It’s an (urban) jungle out there. With hidden dangers lurking at every turn. One false move, and the unsuspecting could be victim to one of the most popular accidents that happen in public places.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most common public liability claims are based on slips, trips and falls, along with being struck by falling objects. Having said that, the more unusual accidents which occur in public aren’t quite as unusual as you might otherwise have imagined. Although the most recurrent examples are again, versions based on the same slip, trip and fall themes.
The Ordinary Everyday Settings Where Accidents Can Happen
All of which leads to the ‘when’ and ‘where’ accidents of this nature can occur. Environments where public liability claims happen most include supermarkets, restaurants, clubs, bars, fast food outlets, leisure centres and sports clubs.
However, dedicated pedestrian zones are not necessarily that much safer. Nor are pavements, roads, steps and a host of public access thoroughfares which all of us interact with daily. And all of which present a number of potential slips, trip and fall hazards if surfaces are uneven.
Superstitions aside, in terms of falling objects, and again it’s not exactly a shock to discover that standing or walking beneath a ladder or scaffolding can be an accident waiting to happen. The HSE are very aware of this fact, and it’s interesting to read the good practice advice it gives those who work in the construction sector, as to protecting the general public.
What Types of Personal Injuries Present in Typical Public Liability Cases?
Common instances of accidents which occur in public places, including parks and public recreational areas, can result in personal injury befalling the victim too. Damaged, faulty or poorly maintained play equipment being the culprit in this case, while elsewhere defective street furniture and broken road signs both have the capacity to cause injury to the general public.
Injury-wise, and those finding themselves on the receiving end of episodes where a company or organisation is responsible for public health and safety, recall accounts of puncture wounds, lacerations, bruises, fractured and broken bones and in the more severe cases; serious head injuries. The latter when considering objects falling from a height.
So, What Happens If I’m a Victim of a Public Liability Case
Negligence is the keyword here. Businesses, public service providers and any organisations where the public interacts with infrastructures and equipment have a duty of care to everyone. Failure to comply with current legislation and therefore create potentially risky scenarios which could impact on the public, will lead to claims for compensation being made by victims.
A victim of a public liability offence may well recover from their injuries given the fullness of time, yet the legacy both physically and psychologically could endure. Long term disabilities might develop for some, while on-going emotional distress can also impact significantly on quality of life for sufferers. Financial stresses are also commonplace, resultant from taking time off work due to the nature of a particular injury.
Who is Ultimately to Blame If I Experience an Accident in a Public Place?
If you sustain an injury when frequenting a public property – think restaurants and shops – then the culpable party is the owner or proprietor of the establishment or land on which the accident occurs. This also extends to local authorities, who similarly have a duty of care to ensure the safety of the public at all times when they’re facilitating their public-facing services. Be they for retail, leisure or hospitality ends.
Owners and legal operators of public spaces need to ensure that every conceivable measure has been taken to minimise the risk of injuries occurring. In the event that this is brought into question by an injured party, then there may be grounds for a compensation claim.
The key question you will need to ask yourself if these situations arise is ‘who has responsibility for the area in which you suffered your injury?’ Someone or a public body (or organisation) has possibly neglected to comply with their duty of care with regards to safe premises.
Of course, negligence needs to be proven with evidence gathered, in order to be awarded public liability compensation.
Let DIYPI Show You How Public Liability Claims Are Done
We’re here every step of the way to offer you advice, guidance and reassurance on your public liability claims journey. Although we’re encouraging you to do it yourself, it’ll still be with a little help from us. As DIYPI will support you at every turn.