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Who is Responsible for an Accident in Public?

Owners of buildings and spaces that are open to the public have a legal obligation to ensure they are in a safe condition. This applies to both privately owned properties, such as supermarkets, shopping centres and banks, as well as council owned premises, including libraries, schools and public footpaths.

accident in public

photo credit: purplemattfish via photopin cc

If you are involved in an accident whilst in a public place you could be entitled to compensation. After a trip or fall it may be difficult to get back on your feet quickly, especially if you are elderly or infirm.

Accidents in a public place can not only be embarrassing, but can have a lasting impact on your life. The compensation you receive covers you for your personal injury, any loss of earnings you incur as a direct result of the accident as well as medical expenses.

Many people are oblivious to the potential hazards of public places. Something as simple as a broken paving slab could result in a compensation claim to someone who has injured themselves by tripping over it.

If an accident occurs inside a building that is open to the public, personal injury compensation would come from the owner or occupier’s public liability insurance policy. Compensation would only be payable if the accident was as a direct result of negligence, such as a spill that had not been wiped up and wet floor sign put up.

To make a successful personal injury claim you need to prove that someone else was responsible for the accident. Reporting the incident to the owner or staff as soon as it happens will strengthen your case. They will also need to record it in an accident book. It is useful to take photos of the area where the accident occurred as well.

Keep receipts of all medical expenses and travelling costs incurred whilst getting to and from the hospital or doctors as there is a possibility of being able to claim these back.

Remember to make a claim as soon after the accident as possible and don’t put it off just because you think that it may be a hassle. If you speak to a personal injury solicitor who specialises in accidental injury claims, such as Paul Rooney Solicitors, they will advise you how best to proceed.

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