Public Liability Accidents

Public liability accidents

In our day-to-day lives we rely on others to help us stay safe. The law requires Local Authorities to inspect, maintain and repair roads and pavements and business owners to inspect, maintain and repair premises to ensure that members of the public are not in any danger. Yet, despite this legal duty of care, accidents still happen and every day people suffer injury in public places.

A person who suffers any type of injury may require compensation to cover loss of earnings, future loss of earnings, childcare, rehabilitation and/or medical care.If you’re unsure as to whether you have a valid claim for compensation, please contact us for legal advice.

Common Types of Public Liability Claims

The most familiar public liability compensation claims involve slips, trips and falls, but can also involve falling objects.

Slips, Trips and Falls

Liquid spillages that lead to a slippery floor or dangerous pavements due to potholes, poorly fitted carpets or poor general maintenance are by far the most common causes of public liability claims. Typical claims can include accidents that occur due to:

  • Street repairs
  • Damaged flooring
  • Construction
  • Drain covers
  • Unstable pavements
  • Untreated ice and snow 

Usually, the person or organisation that owns or leases the area is legally responsible for providing an environment free of risk.

Falling Objects

High shelves that are packed with goods that fall off are a common cause of public liability accident. Items falling from scaffolding or objects falling from buildings (e.g. rubble) cause accidents every day and injuries suffered can be serious and even life threatening. If you’ve suffered an injury in a public place, you may be entitled to make a claim if those responsible for the area have been negligent.

What to do in the event of an accident

If you have an accident in a public space you should:

  • Report it to a supervisor, manager or your Local Authority straight away
  • Seek medical treatment if required
  • If possible, take photos of the location and whatever it was that caused your accident
  • If you can, use a ruler to measure the size of the defect
  • Collect contact details for any witnesses to the accident
  • While it’s still fresh in your mind, sketch a plan of the incident clearly showing the location, any warning signs present, and other relevant details such as the location of any witnesses
  • Find out if any similar accidents have occurred in the past
  • Keep a list of all expenses which you incur and hold on to any receipts

How we can help you

If you’ve been injured in a public space, speak to one of our case handlers on 0808 231 4408 or complete the form on the right hand side of this page and we’ll call you back.