Accident In A Public Place What To Do? – A Guide To How To Claim Compensation After A Accident In A Public Place

Accident In A Public Place

Accident In A Public Place

By Max Morris. Last Updated 23rd June 2022. On this web page, you will find an answer to the question, I have had an accident in a public place what to do? as well as others. We go over many of the financial and legal aspects of making a claim for a public accident, and explain how the process of starting a No Win No Fee claim works.

You might have some questions that are not answered by this guide. If this is indeed the case, you could speak to the claims team on 0845 408 7825. They will be able to answer any questions you have, and also explain how their claims service can help you. Or, contact us through our website.

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A Guide To Claiming Compensation For An Accident In A Public Place

On this page, you are going to find answers to the question, what do I have to do if I have an accident in a public place? However, as a precursor to this guide, we need to talk about the personal injury claims time limit. You need to be ready to begin making your claim within this time limit. In most cases, the limit is three years, but it can be different in certain circumstances. We recommend you speak to a personal injury solicitor to check which time limit might apply to your own case.

This guide begins by laying some basic groundwork, that goes over several key financial and legal aspects of the claims process. This will include a basic definition of what a public accident is, and how eligibility comes about. You will find a table that presents typical compensation ranges for many different types of injuries, and a list of some of the kinds of damages any settlement you receive could be made up of. We also go over just who might be liable in your claim, and why.

The middle part of the guide goes over the steps you can take in dealing with the accident, and also preparing for making a claim at a later stage. Each of these steps is covered in its own section, and the reasoning behind taking such action is clearly explained.

In the final part of the guide, we move on to the claims process itself and give some advice on how to go about starting your claim. We will also cover claims services that operate some kind of Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) in this part of the guide. Using this kind of claims service means that you are not exposed to any kind of financial risk.

What Is An Accident In A Public Place?

This guide to accidents in public places could apply to any way that a person is injured in a public place. We are not simply discussing accidents that happen in a public street in this guide; we are covering accidents that happen anywhere that the public has legal access to, for example:

  • A shopping centre or retail park.
  • A supermarket or retail shop.
  • Restaurants, cafés, fast-food outlets, etc.
  • Public streets and roads.
  • Public parks and other recreational facilities.
  • Public buildings such as a library, hospital, etc.

However, the main focus of this guide will be on claims that relate to accidents that happen in a public place that is maintained by a local council.

The legal entity that operates the premises or location where the accident took place, is responsible for providing a safe environment for the public. This could be the local council, a private business, a health authority, etc. In a later section, we will explain the concept of liability more fully, and how responsibility for the accident is a key driver of a claim. For now, we can simply say that whenever a member of the public is injured in a place that they are legally at right to enter, if they are injured in an accident that can be proven to be at least partially the fault of the operator of the premises, then a valid claim could exist.

Accident in a Public Place – Example Compensation Payouts

If you’ve been injured due to an accident in a public place, you may want more information about the potential compensation you could receive. You could use an online personal injury claims calculator. However, calculator tools are not always the most accurate when it comes to working out what you could receive as claims can be complicated.

In relation to general damages, the Judicial College Guidelines can provide you with a better idea of the compensation you could receive for the physical or psychological effects of your injury. Remember: you can claim for multiple injuries as part of the same claim as long as you’re able to prove that all of your injuries were caused by the same act of third-party negligence.

The figures below have been taken from the latest guidelines, published in 2022. Please bear in mind that these figures are not guaranteed. Factors that can determine the general damages compensation you receive include the nature of your injury and the overall negative impact the injury has had on your life.

What Injury?How Severe?Potential CompensationNotes
Injured backMinor up to severeUp to the region of £148,330
Ranging upwards from skin injuries caused by blunt trauma, burns or sharp objects (cuts, grazes, bruises, scalds, etc.) through sprains and strains of the back, as well as fractured or damaged vertebrae of the spine, to some level of paralysis.
Injured neckMinor up to severeUp to the region of
£148,330
Ranging upwards from skin injuries caused by blunt trauma, burns or sharp objects (cuts, grazes, bruises, scalds, etc.) through sprains and strains of the neck, as well as fractured or damaged vertebrae of the spine, to some level of paralysis.
Injured legMinor up to severeUp to £137,470Ranging upwards from injuries to the skin caused by sharp edges, blunt trauma or heat (cuts, bruises, burns, etc.) through all kinds of bone fractures and soft tissue injuries, to full or partial amputation or paralysis of the leg.
Injured armModerate up to severeUp to £130,930Ranging upwards from injuries to the skin caused by sharp edges, blunt trauma or heat (cuts, bruises, burns, etc.) through all kinds of bone fractures and soft tissue injuries, to full or partial amputation or paralysis of the arm.
Injured handMinor up to seriousUp to £109,650Ranging upwards from injuries caused by sharp objects (cuts, lacerations), blunt trauma (bruising), heat (burns, scalds), etc. through all forms of STI as well as bone fractures, to amputation or paralysis of the hand.
Injured footMinor up to very severeUp to £109,650Ranging upwards from injuries caused by sharp objects (cuts, lacerations), blunt trauma (bruising), heat (burns, scalds), etc. through all forms of STI as well as bone fractures, to amputation or paralysis of the foot.
Injured ankleMinor up to severeUp to £69,700Ranging upwards from skin damage such as cuts, bruising, burns, grazes, etc. through bone fractures and soft tissue damage such as sprains and sprains, to some level of paralysis of the ankle.
Injured wristMinor up to severeUp to £59,860Ranging upwards from skin damage such as cuts, bruising, burns, grazes, etc. through bone fractures and soft tissue damage such as sprains and sprains, to some level of paralysis of the wrist.
Injured toeModerate up to severeUp to £56,080Ranging upwards from damage to the skin (lacerations, bruises, cuts, scrapes, burns, grazes, etc.) through bone fractures, dislocations and all forms of soft tissue injury, to loss of one or more toes.
Injured thumbMinor up to severeUp to £54,830Ranging upwards from damage to the skin (lacerations, bruises, cuts, scrapes, burns, grazes, etc.) through bone fractures, dislocations and all forms of soft tissue injury, to loss of one or both thumbs.

Whether you want to see if you can make a public liability claim or want to know about your claim eligibility, please contact us for a free consultation using the details above.

Additional Damages Your Public Place Accident Liability Claim Can Compensate You For

When your solicitor is successful in processing a personal injury claim for you, then the settlement you receive will be made up of several different types of damages, for example:

  • Special damages (these compensate for ad-hoc and financial losses):
    • The cost of home care or home help.
    • Loss of wages or salary.
    • Loss of future work prospects.
    • Private medical fees.
    • Travel tickets and related expenses.
  • General damages (these compensate for injuries and other forms of harm):
    • General pain and suffering.
    • Long-term or permanent disability.
    • Psychological damage.
    • Mental trauma, shock and stress.
    • Painful treatment and recovery.

If you would like to learn what kinds of damages you could be able to claim for in your own case, we recommend you speak to a solicitor.

Who Is Responsible For My Accident?

Part of the answer to the question, what to do if you are injured in a public place? is that you are going to need to be able to show that a third party was at least partially to blame for the harm that you suffered. In the case of accidents that occur on a public street, or in another public place such as a public park, or public car park, it would be the local authority that could be responsible.

There are multiple levels of legislation that the local authority must comply with. This includes the Highways Act 1980 and the Road Traffic Act 1988. Both of which contain sections related to pedestrian safety. When the local authority fails to keep pavements and other public places safe to use, by failing to comply with all applicable legislation, then they could be liable for any accident is causes.

What Steps To Take If You Have Had An Accident In A Public Place

If you have been injured in an accident ion a public place, there are a number of steps that you can take in preparation for accident claim lawyers you using to process a claim for you. You also need to make sure that your injuries are treated properly, and that you have followed the proper procedure for reporting the accident. You can take steps such as:

  1. Have your injuries treated at a hospital.
  2. Gather photographic evidence.
  3. Gather witness details.
  4. Report the accident.
  5. Get your story straight.
  6. Document losses.
  7. Speak to a solicitor.

We will cover each of these steps in their own section below, and explain why they are important

How Do You Report An Accident In a Public Place?

This step can differ depending on where you were injured. Different public places can be the responsibility of various bodies and organisations.  Here are some examples of where accidents in public places could occur, and who you could report the accident to:

  • Supermarkets/other shops – slips, trips, and falls are just one example of how you could be injured in this setting. If you are injured in a shop, then you will need to report the accident to those in charge. You can do this by informing the manager on shift, but a written intention to the store’s upper management and/or ownership may be a safer option so there is written proof.
  • Public parks – these can often be maintained by the council. Therefore, the council may be responsible for the safety of the area. If there is a hazard that could cause injuries but is not addressed, then this could cause you to come to harm. In this scenario, you should inform the council of your intent to make a claim.
  • Public walkways – to illustrate, this could be something like the pavement down your local high street. There may be a loose paving stone that could lead to you tripping and falling, injuring yourself as a result. As with public parks, this accident in a public place could be the responsibility of the local authority such as the council.

If you have any questions regarding how to report your accident in a public place, get in touch with our advisors today.

Get Your Injuries Treated

A key part of making accidents in public places claims, is proving how severe your injuries were, and how they will affect your life in the short, medium and long term. Therefore, it is vital that you visit a hospital to have your injuries checked over and treated. You must do this even if you believe your injuries are minor and do not require treatment. Doing so not only ensures you have received the correct treatment, but also that your injuries and their cause have been documented within the National Health Service. The medical report that is generated by having your injuries treated could become vital evidence for your claim, proving how bad your injuries were, and that they will have a negative effect upon your life.

Take Photos Of The Scene Of The Accident

You should attempt to take photographs of the scene of the accident and its cause if it is safe to do so. You can use your cell phone for this. For example, if you are involved in an accident in a supermarket, whereby you slipped on produce that had been spilt on the floor, then take photographs of the spillage, your injuries, and anything else you think may be relevant.

These photographs can be used as evidence in your claim, to prove that the hazard that caused the accident existed, and that it was severe enough to cause the accident in the first case.

Ask Witnesses For Their Contact Details

Sometimes, the public injury claims process requires witnesses to give testimony in support of the claim, especially if the claim is being refuted by the defendant. For example, if you were injured in a fall due to a non-perpetual hazard of some kind, such as spilt liquid on a floor. If the liquid is subsequently cleaned up, and you don’t have any photographic evidence to prove it was there in the first place, a witness would be able to lend weight to your claim.

Therefore, we recommend that you speak to any witnesses to your accident, and ask for their contact details, so that your solicitor can contact them in the future if needed.

Record And Report Your Public Place Accident

Before starting the public accident claims process, you need to report the accident to the relevant entity. For example, if you are injured in a supermarket accident, you can report it in-store. The supermarket operator will have an accident reporting procedure you will need to follow, such as filling in an accident report.

If you are injured in a public street, or anywhere else that the local council is responsible for maintaining, you will need to report the accident to the council. The UK Government has published a web page that can help with this, and this site can be found here:

Reporting an accident to the local authority

Write Down What Happened To You

Sometimes, accidents in a public place  can happen very quickly, due to confusing circumstances. However, when it comes to making your claim, you will have to be very clear about the situation that led to your accident and subsequent injury. Any vagueness in stating your case will detract from its weight.

Therefore, we recommend that at the earliest opportunity, you write down exactly what happened to you. The events leading up to your accident, its cause, and what happened afterwards. You don’t need to go into great detail here, just make enough notes to prompt your memory further down the line.

Record Any Financial Losses And Keep Receipts

When you make a claim against the local authority, or any other legal entity via their public liability insurance, you will need to be able to prove any financial losses you have suffered, if you wish to be compensated for them. Therefore, we recommend that you begin to record all financial losses the accident and your injuries have caused you. This can be anything from bus or train tickets you had to buy in order to visit the hospital, through to the cost of a holiday that you had to cancel at the last minute.

It is vital that you keep all of the receipts for anything that you want to claim back as part of your compensation settlement. You don’t need to necessarily organise the receipts. Simply make a list of all of the costs you incur, and keep it in an envelope with all of the receipts. Your solicitor will know how to prepare them as evidence for your claim.

Talk To A Personal Injury Lawyer

In this guide, we hope that we have given you some good information on what to do when you have an accident in a public place. However, by now, you should realise that you are definitely going to need help from a specialist accident lawyer. When you do reach out to a legal firm, one of their representatives will go over your claim with you, and inform you of your legal options. They will then explain how they can be of help, in processing your claim for you. Many will offer you their claims service, as the perfect vehicle for processing your claim, more on this in the section below.

No Win No Fee Claims For Injuries And Accidents In A Public Place

When you use a No Win No Fee claims service to have your claim processed, you don’t pay any fee at all when:

  • The solicitor starts working on your claim for you.
  • As the solicitor processes your claim, no matter how long this part takes.
  • When the solicitor is not able to get you any compensation at all.

The only time you should pay a fee, is when the solicitor has received a compensation payment for you. They will then deduct their fee from this money, and pass you the remainder.

How To Begin Your Accident In A Public Place Injury Claim

Have you been injured in an accident in a public place? Do you believe that a third party, such as the local authority was to blame for the harm you suffered in some way? If so, you could speak to our advisors on 0845 408 7825. They will be able to tell you whether you have a valid claim or not.

References

You may find these links to be of use to you: