Accidents in Public*
If you have been injured in a public accident, the local authority, proprietor or owner could be held liable. Speak to us if you have been involved in a public place accident. We can explain your options and help you claim the financial support you deserve.
What is public liability?
Public liability is when those responsible for public places have a duty to keep them safe and free from hazards.
Just think about how many public places you might visit during the course of a single week: supermarkets, car parks, gyms, restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs, shops, leisure centres, parks…and so the list goes on. Even pavements are considered public places.
Each and every public place has its own set of hazards. You could slip on a wet floor in a supermarket, trip on a raised paving slab, or fall over a railing in a nightclub. In order to limit the risk of injury, those responsible for public places have a legal duty of care. This means they must take reasonable steps to keep the area safe and prevent harm. Reasonable steps might include carrying out regular inspections, doing risk assessments, implementing health and safety regulations and enforcing safe systems.
If an accident occurs because the local authority, proprietor or owner did not take reasonable steps to prevent an injury, then they could be considered at fault. In other words, they will be held liable. This is what is meant by ‘public liability’.
For example, imagine there’s a spillage in a supermarket. A staff member identifies the spill but takes no further action. They don’t put a wet floor warning sign up, nor do they clean the affected area. A customer then slips on the wet floor, breaking their wrist in the process. In this situation, the supermarket is at fault for the accident. Reasonable steps were not taken to keep the public safe, directly resulting in an injury which could otherwise have been prevented.
What to do after a public place accident
If you are injured in a public place, or your loved one is, we recommend that you:
- Take photographs of the area
If you are not too badly injured, take photographs of the accident scene as soon as you can – ideally, straight after the accident happens. Otherwise, evidence might be removed. These photos should clearly show the hazard that caused your injuries. You might even want to place an object next to it for perspective. This can be particularly useful if you fell over a raised paving slab or a pothole.
- Get the names and contact details of witnesses
Did anyone see your accident happen? If so, get their names and contact details. They can provide a objective account of the incident, helping to clarify exactly what happened and why.
- Report the accident
Next, report the accident to the business owner or proprietor. Lots of places have an accident book. Write down all the details relating to your accident and ask that it is properly recorded. Check to see the entry in the accident book, just to make sure the information is correct. If a local authority is responsible for the area in which you had your accident, you can contact them directly, Or, we can do it for you.
- Get medical advice
Your health is the top priority. Be sure to get medical help, even if you feel that you don’t need it. You might have an underlying injury. Having an entry in your medical records also helps to establish a link between your accident and your injuries.
- Speak to our public place accident solicitors
Finally, speak to us if you have been involved in a public place accident. We can say whether you have been wrongfully injured. If so, we can help you pursue legal action for your damages.
Can I claim* for a public place accident?
To make a claim for a public place accident, you have to show that another party is responsible for your injuries. This could be the owner, proprietor or local authority whose job it was to keep that particular place safe. Common causes of public place accidents include:
- Slips, trips and falls
- Being struck by falling objects
- Damaged flooring
- Unstable or uneven pavements
- Concealed or misplaced objects
If liability can be established, then you can take legal action against those at fault. This allows you to recover damages for your pain, suffering and financial losses. The other party will have public liability insurance. This will cover the cost of your settlement.
Free expert legal advice
It can be difficult to know whether you have grounds for a public place accident claim*. That is where we can help. We offer friendly, professional legal advice to those who have been injured through no fault of their own.
Public place accidents should not happen, but sadly, they do. Every day, people suffer injuries in public places. If you are one of them, contact us for free legal advice. One of our experienced personal injury solicitors can explain what options are available to you.
If we advise that you can claim for a public place accident, we can manage the process for you. We run most of our personal injury claims on a no win, no fee basis.
Speak to our public place accident solicitors Ireland
Speak to our personal injury solicitors about your public place accident. We offer friendly, practical legal advice – completely free of charge.