Claim Compensation After An Accident In A Public Place

By Megan Webster. Last Updated 22nd August 2023. 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.

a man holding his knee after falling in a public street

Accident In A Public Place

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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 Compensation Notes
Injured back Minor up to severe Up 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 neck Minor up to severe Up 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 leg Minor up to severe Up to £137,470 Ranging 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 arm Moderate up to severe Up to £130,930 Ranging 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 hand Minor up to serious Up to £109,650 Ranging 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 foot Minor up to very severe Up to £109,650 Ranging 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 ankle Minor up to severe Up to £69,700 Ranging 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 wrist Minor up to severe Up to £59,860 Ranging 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 toe Moderate up to severe Up to £56,080 Ranging 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 thumb Minor up to severe Up to £54,830 Ranging 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

When suing the council for a personal injury, you should collect relevant evidence to help support your case. Some examples of the evidence that could be used in your personal injury claim include:

  • Any video footage that captured your accident taking place, such as CCTV footage.
  • The contact details of anyone who witnessed your accident. A legal professional, such as a solicitor, could then take a statement from them at a later date.
  • Medical evidence regarding your injury, such as a copy of your medical records.
  • Photographs of any visible injuries you have suffered, e.g. cuts and lacerations.
  • Photographs of the accident scene.

If you talk to our advisors today, they could help you with understanding the types of evidence that may support your specific claim. Furthermore, they may connect you with a solicitor on our panel who could help you with gathering this evidence.

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

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