long as a responsible adult claims on their behalf before their 18th birthday. To do this, they must become the child’s litigation friend. The process of arranging this is something we can help with. Essentially, you’ll represent the child’s interests during the claims process. If a settlement is agreed upon, a court will review the payment amount to check that it’s fair. The funds will then be managed by the court via a trust fund. Should you require any money from the fund, the litigation friend can write to the court and tell them how it will benefit the child.
The litigation friend process can also be used for adults who don’t have the mental capacity to claim themselves.
You might not realise it but when you make a claim for an accident in a public place against a business or a council/local authority, it is likely to end up on the desk of an insurance company. That’s because, in many cases, a public liability insurance policy will be in place to protect the defendant against such claims.
What’s important here is that an insurer will always want to minimise how much compensation they pay. Where possible, they’ll try to not pay at all if there isn’t the evidence to show how their defendant was responsible for the accident or your injuries. We believe the best way to achieve compensation is by having a personal injury solicitor on your side.
If your claim is accepted, we’ll provide a solicitor for you. They’ll listen to how you’ve suffered before submitting the claim. Importantly, they’ll do everything on your behalf so you won’t be overwhelmed by complex legal questions. Throughout the claims process, you’ll get regular updates about how things are progressing. You’ll also be able to ask any questions that you think of. Importantly, your solicitor will fight to achieve the highest amount of compensation possible for your suffering.
If you are thinking of starting the accident claims process, please call our team on 0800 6524 881. We handle all accepted claims on a No Win No Fee basis. Also, you can rest assured about the quality of our work as we’re registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Thank you for visiting today and reading our guide to public place accident claims, and don’t hesitate in contacting us for free advice.