Public Liability Compensation Claim FAQs

This article discusses frequently asked questions regarding how to make a public liability compensation claim. A public liability claim is a type of personal injury claim made for accidents and injuries sustained in a public place.

In order to be eligible to bring forward this type of claim, you must meet the eligibility criteria. Throughout our guide, we discuss the criteria that need to be met, the time limits in place for starting legal proceedings, and the evidence you can gather to support your case.

Additionally, we look at examples of potential accidents that could lead to public liability claims and how compensation for injuries suffered in accidents is calculated.

Finally, we outline why many people choose to go through the claims process with the help of an experienced solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis. 

Call today to get a free initial assessment from our claims team and learn how you could make a claim with a public liability claims solicitor from our panel.

To get in touch, you can:

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Frequently Asked Questions About Making A Public Liability Compensation Claim

Choose A Section

  1. When Can I Make A Public Liability Compensation Claim?
  2. What Accidents Could Lead To Public Liability Claims?
  3. How Long Do I Have To Make A Public Liability Claim?
  4. What Is The Personal Injury Claims Process?
  5. What Do I Need To Make A Public Liability Compensation Claim?
  6. How Much Compensation Could I Receive From A Public Liability Claim?
  7. Can I Make A Public Liability Compensation Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor?
  8. More Resources About Public Liability Injury Claims

When Can I Make A Public Liability Compensation Claim?

You may wish to claim compensation for an accident in a public place caused by occupier negligence. An occupier, or someone who controls a public space, owes visitors a legal duty of care. Businesses, a local council, and even individuals could be in control of a public space. They should have public liability insurance in case public liability compensation claims are made for accidents on the premises. 

In line with the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, they must take steps to ensure the reasonable safety of members of the general public and other visitors while they’re on the premises. Some steps occupiers could take to protect visitors include:

  • Doing a risk assessment to highlight any potential hazard that could cause accidents to happen.
  • Using warning signs in dark or slippery areas.
  • Cleaning up any spillage or hazard that is reported to them.
  • Regular maintenance to ensure everything is in working order.

A failure to do so could mean the occupier is liable for an accident in a public place. However, in order to begin a personal injury claim for a public place accident, you must prove:

  • An occupier owed a duty of care.
  • They breached their duty.
  • This led to an accident where you suffered physical and/or mental harm.

You can learn more about personal injury claims for an accident in a public place by calling the number above. Our free claim evaluation can tell you if you can make a public liability claim with the help of expert personal injury lawyers.

What Accidents Could Lead To Public Liability Claims?

Accidents can happen in public places, such as shopping centres, gyms, and supermarkets, in many different ways. In some cases, the party responsible for a public injury that follows is the occupier. As we touched on before, a claim has to prove that the injury suffered resulted from a breach of duty to be eligible.

These examples of public place accidents highlight cases where occupier negligence could potentially form the basis of a public liability injury claim.

  • A shopping centre does not address the reports made to them about the defective stairwells having broken handrails. As a result, a customer sustains serious arm and back injuries in a fall.
  • The council does not fix a pavement that has worn away, allowing tree roots to break through, despite being made aware of the hazard. A member of the public trips on uneven pavements and an exposed root and suffers a bad knee injury.
  • The patios in a garden open to the general public are not signposted as a hazard despite being wet and slippery. After a slip or trip accident caused by wet floors, a visitor suffers a head injury and concussion.
  • A pedestrian experiences a serious ankle break when they fall into a pothole while crossing the road. The local authority had received a report about the pothole but had not acted on it.

Call today and ask for a free case assessment to learn if you could seek public liability compensation for an accident that caused your injuries. This assessment could show you whether you have a public liability claim a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel could take on for you. Additionally, an advisor can discuss examples of public liability claims to help you understand whether you have an eligible case.

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How Long Do I Have To Make A Public Liability Claim?

The time limit for public liability claims is set out by The Limitation Act 1980. Due to this piece of legislation, any personal injury claim must typically begin within three years of the date the public place accident happened.

There are a few exceptions that could allow a public liability compensation claim to commence after three years pass.

For example, a child under the age of 18 will be unable to claim for themselves, so they have from their 18th birthday until their 21st to claim. The only time that would not be the case is if a trusted adult, known as a litigation friend, is appointed by the courts to launch the public liability claim on the child’s behalf.

Additionally, the time limit for those lacking the mental capacity to start their own public liability claim is paused indefinitely. However, a litigation friend could step in to start legal action for them. If that does not happen and the injured party recovers their capacity, their public liability claim must start within three years of the recovery date.

For more information on the time limit for public liability claims, please get in touch today. Through a free assessment, we can explain the limitation period for your public place injury compensation claim.

What Is The Personal Injury Claims Process?

As part of the personal injury claims process, there is a list of actions that need to be carried out as a way to avoid going to court. These are called the Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims and need to have been carried out before a case is taken to court.

  • A Letter of Notification is sent to notify the defendant that it’s likely you will make a personal injury claim against them. 
  • Rehabilitation should then be carried out which involves considering whether the claimant will need rehabilitation or medical treatment. 
  • A Letter of Claim is sent to provide an overview of the injuries the claimant has suffered and state the facts on which the claim is based.
  • Following the Letter of Claim, the defendant must reply within 21 working days by sending a Letter of Response which should outline the insurer. The defendant will then have a maximum of three months from the date they acknowledged the Letter of Claim to investigate.
  • Relevant information is then exchanged at the disclosure stage. This helps to clarify or resolve any issues in dispute.
  • Experts. An independent medical assessment should be arranged for the claimant to attend. A report will be generated from this. 
  • Negotiations. This is where a Part 36 offer can be made and permits claimants and defendants to make offers to settle pre-proceedings.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution is the final stage carried out for parties who cannot agree. If the matter cannot be resolved here then legal proceedings will need to be initiated.

Whilst it’s not a legal requirement to have a lawyer represent you, it can benefit you. For example, an experienced personal injury lawyer can guide you through the public liability claim process and carry out the actions above on your behalf.

What Do I Need To Make A Public Liability Compensation Claim?

When you make a public liability compensation claim, you should gather evidence to demonstrate that an occupier breached the duty of care they owed and caused you to suffer harm as a result.

The sort of evidence that could help prove a personal injury claim is valid includes:

  • CCTV footage or another type of video footage captured on a personal device of the incident.
  • Photos of the accident scene and any visible injuries.
  • Evidence of the medical treatment you received. You can request a copy of medical records showing the injuries suffered and the care provided.
  • Witness contact information, so witness statements can be collected at a later stage.

If you instruct a personal injury solicitor from our panel to represent your claim, they can help you gather this evidence. They have extensive experience in handling public liability claims.

For more information on how public liability claims work, as well as whether an expert lawyer from our panel could represent your case, please contact an advisor on the number above.

How Much Compensation Could I Receive From A Public Liability Claim?

If you make a successful public liability compensation claim, the compensation awarded can address the different ways your injuries have affected you. Public liability claim payouts can be split into two heads of a claim.

One of these heads is called general damages. This is included in all payouts awarded in successful cases and accounts for physical pain and mental distress caused by injuries sustained in a public accident.

Those responsible for calculating the value of general damages could refer to guideline compensation brackets in a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), as well as your medical records.

Compensation Table

The entries in this table, except for the top one, come from the JCG. Please remember that the table should only be considered a guide. The outcome of public liability claims will vary from case to case.

INJURY SEVERITY COMPENSATION GUIDELINES NOTES
More Than One Very Severe Injury Plus Financial Expenses Very Severe Up to £500,000+ A payout for multiple injuries of a very severe nature, plus financial losses compensated under the special damages head of claim. This could include a loss of earnings, medical costs, or travel costs.
Head Moderately Severe £219,070 to £282,010 The level of award is affected by factors like the degree of dependence on others, the ability to communicate, and life expectancy. The affected person is very seriously disabled either physically or cognitively.
Moderate (ii) £90,720 to £150,110 Cases where the injured person has a moderate to modest intellectual deficit. Their ability to work is greatly reduced, if not entirely removed.
Back Severe (i) £91,090 to £160,980 Most severe injuries that involve spinal cord and nerve root damage. There will be severe pain and disability.
Leg Severe (i) £96,250 to £135,920 Injuries where the courts have awarded damages at a similar level to cases involving amputation. For example, those that cause a gross shortening of the leg.
Foot Very Severe £83,960 to £109,650 Injuries leading to really serious permanent disability or severe and permanent pain.
Knee Severe (i) £69,730 to £96,210 A serious knee injury with joint disruption, gross ligamentous damage and developing osteoarthritis. Treatment is lengthy and pain is considerable.
Ankle Very Severe £50,060 to £69,700 Limited and unusual injuries are in this bracket. For example, bilateral ankle fractures that cause joint degeneration at a young age.
Wrist Complete Loss of Function £47,620 to £59,860 Injuries causing total loss of function, for example where an arthrodesis is performed.
Arm Injuries Resulting in Permanent and Substantial Disablement £39,170 to £59,860 One or both forearms are seriously fractured. There is significant functional or cosmetic residual disability that is permanent.

What Are Special Damages?

Special damages are the second head of claim that can be awarded in a public liability claim payout. This compensates for the financial losses incurred due to your injuries. For example, if you succeed in a personal injury claim for an accident in a public place, you might be able to claim for:

  • Costs associated with medical treatment.
  • Travel expenses.
  • Home adaptation costs.
  • A loss of earnings if you are unable to work due to your injuries.

Make sure to keep any documents that act as proof of financial expense caused by a public place injury. This can include payslips, invoices, or receipts.

If you’re unsure what compensation you could claim when making a public liability claim against the party responsible for your accident, please get in touch. Call the number above for free advice and answers to your questions about personal injury claim payouts.

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Can I Make A Public Liability Compensation Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor?

Call the number above for a free consultation and advice. An advisor can connect you to an experienced solicitor from our panel who has experience handling different types of personal injury cases, including those for a public place injury.

A public liability claims solicitor from the panel can ensure that your case is submitted within the legal time limit and runs smoothly. Additionally, they can offer their helpful services on a No Win No Fee basis by offering a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

Under a CFA, your solicitor can offer their work without needing an upfront or ongoing fee. Additionally, if your claim fails, no fee for their work will need to be paid.

Winning a personal injury case means your solicitor takes a percentage of the compensation as their success fee. However, The Conditional Fee Agreement Order 2013 puts a legal cap on the percentage they can take.

Reach out to us today and ask about making a public liability compensation claim. You can get through to our 24/7 service any time by either:

  • Calling 0800 408 7825.
  • Using our website to contact us online.
  • Opening the live chat tab in the bottom-left corner.

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More Resources About Public Liability Injury Claims

We have many personal injury claim guides that you could find useful, such as the below:

Here are some further resources that may help if you suffered injuries in a public place:

Thank you for reading our guide answering frequently asked questions about making a public liability compensation claim. If you have any other questions, please contact an advisor on the number above.