What Are Accident Books For Public Place Accidents And When Do I Need To Fill It In?
If you have had an accident in a public place you may have heard about or been advised to file a report in an accident book in a public place. But, what are accident books in public places, what should be recorded in an accident book, how is this used and are they helpful in making a personal injury claim? In this guide, you can find the answers to these and other questions.
If you have been injured in a public place you may find that in the immediate aftermath you are quickly rushed off to a doctors surgery or hospital as appropriate and so unable to report the accident to the relevant authorities. At this point, you will more likely be focusing on getting whatever healthcare you need and could even question why should accidents be reported at all? But making sure that the details of your accident (what the cause was and how you have been injured) are correctly reported or recorded can be invaluable. The consequences of not reporting an accident at work, in a shop or in the street could be that if you later choose to make a personal injury claim you have less evidence of the accident having taken place. As soon as you are able to do so, we recommend that you report the circumstances of your accident to the relevant authorities and recorded in an accident report log or book.
To find out more about how and why you should report being injured in a public place please read on.
Choose A Section
- A Guide To Accident Report Books In A Public Place
- What Is An Accident Report Book?
- What Type Of Accident Or Injury Should Be Recorded?
- Personal Injury Calculator For Accidents Which Have Happened In A Public Place
- Can I Claim For The Financial Effects Of My Accident?
- What Will Be Recorded In The Accident Book?
- When And How Should You Complete An Accident Book In A Public Place?
- Where And How Should Accident Report Books Be Kept?
- Do Companies Have To Keep Accident Books In Public Places?
- How Long Do I Have To Report An Accident At Work?
- Procedure For Reporting Accidents And Incidents At Work
- No Accident Report Has Been Made, Could I Still Claim?
- No Win No Fee Claims For Accidents Reported In A Public Place
- How To Claim For Accidents In Public Places
Why should accidents be reported? This is a good question. As a general rule, personal injury lawyers will recommend that accident victims do make sure that their accident and injury are reported at the earliest possible opportunity, this may be before or after seeking medical treatment depending on your injuries. The accident should be reported to the party responsible for the public place where the accident took place. This can be one of the best forms of evidence in your subsequent public injury claim as it provides documentary evidence of where, when and how you were injured.
How to report your accident and who is responsible for filling in an accident book may not always be obvious. If you were injured in a shop, restaurant or another public place you may find that third parties could be less than forthcoming in how to do so. If you have found it difficult to record what happened to you or the accident was not put in the accident book, contact our team for advice.
Accident report books should be kept in all workplaces and may be used in a variety of different public places. Accident report books or logs are an essential way for accidents in public places to be documented accurately and in detail. The accident book is a legal requirement in the UK and employers are legally required to record accidents in the workplace and in some specific cases are required to report certain incidents and injuries in the workplace. The log enables a company to be compliant with requirements set out in health and safety (as well as social security) legislation. This could including being compliant with RIDDOR guidance and reporting such instances.
Effectively, the accident report book shows that an employer or a public place is complying with relevant legislation. If an accident in a public place does happen these records will be used as evidence that the accident took place as claimed and that the injuries were recorded as having been caused in this way. In essence, the book serves as an impartial record of events.
Next, we shall look at different types of accident which have to be reported and recorded. Some accidents do need to be reported and others do not. Which incidents need to be reported are set out in the 1995 Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. These include;
- Injuries which prevent an employee from being able to carry out their usual duties for three days or more.
- Those which are classified as a major injury such as a break to the leg, arm or ribs.
- Fatal accidents.
- Workplace diseases.
- Dangerous instances such as a structure of scaffolding collapse.
Whilst not all instances of an accident or a disease are legally required to be recorded under RIDDOR guidance, we do recommend that all accident at work examples and accidents at public places are recorded. Even reporting a minor accident could help to prevent a larger accident from taking place in the future.
If you have had an accident in a public place and wish to make a claim, you could have found this article whilst searching for a personal injury claims calculator. When people are making public accident claims they very often are interested in seeing how much their claim is worth before contacting a personal injury solicitor. As we shall see in the table below, how much you could be able to claim will generally depend on what part of you was injured, and the extent of your injuries.
Whilst is it not easy to estimate damages which you may be owed without knowing the extent to which you were harmed, broadly a public accident claim will aim to leave claimants in the same financial position they were before the accident whilst compensating them for the actual injury as well.
Example Personal Injury Claims Calculator
|Part of body||Seriousness||Notes on the injury||Guidelines for settlements|
|Feet||Modest - amputations||Can include various injuries to a foot or both fee.||up to £176,660|
|Leg(s)||Less serious - severe||Covering a very wide range of injury types and levels of injury to one or both of your legs.||Injuries up to £119,210. Awards for an amputation may be higher.|
|Pelvis/ hips||Lesser - severe||The highest levels of injury could be considered as devastating to the claimant as the loss of a limb.||From up to £3,460 - £114,810|
|Back (lower, middle, upper)||Minor - severe||Injuries could be sustained across the back. At the lower end they will heal quickly and at the upper end there could be injuries to the spinal cord.||From up to £2,150 - £141,150|
|Neck||Minor - severe||This could include a variety of different types of injury to the neck. Such injuries may also affect other parts of the body in this area (shoulders and upper back).||From up to £2,150 - £130,060|
|Head/ or the brain.||Minor head or brain injury||May only include minor levels of injury to either the head or to the brain.||£1,940 to £11,200|
|One or both of the shoulders.||Moderate - severe||These categories exclude more minor levels and forms of injury to one or both shoulders.||£6,920 - £42,110|
|One or both of the arms.||Less severe - severe||At the most severe, such injuries fall short of the loss of the arm.||£16,830 - £114,810|
|One or both of the wrists.||Minor - loss of function||Such injuries could range between a simple injury up to the effective loss of use of a wrist.||£3,090 - £52,490|
|One or both of your hands.||Minor - serious||A variety of different hand injuries, not including loss of the hand/ hands.||£800 - £54,280|
The simplest answer to this is to say yes, you could be able to claim compensatory damages for a variety of different financial impacts of your accident or injury. As we have already discussed above, the purpose of damages awarded to you is to ensure that you are in the broadly same position you were in before the accident. As such you could claim compensation for things such as:
- Out of pocket expenses and damage to your personal property.
- Travel expenses related to attending medical treatment for your injuries.
- Various medical expenses, such as the cost of treatment or medication.
- Care expenses, such as the cost of care in the home provided by a professional, or to compensate a friend or family member for lost income.
- Any costs related to adapting your home or your vehicle if necessary as a result of your accident and injuries.
If you have had to meet out-of-pocket expenses because of your accident, we do recommend that you keep a record of these expenses, such as keeping receipts, invoices or bank statements.
An accident books’ legal requirement in the UK include requiring information such as the details of how the accident happened. It will also record details of where and when the accident took place and who sustained any injuries. It should also record details of these injuries and their direct cause. This information must be kept private. This is to ensure the privacy of the victim and to be accident book GDPR compliant. You can see information about accident book GDPR compliance here.
The accident serves two purposes. These are,
- Firstly to create a record of the accident having taken place which can help to support a public injury claim.
- Secondly, to record accidents in a location, this can help to highlight potential risks and prevent further similar accidents in the future. Reducing or eliminating them.
The book (which may be kept as a digital resource) is a very valuable source of evidence for personal injury solicitors or personal injury lawyers investigating claims. It also helps employers or operators of public spaces to prevent accidents and injuries in the future.
How do I report an accident at work? The best and simplest way to do so is to contact your employer or the relevant person at your company and ask to fill out an accident report. A report or record should be made in the accident report book or log at the earliest possible opportunity after the accident has happened. Who is responsible for filling in the accident book could depend on the victims level of injury. Ideally, the designated person at the company or public place should enter the information with the injured party. However, if they were seriously hurt and required immediate treatment this may not be possible. In this case, the injuries could be recorded in the book by a work colleague (if reporting an accident at work) or someone else who you ask to complete it.
If you had an accident at work but didn’t report it as yet, you need to do so as soon as possible, especially if you were injured in the workplace. People are required to inform an employer of an accident and of being hurt as soon as possible. If they can not do so because of their level of injury and are unable to work for more than seven days because of how you were hurt, the employer has to report the accident.
Where should the accident book be kept at work? Most employers (as well as many public places) will either need or want to keep a record of accidents. What are the requirements of this book, who could be exempt from using them and is there an accident book entry time limit?
Do I need an accident book? Any company which employs ten (or more) people is legally required to keep a workplace accident report book. The employer is legally required to keep this information and it must be safely kept for a three year period. It should be kept in a safe location where the information is kept safe and secure.
If a company has ten or more employees or if the company owns or occupies a mine, factory or a quarry, there is a legal requirement to have an accident book in public places. This requirement is set out in the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979.
However, even if an employer does not meet these criteria, or if they are a public place which does not have a requirement under this act to retain and record information, they must still make sure to record and report any incidents which fall under the RIDDOR as looked at above. A full list of reportable incidents can be found here.
If you have been hurt in a public place, such as at work, you could reasonably ask how long do I have to report an accident at work? The responsible party, such as an employer, should be informed of any accident in which you were hurt as soon as you can after the incident happening. This is the same for whether you were hurt in a minor or a severe way.
If you do choose to make a public injury claim you should be aware of the associated personal injury claims time limit within which you can do so. Whilst there are exceptions to this, in general, there is a three-year time limit within which you can make your claim. This three year period begins from the date of the incident or the date from which you discovered your injury. The record in the accident book could serve as evidence of this date. As such, we recommend that you record your accident as soon as possible and begin a claim at your earliest possible opportunity.
To prevent an accident book in public places being misused there are procedures which you should follow when you file your report. Reporting accidents and incidents at work should be done straight away. If you were unable to do so immediately, you should do so as soon as you can. As the injured party, you should be shown the report as it is filled in and once it is completed. If you are happy that the information has been recorded correctly, you should then confirm this.
As personal injury claims or claims against public liability insurance have to be filed within a three year period, records contained in accident books in public places must be kept for at least a corresponding period of time. This is to ensure the evidence is available to someone if they choose to file a claim within this period.
There could be different reasons for why your accident has not been reported. It could be that your injuries required immediate medical attention after which making a report was simply forgotten. It could also be that for one reason or another there is no accident book at work. It could also be that the public place is deliberately attempting to prevent a record being made.
Whatever the reason that there was no accident report book available or that a record was not made, this should not affect your ability to make a claim. You could still be able to make a claim based on other evidence, such as any medical evidence or witness statements. Having a record of your incident does however make the claims process easier to do.
No win no fee agreements are designed to help people to claim compensation and to seek justice without having to worry about having to afford the fees and costs associated with doing so. The agreement means that if your claim fails to be awarded compensation, there will be nothing for you to pay. Conversely, if you do win, the legal fees (agreed in advance) can simply be deducted from the settlement.
Remember, if you do wish to make a public interest claim that you need to do so within a strict period of time. As such, you need to ensure that you do begin the claims process within this time limit and do so as soon as you can after the incident has happened.
Personal injury and public liability claims could be complicated to conduct at times. As such, we always advise that people do so by using a competent personal injury lawyer. Ensure that you do contact our team to be connected with a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in your type of claim. You can contact our team by clicking contact us above and filling in the contact form.
If after reading our guide article looking at the role of an accident book in public places and personal injury claims, you still have questions or wish to find out more, you can see additional information in these resources from our site and the Health and Safety Executive.
Public Accident Claims Hot Spots
In this article, we look at potential hot spots where accidents in a public place could happen, and what you could do if they do.
Who Should You Report An Accident To?
The RIDDOR is a way of documenting accidents and injuries with the Health and Safety Executive
Further Information On Accident Report Books
This article from the HSE looks more at accident report books and how to order them.