A public liability claim is where a personal injury has occured in a public place. This could occur in the street, in a shop, a supermarket or in a park. Businesses and organisations have a duty of care to make their property safe for visitors. If an injury has occured due to their negligence, such as a slippery floor that has caused someone to fall, then a claim can be made against them for compensation. Examples of these are typically:
Spillages are a common cause of injury. This is where a customer in a supermarket slips
on a floor that has not been adequately cleaned. The owners of the store can be found liable under the law and damages can be sought where injury has occured. When floors in public places are being cleaned or mopped it is essential that safety cones are in place to warn the public of the risks of an accident whilst the floors are still wet.
Accidents should be recorded officially in the shop accident book. It is important to keep a record of what happened, take photographs where necessary and obtain witness statements, keep records of doctors visits, medical treatments and any out of pocket expenses incurred.
One of the most common types of public liability claims is a trip or fall.
Injury can be caused by faulty pavements with pot holes, or dangeorus footpaths
that are in disrepair. Compensation in these cases would normally be sought from the
local council that are responsible for maintaining these.
Similarly stairs and steps in public places may cause injury if not kept in good repair. In winter ice and snow on pavements and footpaths, if not cleared properly can cause injury. Slips and trips can occur in a number of places, such as on public car parks, inside shopping centres or inside DIY stores. Accidents and injuries can also occur in restaurants, bars and clubs.
The level of compensation will be determined by the extent of pain and suffering and by
how severe the injury is. Also the time that is taken for rehabilitation and recovery. These are known as the general damages.
Special damages also may be awarded to cover medical treaments such as physiotherapy or ongoing care. Consideration will also be given for any adaptation of transport that is needed or modification of living accomodation. Special damages will also cover any extra out of pocket expenses such as travel costs. It will also include any loss of income as a result of time off work needed for recovery.