Frequently Asked Questions On Public Liability Claims Guide

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A Guide To Public Liability Claim FAQs

This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) article discusses public liability injury claims. It looks at answering questions on when it is possible to claim compensation for injuries sustained in a public place. We look at the legislation that must be followed by the party responsible for public premises and when a breach of their duty could lead to a personal injury claim.

We provide examples of accidents that could happen in a public place and lead to a public liability compensation claim. Going through the article, you will also learn about the time limit for starting a public liability claim and the evidence you can use to prove a public place occupier’s negligence.

Further on, you can see how compensation for public liability claims could address the pain caused by your injuries as well as financial loss. We also give some insight into how long the public liability claims process can take.

Finally, you can learn how our specialist solicitors could help you make a No Win No Fee public liability claim with no legal fees if the case fails.

Our advisors can provide you with free advice and complete a free public liability compensation claim assessment to see if you could be connected to a solicitor. This service is available 24/7 when you:

  • Call 0151 375 9916, to have you public liability injury claim assessed for free or;
  • Contact us through our website.

An injured person lies at the bottom of a staircase, holding their left shoulder.

Choose A Section

  1. What Are Public Liability Injury Claims?
  2. What Are Potential Examples Of Public Liability Claims?
  3. Do You Need To Make Public Liability Injury Claims Within A Certain Time Limit?
  4. What Evidence Could Help Me In A Public Liability Compensation Claim?
  5. How Much Public Injury Compensation Could You Receive?
  6. How Long Will My Public Injury Compensation Claim Take?
  7. What Are The Benefits Of Making A No Win No Fee Claim?
  8. Learn More About Making Public Liability Injury Claims

What Are Public Liability Injury Claims?

When you’re out and about in a public place, in places such as shops, parks or public roads, it is likely that whoever operates that public space owes you a legal duty of care. What this means, according to the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, is that the party in control of the public space has a legal requirement to do everything possible to reasonably prevent visitors from being harmed.

Businesses, the local council and even individuals are all examples of parties in control of a public place. They may have a policy with a public liability insurance provider to cover them in case a member of the general public sues them for public liability compensation.

Occupiers can be liable for public liability accidents that happen because they breached their duty of care. If an injury occurs through an accident that the occupier could have reasonably prevented, or even caused through their actions, you could have the right to make a public liability claim.

Public liability injury claims must hit all of the below eligibility criteria:

  • A public place occupier owed you a duty of care.
  • They breached this duty.
  • This led to an accident where you suffered physical and/or psychological injuries.

What Are Potential Examples Of Public Liability Claims?

Not all injuries suffered in public places qualify for a public liability claim. To make a successful compensation claim, it is important to highlight occupier negligence. The examples below show accidents in public places that could all form the basis of personal injury claims:

  • A local authority ignores reports of pavements being damaged by tree roots breaking through the asphalt. A pedestrian is hospitalised with leg and ankle injuries sustained when they get their foot caught in a protruding root.
  • A stairway handrail is broken, this has been reported to the shopping centre management many times. However no repair has taken place. A shopper when walking down the stairs grabs the handrail when it comes away causing them to fall down a full flight of stairs. They suffer a serious head injury that causes brain damage.
  • Hospital employees made aware of a spillage in a corridor. They do not act to signpost the potential hazard. A visitor slips, trips and falls on the floor, badly damaging their hip and shoulder.

An image showing different public place accidents

If you’re interested in learning how expert personal injury lawyers can help claimants make a public liability claim, please call today. Our advisors can perform a quick assessment to see if you could claim compensation for your injuries.

Do You Need To Make Public Liability Injury Claims Within A Certain Time Limit?

The quick answer is that yes, there is a set time limitation for public liability injury claims. Generally, a personal injury claim must begin within three years of the date the accident happened, according to The Limitation Act 1980.

However, the time you have to start personal injury claims can change in certain circumstances. For example, a person under the age of 18 cannot start a public liability claim themselves. Because of this, their claim period is from their 18th birthday to their 21st. It is only possible for a personal injury claim to begin before they turn 18 years old if a litigation friend, for example, a parent, starts the claim on the young person’s behalf.

The limitation is similarly paused for a person who is not considered mentally able to start a compensation claim. A litigation friend can step in to claim for them, but if they don’t, the injured person has three years to claim from their recovery date if there is one.

Are you unsure how long you have to start a claim for an accident you suffered in a public place? Just call and share a few basic details, and let our advisors give you a helping hand. You could also learn if one of our experienced No Win No Fee solicitors could help you get the whole public liability compensation claim process started.

What Evidence Could Help Me In A Public Liability Compensation Claim?

One key piece of advice expert personal injury lawyers will often give is to collect as much evidence as possible for public liability claims. Types of proof you could gather include:

    • CCTV footage or video from a personal device.
    • Photos of the accident scene.
    • Evidence of your medical treatment, such as X-ray scan results that show the injuries suffered.
  • When the accident occurred, the building manager might have reported it in the accident book. If so, you could get a copy of the book entry.
  • Witness contact details.

You could instruct a public liability claim solicitor who could help you gather and present evidence. Learn more about the support our solicitors can offer throughout the claims process by calling the number above.

A person's legs can be seen alongside a crutch. The right leg is in a cast.

How Much Public Injury Compensation Could You Receive? 

You may be wondering how much compensation you might receive from a public liability claim payout. There is no definite figure because of the complexities of a compensation claim, but your settlement would certainly include general damages if you are successful.

As one of up to two possible heads of a payout, general damages focuses on the physical pain and mental suffering brought about by injuries suffered in a public place accident.

Those involved in figuring out the appropriate compensation for the injured party might look at the medical evidence provided. They could also check the guideline award brackets shown in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG.) The table you can see below features JCG figures for injuries that might be claimed for in personal injury cases.

Compensation Table 

Excluding the top line, this table’s entries come from the JCG’s set of guideline compensation figures. Please remember that this is only a guide and public liability compensation can vary between cases.

Multiple Severe Injuries And Financial LossesVery SeriousUp to £1,000,000+Numerous very serious injuries, as well as expenses like a loss of earnings or travel expenses.
HeadVery Severe£282,010 to £403,990The top of the bracket will be appropriate only where there is significant effect on the senses and severe physical limitation.
LegSevere Leg Injuries (i)£96,250 to £135,920Injuries that do not involve amputation but are so serious that courts have awarded damages at a comparable level. For example, fractures that do not unite coupled with extensive bone grafting.
Pelvis and HipSevere (i)£78,400 to £130,930A hip injury leading to spondylolisthesis of a low back joint with intolerable pain. Alternatively, extensive pelvic fractures with, for example, low back joint dislocation and a ruptured bladder.
FootVery Severe£83,960 to £109,650Injuries causing permanent and severe pain or really serious permanent disability. For example, a traumatic forefoot amputation with a significant risk of a full amputation being needed.
KneeSevere (i)£69,730 to £96,210A serious knee injury with joint disruption, developing osteoarthritis, gross ligamentous damage and a completed or inevitable arthroplasty or arthrodesis. The injured person faces lengthy treatment, considerable pain and a loss of function.
HandSerious Damage to Both Hands£55,820 to £84,570Injuries giving rise to permanent cosmetic disability, as well as a significant loss of function.
AnkleVery Severe£50,060 to £69,700A limited and unusual set of injuries. For example, bilateral fractures causing joint degeneration at a young age and making arthrodesis necessary.
ArmInjuries Resulting in Permanent and Substantial Disablement£39,170 to £59,860Serious fracturing of one or both forearms. There is a permanent functional or cosmetic disability.
ShoulderSevere£19,200 to £48,030Cases associated often with neck injuries and damage to the brachial plexus. The injury results in significant disability.

Can You Claim For Financial Losses?

The second potential head of claim is known as special damages. This aims to compensate for financial loss brought about by a public liability injury.

Among the examples you could claim for under the special damages head are:

  • A loss of earnings if you are unable to work while injured.
  • Travel expenses.
  • Bills for medical treatment and prescriptions.
  • Domestic care fees.
  • Home or vehicle adaptation charges.

If you’d like to know more about the compensation you could potentially receive if you make a public liability claim, please give us a call and our advisors can share even more useful information.

How Long Will My Public Injury Compensation Claim Take?

There is no set time period for how long public liability injury claims will take to settle. The course of the claims process will be affected by, among other things:

  • The extent of your injuries after the accident happened. You may have a lengthy recovery period or a medical assessment may take some time.
  • If the proof you provided is clear or if it is uncertain who was at fault for the accident.
  • Whether or not the defendant admits liability.
  • Whether the case goes to court. However, it’s important to note that most public liability compensation claims don’t need to be resolved in court.

Image of a clock to illustrate public liability claim time limit.

There is also no guarantee that the defendant or their public liability insurance provider will accept liability. Many people choose to work with our expert personal injury claim solicitors because they can navigate the process of making a public liability claim quickly and efficiently, ensuring that unnecessary delays do not occur.

What Are The Benefits Of Making A No Win No Fee Claim?

If you’re interested in getting legal representation from one of our experienced public liability claim solicitors, please remember to call and ask an advisor to assess your potential compensation claim.

Having a valid public liability accident claim could mean working with a solicitor and signing a Conditional Fee Agreement. As a form of No Win No Fee arrangement, this means that you will not pay an upfront fee for your solicitor’s work. They also won’t charge you for their work during the claim. There is no solicitor fee for the whole process if the claim loses.

A successful public liability injury claim would see you awarded compensation, a small percentage of which would go to your solicitor. This deduction is known as the success fee. A legal cap set out by The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 sets a limit to the percentage that can be earmarked for your solicitor.

Image of a public liability solicitor.

Calling us is free and there’s no obligation to start a compensation claim. But if you had an accident in a public place and want to see whether a solicitor can help you seek compensation for the injuries you suffered, a consultation is one quick and stress-free call away.

To reach our team for free advice, choose from either option:


Learn More About Making Public Liability Injury Claims

Give us a call to find out more about how to make a public liability claim. Here are some other handy guides from our archives:

These resources also have some relevant information:

Thank you for reading our guide. Remember, you can reach us over the phone or online to ask about public liability injury claims or enquire about making a personal injury claim of your own.

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