Slips, Trips and Falls are not always Trivial

Aug 20, 2013 by

Whilst slipping or tripping on a public pavement may seem trivial, the consequences can be significant. Even a minor accident can result in a serious injury and, as well as the pain this causes, the injured party can experience financial consequences.

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Whilst there are often cries that we live in a compensation culture, if you’ve been injured and it was someone else’s fault then surely they should take responsibility for it? But how do you know who is to blame and how do you make a claim?

Who is Responsible?

This will depend in part upon where the slip or trip happened. If, for example, it was on a public pavement or road then it is most likely that your claim should be directed to the relevant highways authority, usually your local or county council. The highways authority has a legal obligation to implement an appropriate inspection and maintenance regime. Whilst they do not have to keep the pavement in a completely flat condition, they do need to carry out regular inspections and repair defects. If they don’t and you trip and injure yourself, then they may be held responsible for your accident.

If you’ve fallen in another public place such as at a shopping centre then your claim will need to be directed to the owner of the premises or individual shop unit depending on the circumstances. It is their responsibility to ensure visitor safety for those on their premises and they need to keep walkways free from defects and sensibly manage risks such as those around wet floors following cleaning activities.

What Can You Claim For?

If you’ve been injured then you can make a claim for the pain and suffering associated with the injury. The amount of compensation you’ll be awarded will depend on the type of injury and the recovery time. You can also claim for direct financial losses arising from the accident. This could include bus or taxi fares if you’re unable to drive or loss of earnings or overtime arising out of the accident.

Making a Claim

Whilst you can pursue a claim directly against the responsible party yourself it usually makes sense to appoint someone to act on your behalf. Appointing a no win no fee solicitor means that you won’t face a huge legal bill. Your case will only be taken on if there’s a good chance of success as if you lose your solicitor doesn’t get paid. If you win, the other side pays the legal costs.

Your solicitor will establish who was responsible for your accident and will contact them advising what has happened and on what legal ground they are considered responsible. They will obtain medical evidence to substantiate your claim and negotiate with the other party about the level of compensation you should receive.

Even if your slip trip or fall seems trivial the impact can be far reaching. If you’ve been injured and it wasn’t your fault, therefore, why not contact and find out whether you have a valid claim for compensation.

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