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 or 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.
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 for you to keep a very detailed record of the accident. This will help you recall the incident 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.
Read more information on Public Accidents in our free e-book: https://sweeneysolicitors.ie/the-ultimate-guide-to-making-a-claim-for-legal-compensation/