When an accident happens in a public place, you may not know that you can make a public liability claim for compensation for any personal injuries that you have suffered.
A public liability claim can be made if the public space was not maintained properly or there was some negligence that caused a risk to public safety, which led to the accident. In many public places the identity of the owner may not be clear and you will first need to establish whose responsibility it was to maintain the area. This may be the local council, the Highways Authority, the Waterways Board, or a private owner.
Public places where injuries commonly occur include:
- pavements – tripping on pot holes, uneven paving stones or discarded rubbish;
- car parks – slipping on un-gritted surfaces; or not being lit properly;
- canals and rivers – falling in at unfenced areas or poorly maintained banks; and
- parks – unsafe play equipment, falling branches or trees.
A common hazard in all public places is being hit by falling debris such as loose roof tiles, signage, branches or trees with a significant risk of head injury. Public places can be very dangerous if not properly maintained and injuries can range from minor bruising, fractured or broken bones and permanent damage. If you have been unable to work following the accident you may be able to recover some of your lost earnings too. If, sadly, a loved one has died in a public place you may be able to make a claim on their behalf or for their dependants.
Where there have already been several accidents at the site, your complaint may also help raise awareness of the danger to public safety and help any campaign to improve safety standards.
There are strict time limits for claiming compensation for personal injuries, so you should seek legal advice to clarify your position as soon as possible.
Your solicitor will outline ways of funding your personal injury claim including no-win, no fee agreements.
Our key contact at DMP for further advice and assistance on personal injury is:
Sharon Kinder , partner
tel: 0118 939 3999
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.
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