University Accident Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation For An Personal Injury In A Public University

By Danielle Newton. Last Updated 22nd November 2022. On this web page, you will find a complete guide to the process of making a personal injury claim for a university accident.

If you or one of your children have been injured in an accident at a public university, this guide will explain much about the way a personal injury solicitor will process a claim for you. It covers your eligibility to make a claim, and why a public school may be liable to pay compensation. It also gives examples of several causes of these claims.

Public University Accident Claims

Public University Accident Claims

You might have questions that are left unanswered by this guide. If this applies to you, then you could call Public Interest Lawyers on 0800 408 7825 and speak to one of our advisors.

They would be able to answer your questions and explain how they may be able to help you to move your claim forward. You can also ask questions to our advisors online if you prefer, through either our contact us page or our live chat service.

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Tips On How To Sue A University After An Accident

This guide will give you a firm grounding in how to make a public school personal injury claim. It will leave you with enough understanding to begin making properly informed decisions about your own claim. It will go over the reasons why you may be eligible to make a claim for injuries and illnesses, and also who might be liable to pay damages for the harm you have suffered, and why. We’ll also answer related questions such as ‘why do accidents need to be reported under certain circumstances?’

The first part of this guide gives information related to the legal and financial aspects of the claim. We start with a brief overview of what a public university claim is, and why you could be eligible to claim. We also provide a table, that lists compensation ranges for a number of different injuries and illnesses. Additionally, we give a list of some of the common types of damages that a settlement could be made up of, if a claim is successful. The last section of this part of the guide looks at the duty of care a university owes students, staff and members of the public, and when a university might be liable to pay compensation.

The middle part of this guide gives some actual examples of the kinds of claims that people may need to make against a university. Each of these example claims is covered in its own section, and we list some of the hazards and risks that could cause them.

We tie up this guide, by presenting a table that shows typical time limits that you will have to begin your claim in. We also introduce our simple, yet effective claims service. This service is available to all residents of the UK, and provides a way for you to have your claim processed at no financial risk at all.

What Is An Accident In A Public University?

Whenever an injury at a public university occurs, that is even partially the fault of the university or its staff; then a valid claim could exist. The key fact here, is the concept of liability. There must have clearly been some duty of breach of care (more on this in a later section), for the injured party to be eligible to make a claim. Consider the following two examples:

  1. A student of a university, slips on some food that has been spilt on the floor of the university restaurant, resulting in an injury.
  2. A student at a university, trips over a bag that has been left on the floor of a corridor by another student, causing an injury.

In the first example, the university is responsible for the accident, as the spillage should have been cleaned up, or clearly marked as a hazard until it had been. In the second example, the university was in no way the cause of the accident, and it would not be liable for the harm caused to the injured party.

In some cases, a person might contribute to the cause of their own accident, but the university would still be partially to blame in some way. In these cases, the two legal teams would negotiate a reduced level of liability for the university.

Personal Injury Claims Calculator For Accidents In A Public University

If you have grounds to start a personal injury claim for an accident in a public university, then you may have questions about how much compensation you could receive if the claim is successful. Compensation payments for such claims can vary since they depend on several factors. The injuries you claim for and how severe they are both have a massive influence on the total compensation figure which may be offered. If there are other damages you can claim for, such as damage to personal property or loss of earnings, then that will affect the final payment too.

What Damages Could I Be Eligible To Claim?

If you are injured on a university campus, and make a successful university accident compensation claim, the settlement you receive will be made up of multiple types of damages, for example:

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

In the table below, you’ll find some compensation brackets for different types of injuries that may be claimed for following an accident in a university. The brackets are based on the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (2022) and they should only be treated as rough estimates for potential compensation payments.

Injury Severity Notes Compensation Bracket
Brain Injury Moderately Severe The injury is severe enough to make the victim very seriously disabled. £219,070 to £282,010
Brain Injury Moderate (i) Applies to cases where there’s moderate to severe intellectual deficit and a high risk of epilepsy. Other symptoms may include effects on personality, speech, sight and other senses. £150,110 to £219,070
Neck Injury Severe (ii) Usually involves serious fractures or damage to discs within the cervical spine, leading to serious disabilities. £65,740 to £130,930
Neck Injury Moderate (ii) Usually involves soft tissue or wrenching-type injuries and disc lesions that may result in cervical spondylosis. £13,740 to £24,990
Injuries Affecting Sight Complete Loss of Sight in One Eye Some risk of sympathetic ophthalmia is considered. There may be some scarring around the affected eye but not enough to merit a separate compensation award. £49,270 to £54,830
Back Injury Moderate (i) This bracket covers a wide range of potential back injuries that cause continuous pain and reduced mobility. £27,760 to £38,780
Back Injury Moderate (ii) This bracket covers over numerous back injuries (such as soft tissue damage). The exact compensation will depend on factors such as the impact of symptoms on the injured person’s everyday life. £12,510 to £27,760
Back Injury Minor (i) The injured person will have fully or mostly recovered from the symptoms in two to five years. £7,890 to £12,510
Shoulder Injury Serious Usually applies to dislocation of the shoulder and damage to the lower part of the brachial plexus. This bracket may also apply to rotator cuff injuries and soft tissue injuries when symptoms are serious enough. £12,770 to £19,200
Shoulder Injury Moderate This bracket may apply to frozen shoulder or soft tissue injuries when symptoms persist for about two years. £7,890 to £12,770

To get an accurate idea of the kind of damages that could be applicable in your own case, we recommend you speak to an injury solicitor to find out.

Public Universities Duty Of Care To Staff

Every university is bound by multiple levels of legislation, such as the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, as well as general legislation such as the Occupiers Liability Act 1984. Whenever the university fails to comply with applicable regulations, resulting in an injury to a member of the public, staff or a student, then a breach of duty of care could be deemed to have taken place, that could result in public injury claims. A definition of a breach of duty of care, would see all three following statements as true:

  1. The university had a duty of care towards the injured party.
  2. Through omission, oversight, error or negligence, the university caused harm, to the injured party.
  3. The breach of duty of care was avoidable.

If all three statements are true, it could be able to make a claim against a university, and it would be the public liability insurance carried by the university that would be the vehicle for the claim.

When Are Universities Liable For Accidents And Injuries?

A question some people may ask is what must be completed for any health and safety incident involving you or anyone on university premises? A university must report the following kinds of accidents under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR):

  • Fatal accidents.
  • Serious work injuries (see link at the bottom of the page for more information).
  • Injuries that cause more than 7 days away from work.
  • Injuries that result in more than 3 days of incapacitation.
  • Injuries to members of the public.
  • Workplace illnesses.
  • Accidents involving gas.

If a university is found to be the cause of these kinds of incidents, or are in any way directly or indirectly for a person coming to harm, they could be liable.

Common Causes Of Accidents In A Public University

To answer the question, what are the examples of accidents? there are many ways a person can come to harm on the grounds of a university. However, some kinds of incidents are more common than others. We have covered some of these types of accidents in the section below; it will include:

There are, of course, many other reasons why a person may need to make a claim. A solicitor would be able to advise you further about your own case.

Slips Trips And Falls On A University Campus

Slips, trips and falls are a very common accidents in a public place kind of in the UK each year.     These simple yet often serious accidents, can be caused by many hazards at a university, such as:

  • Spilt food and drink on the floor of the university restaurant.
  • Cleaning supplies or maintenance equipment left, causing an obstruction.
  • Uneven pavements or broken paving slabs.
  • Potholes and broken curbstones in the university car park.

There are many ways these kinds of accidents can happen. As long as the university is at least partially to blame for the cause of your skip, trip or fall, you could be able to make a claim.

Accidents Caused By Damaged Facilities

Accidents in public places such as a university can be caused by many hazards, with damaged facilities and amenities being one of them. Damaged equipment can result in risks and hazards such as:

  • Poorly maintained equipment in the university gym, causing an injury.
  • Broken or cracked tiles in the university swimming pool, causing an injury.
  • Faulty chairs in a classroom causing a student to fall.
  • Inadequate equipment in a university laboratory causing an accident.
  • Improper use of fire prevention equipment such as smoke alarms, leading to a fire-related injury.

As you can see, there are many ways that the facilities, amenities and equipment in a university could lead to harm in some way. As with all claims, if the university can be proven to be liable some way, it could be possible for the victim to pursue them for compensation.

Accidents To Students And Members Of Staff On Excursions

Not all accidents take place on the grounds of a university. People can be injured in a public place while on an excursion from the university, while studying or on university business.

Here, the question of liability is not so clear cut. The university is unlikely for example, to be liable for harm caused to a student in a road traffic accident while travelling on an excursion.

However, in some case, where the university is providing supervision and guidance during the excursion, with a member of university staff or the teaching faculty on hand, then it could be deemed that the university and its representatives have an overall duty of care to the students who are on the excursion. In this case, if it could be shown that the supervising entity was at fault in some way for allowing the accident to happen, then a reason to make a claim could exist.

What Injuries Could You Sustain In A University Accident?

You could suffer various injuries in a university accident. You may be wondering how to sue a university. In order for personal injury claims to be made, someone must have been injured due to a breach of duty of care.

Examples of injuries that could be caused in a university accident:

You could also claim for multiple injuries. The above list is not exhaustive. If you are injured in another way, you could still potentially claim.

Call our advisors to learn more about how to sue a university if you suffered due to a university accident.

How Long Do I Have To Claim For An Accident In A Public University?

There is a personal injury claims time limit in place, within which you will need to begin making your claim. The table below shows the most common of these, based on the circumstances of the claim:

Claim Circumstances Applicable Time Limit
If you have been injured in an accident or incident at a university, and you were over the age of 18 when it happened. Three years from the date of the incident.
you have been injured in an accident or incident at a university, and you were under the age of 18 when it happened. Three years from the date of your 18 th birthday.

No Win No Fee Claims For Accidents At Public Universities

There is no fee charged when we first take your claim on, under our No Win No Fee claims service. We also don’t charge a fee while we are processing your claim, even if this stage takes months. If we don’t get you any compensation, you don’t pay anything at all. When we do get you a compensation settlement, our fee is deducted automatically from the money received, and you are given the remainder.

How To Start Your Public Injury Claim

Have you been injured in an accident at a university? Do you think a third party could be liable for your injuries? Do you need some help making a personal injury claim? If so, you can call our advisors on 0800 408 7825. They may be able to help you get your claim started. You can also speak to our advisors online using our contact form or our live chat service.


The following external links may have some useful information for you:

Health & Safety for school children

Health & Safety in education

RIDDOR reportable accidents

Other Personal Injury Claim Guides