Public Liability

How To Make A Public Liability Injury Claim

Although it is nice to think that nothing bad will ever happen to us, the truth is that public liability claims are a necessity for many people. In the following post, we will explain all you need to know about making a public liability claim. We cover everything from what constitutes a public liability claim to how you go about making one and finding the right person to represent you. If you believe you have been the victim of an accident in public, read on to discover how you can get the compensation you’re entitled to.

What Exactly Counts As Public Liability?

Public liability can be explained as the duty of care a business, organisation or individual is responsible or owes the general public to ensure a public area or space is safe for use. Companies are advised to take out public liability insurance to enable them to give compensation to members of the general public who are injured on their property or areas when they are at fault.

What Is a Public Liability Compensation Claim?

A public liability compensation claim, which could also be referred to as a personal injury claim, is making a claim again the owner of a public property if you have had an accident and suffered from an injury.  There are many organisations, public and governmental, that fall under this umbrella term when it comes to making a claim.

What Kinds Of Accidents And Injuries Qualifies For Public Liability Claims?

There is a wide variety of accidents and injuries that qualify a public liability claim, including:

  • Trips, slips and falls that have been caused by untreated surfaces in winter weather, poorly maintained pavements and footpaths and potholes. This can apply to areas such as car parks, schools shopping centres, supermarkets and damaged stairwells.
  • Objects causing injuries, either by falling from a height onto the public, or sharp objects that should have been moved or covered over to make them safe.
  • Obstructions on a footpath road or any other hazards that can cause trips.

Though the above list is not exhaustive, it gives you a good idea of the kind of accidents and injuries you should make a public liability claim against. therefore, if you have experienced any of the above or something similar, should contact a personal injury lawyer to start the claim process.

Can You Make A Claim?

If you have suffered injury or been involved in an small or large accident while in a public area or on public property and it wasn’t your fault you could be eligible for a public liability compensation claim. You may be eligible to make a claim against an employer if the accident occurred on public property during your time as an employee because they didn’t take due care to ensure your health and safety

What If The Property Or Public Area Owner Does Not Have Public Liability Insurance?

In the event that the owner of the property or the person or organisation responsible for the public area where you suffered from injuries or had an accident does not have public liability insurance, don’t worry. You are still eligible to make a claim for compensation.

Rather than the owner is responsible for paying compensation, you would make the public liability claim against the person or party who was at fault. This makes recovering damages harder if they don’t have enough money to pay you or they go bust. A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you out and discuss the risks of your claim not being successful.

What Do You Need To Do To Make A Claim?

In order to put forward a successful claim for public liability compensation, you need to prove with clear evidence that the injury was not your fault.

To make your claim stronger, you need to:

  • Report the incident immediately when it happens to either the owner or the member of staff responsible at the time.
  • Make sure your accident is recorded in an accident book.
  • Take contact details of any eyewitnesses of your accident.
  • Photograph the area the incident happened
  • If your accident involves uneven or damaged pavements, it is a good idea to use a coin (like a 50p or 10p piece) or ruler and stand it upright in or beside the lump or hole before you take photographs to show the height/depth better.

If you plan to claim expenses along with your public liability claim, including travelling expenses and the costs of prescriptions concerning treatments, you need to keep your receipts as the evidence.

If there are any video cameras or CCTV in the area, you could approach the owners and request a copy which shows the time of your incident. This is more than likely to be the strongest evidence you could obtain when it comes to making a public liability claim.

How Do You Start A Public Liability Claim?

There are strict time-frames in place for when you are allowed to make personal liability claims. Therefore, if you are looking to make a claim, you need to start the process within three years of when the accident occurred. However, if you are under the age of 18, and experience an accident that results in an injury, the time limit starts from the date of your birthday when you turn 18.

As personal injury and public liability law are complicated, it is not advisable to put forward a claim representing yourself. It is inevitable that the opposing side would use their legal representative’s knowledge to undermine any aspect of your case even if there is video evidence. Make sure you contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in public area accidents, and they will be able to help you out with making a successful claim which sees you receiving the compensation you are entitled to.

From our survey these are the best public liability lawyers in the UK

  • The UK’s biggest personal injury website very helpful and free live chat.
  • The Accident Claims Company website providing in depth guides to council claims.
  • Beckett & Co Solicitors website with advice on common supermarket accidents.
  • Advice UK. One of the UK’s biggest legal advice websites is vey helpful and provides personal injury advice.
  • Thorntons. The website with a detailed guide to pothole accidents that have caused injury.

How To Make A Public Liability Claim Against The Council

Every council has a responsibility towards the proper maintenance and regulation of their services to the public. They legally have to follow strict and very important health and safety rules and regulations to protect members of the public from accidents and injuries.

Therefore, if you have suffered personal injury or have been involved in an incident while on a council-owned property, or while employed by the council, you may be entitled to compensation. If this is the case, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer, to see if you have a successful case or not.

Local councils, administrative bodies representing local government, are responsible for providing various services in your local area, such as:

  • Social care
  • Schools
  • Public areas and parks
  • Rubbish disposal and collection
  • Public transport
  • Libraries
  • Leisure and sports facilities

If you have had an accident or suffered injury as a result of the council’s negligence, read on to find out what are the next steps to take and if you could be entitled to a monetary award due to your ordeal. We discuss which areas are covered in such claims, and the process by which a claim takes place.

Common Accidents and Injuries Due To Council Negligence

For your compensation claims against the council to be successful, you must be able to prove, with the help of a personal injury lawyer, that your injuries were sustained due to negligence on the part of the council. Negligence by definition means the council failed to carry out their duty of care towards the general public. Some of the common injuries that can result from this kind of negligence include:

  • Falls, trips and slips because of public areas that are not looked after properly
  • Badly maintained equipment causing injuries in schools or council-owned city parks
  • Poorly maintained roads or potholes causing car accidents and subsequent injuries
  • Injuries during employment with the council

Thorough Evidence is necessary to make a claim for compensation successful. This evidence includes photographs of the area where the accident took place and your injuries.

Your lawyer may need to request CCTV, if there is any, from the area where the accident took place to prove that negligence was responsible for it and your injuries.

What Can You Claim?

As every personal injury accident and the injuries suffered as a result are different, it is hard to say just how much compensation you would be awarded. However, you will be awarded compensation based on aspects related to the accident:

  • Suffering and pain from your injuries

This is the immediate physical damage sustained from the incident. It can range from a few cuts and scrapes to broken bones and paralysis. Generally, the more severe the injury, the greater the level of compensation will be awarded.

  • The impact in the long run on the quality of life you have

This deals with the long-term impacts the incident has on your family and social life.

  • Psychological issues

When an accident occurs, the trauma may not be visible on the outside to the observer. Individuals may suffer PTSD and bouts of depression related to the incident.

  • Loss of earnings due to sick leave or leaving your job altogether

A broken arm or leg can see accident victims off work for a minimum of 6-8 weeks. Their employer may not be able to give that much sick pay, leaving the individual unable to pay basic utilities or a mortgage.

  • Any travel expenses

Trips to medical professionals, hospitals and other professionals related to your injuries can be included in the compensation cost- as well as any medication costs arising as a result of your injuries.

How To Make A Claim Against The Council If You Are An Employee

If you have been injured while being an employee of the council, you can make a claim based on employer negligence. You will need to prove that negligence was the cause of your accident and injuries. It could be that the council did not provide you or colleagues with the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment or that they failed to give you sufficient health and safety training.

Although a lot of the law surrounding employer negligence is slightly different, even just in the terminology used, there are a lot of similarities between the two.

You will need evidence to prove employer negligence was responsible for your accident and injuries. This includes the likes of photographs of the area or hazard that caused the accident, proof that no warning signs or notices were used, where necessary, to alert you to prevent accidents. If there is evidence that your employer did not follow the correct procedure or did not train you sufficiently in the health and safety aspects of your workplace.

How To Proceed With Your Personal Liability Compensation Against The Council

You need to contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience working on cases involving compensation claims against the council. As the law on both employer negligence and personal liability is complicated; it is not recommended that you take on the case yourself. A suitable professional solicitor will help you through your case from start to finish.

It is important that you don’t delay making a compensation claim against the council, as there are usually time-frames with which you have to make your claim. If you try to make a claim outside of this time-frame, you will not be eligible for compensation.

The great thing is that most personal injury lawyers work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. This means that if you are worried about the costs involved with making a claim only for it not to be successful, your lawyer won’t expect payment unless they win. It also means that they will work tirelessly to achieve the best result.

If you have been involved in an accident that you believe wasn’t your fault, you are entitled to claim for compensation, and a personal injury lawyer will be able to help you achieve this.