Public Place Injuries Claims

Public place injuries

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Public place injuries claims (also called slips, trips and falls or public liability claims) can occur in almost any environment, anywhere from falling on a slippery floor in a supermarket to tripping on a broken footpath. These types of incidents can result in serious personal injury and in public places there is a duty of care on the persons responsible for the particular area. If their negligence in maintaining the area is the cause of your slip, trip or fall, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Pursuing a claim for a slip, trip and fall in a public place and being successful in the claim will strongly depend on the circumstances of the accident. You need to be able to prove that the property owner (public or private property) was negligent. Every property owner, including councils who maintain our streets and parks, are required to ensure that their properties are kept clean and safe. For example, footpath accidents are easily avoided as long as the pavement is well maintained and poured correctly.

In most cases, the property owner should have public liability insurance to deal with compensating a person for slip, trip or fall that was their fault; this is especially true for owners of commercial properties.

What are the most common types of public place accidents

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  • Footpath slips, trips or falls.
  • Supermarket slips, trips or falls.
  • Hotel injury claim for a slip, trip or fall.
  • Slip, trip or fall in a bar or pub.
  • Slip trip or fall at work or in the office.
  • Personal injuries on a private property.
  • Slip, trip or fall at a restaurant
  • Lift accidents

Common reasons for public liability claims

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  • Uneven or broken pavements and footpaths leading to personal injury.
  • Wet or slippery supermarket or shop floors, due to spillage or cleaning. Where no warning or ‘cleaning in progress’ sign is displayed.
  • Tripping on obstacles on the floor, such as cables from electrical units, or boxes left on a floor.
  • Trip and fall on stairs due to bad lighting or due to the absence of handrails for balance.
  • Injured on somebody else’s private property due to hazardous conditions.

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Compensation for public place accident claims

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If you suffered a slip, trip or fall in a public place you be entitled to personal injury compensation. These are called damages:

General Damages

Non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a slip, trip or fall in a public place

Special Damages

Out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident. For example, loss of earnings (if you were out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident, travel to and from the hospital.

Material Damages

Material damage refers to damage caused to your personal property.

What do if you’re injured in a public place?

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1. Report the accident

Firstly, you must report your slip, trip or fall to the owner of the premises. Once reported, you should ensure that the incident is recorded on their side. Check that they take details of the accident and how it happened. It is advisable to request a copy of any incident reports you complete. Furthermore, it is required to be signed as proof that you reported the accident. This is important for when you make your claim.

If you were injured in a shop/supermarket/restaurant, for example, you might also report the accident to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA). This may lead to an investigation of the property by the HSA. This would further prove that the owner of the premises was negligent as the owner failed to provide a safe and hazardous free environment for the public.

Make sure that you record the time, date and any other conditional information at the time of the accident.

2. Document the accident

It is important to you keep a very detailed record of the accident. This will help you recall the incident you when you speak to a specialist personal injury solicitor. When documenting an accident, you should:

  • Request details and contact information of any persons that may have witnessed the accident.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene. In addition to any prevailing factors that caused the accident and also take photos of any physically visible injuries.
  • Keep any receipts for any additional expenses that arose from the accident
  • Request copies of any medical records/examinations that a doctor may have carried out. This will be the record of the extent of your injuries. If you tend to your injuries yourself without any medical attention, then you will find yourself with a lack of evidence to prove that you suffered a personal injury.

3. Contact a specialist slip, trip and fall solicitor 

Finally, you should contact a personal injury specialist solicitor. One with experience with slips, trips, and falls claims, to discuss your case and how best to proceed. This will ensure that you make the right moves at the right time. A personal injury claim will have to be first put through the Injuries Board; this is something that is best done with the help of a solicitor.

It is important to note that some factors will prohibit you from making a claim. A person cannot claim a slip, trip or fall in cases where:

  • Somebody injured themselves while trespassing on a property at the time of the accident.
  • A person ignored any health and safety measures in place. For example, if there was an obstacle blocking a faulty staircase, and a person processed to climb the stairs any injured themselves.
  • A person who behaved recklessly and was the cause of the accident.
  • The condition that caused the accident was not there for a long enough period for the property owner or employees on the property to notice and rectify the issue.