What Is An Accident In A Public Place?
As we go out in public and use services, we trust that they are safe. The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 supports us in this expectation by requiring that those in control of an area open to the public make it as safe as possible to use. Without proper adherence to this law, potential hazards could be everywhere.
For example, if premises are in a state of disrepair you could be harmed. If staff are not trained properly, a situation could arise that results in you being injured. You could trip in the street on poorly maintained pavements or you could slip over on a dropped egg in a supermarket.
As an ‘occupier’, the body in control has a legal duty of care to safeguard against risks to the public as much as is reasonably possible. Harm caused because of circumstances that could have been prevented means they might be liable to compensate you.
How Accidents In Shops, Supermarkets and Streets Can Happen
Any area that declares itself as open to the public is assuming responsibility for their safety. When we enter a public area we are entitled under law to assume (within reasonable limits) that it is safe and properly run. However, accidents can still happen.
Some commonly encountered examples are:
- Slip caused by unattended spillages in supermarkets
- Facilities that are unfit for purpose
- Failure to alert users to unavoidable hazards such as low ceilings, steep inclines or poor lighting
- Councils failing to attend to road or pavement repairs
- Poor hygiene standards in restaurants, bars and venues
Councils, private operators and anyone in charge of a public area have a lawful duty to monitor and maintain those environments with a view to avoiding hazards. If they fail to do this and you are injured as a result, they could be liable.
How Do You Prove A Public Liability Claim?
Proving that an occupier is liable for your pain, suffering and associated financial costs requires evidence.
There are three criteria you must prove to succeed in a claim for negligence:
- Did the occupier owe you a duty of care?
- Breach of duty – how did fail to uphold that duty?
- As a result of the breach, did you suffer damage?
It’s important to note there are time restraints when making a case such as this. A personal injury claim must be made within 3 years of the accident date or 3 years from the date of knowledge of the injury.
The Limitation Act 1980 explains how you can start this time frame from either the date of injury or when you first became aware of the negative health consequences.
Secure The Compensation You Deserve Without Paying Upfront
Seeking compensation for an accident in a public place may seem confusing or complex. Legal representation could really help you hold the right person responsible and calculate the best potential settlement on your behalf. But fear of paying costs puts many people off starting a claim.
With this in mind, a No Win No Fee agreement can help. With no fees required to secure your lawyer’s services or any as the case develops, you are freed from any financial constraints to pursue compensation.
If your case fails, there are no fees to pay your lawyers at all. If the case wins, you only pay a small amount, capped by law, to your lawyers for their work.