Public Liability

It is possible for an individual to become injured on somebody else's property / land. Those people liable for any areas to which the public have access are also responsible for the health and safety of those visiting members of public and should take steps to identify any possible hazards and safeguard against these as much as possible.

For example, a trip on a raised paving slab, a slip on a shop floor, an accident in a restaurant / hotel, etc. In this instance there may be a claim against the owner of the premises and / or the body / person in control of the premises. All places to which the public have access should carry relevant Public Liability insurance to cover this risk.

On occasions it will be difficult at the outset to know who owns the land / premises where the accident occurred. This does not mean that you will not be able to make a claim for compensation. Through various means of enquiry, we can often trace the relevant Defendant to be able to claim from.

Please contact me should you need to discuss this further.

Case Study

The Claimant (C) had been enjoying a night out in a local nightclub when a toilet door slammed shut on the tip of her finger. When she realised that she had lost the tip of her finger, she left the club immediately without reporting the accident and took a taxi to a local hospital.

The finger was operated on but the tip could neither be saved nor reconstructed. C only reported the accident to the club when she was discharged from hospital, by which time there was no CCTV evidence and no accident related documentation had been made on the night of the accident.

Upon investigation, Karen Pointon was able to find out that this particular door had been reported to the management company responsible for health and safety within the club and yet the repairs had not been carried out.

Whilst the club and the management company tried to blame each other initially for the fault, the matter was eventually settled with each party paying 50% compensation to C.

Important Points To Note

  • Report your accident immediately to management / those in charge
  • Note the accident in an accident book if possible and ask for a copy
  • Take photographs of the accident scene and be sure to make a note on the back of the date taken and who took them – if not printed off, keep a note as to when these were taken
  • Make a note of the date, time and location of the accident
  • Obtain details of any witnesses to the accident
  • After the accident, keep a diary of any symptoms and when they started, any GP / Hospital visits, along with details of any expenses / financial losses. Keep receipts where possible.
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