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Getting Injured in a Public Place

Sam Azzopardi-Tudor

Personal Injury Blog

Trips, slips and falls can happen anytime and anywhere. If you are injured through no fault of your own, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

There are a number of different scenarios, for example, accidents that take place in public places such as supermarkets, restaurants, shops, bars, or pubs can be caused for different reasons like spillages, freshly cleaned floors without signage, boxes being left on the floor, uneven or damaged walkways and damage to steps without adequate railings.

The occupier or owner of these premises has a duty to keep visitors reasonably safe. So, if you have been injured due to their negligence, then you may be able to claim for compensation. To do this and be successful with your claim, you will need to prove that the occupier or owner didn’t take reasonable steps to keep you safe. To do this, you will need to consider the following points:

·         Risk assessments to identify potential hazards

·         Training of staff to look out for hazards

·         Policies or procedures to regularly check for any hazards

·         Regular cleaning and inspections to look out for hazards and clear them up

The law differs from privately owned premises which are open to the public to local authority owned land. Under the Highways Act, local authorities have a duty to ensure that they have taken reasonable steps to prevent users of the highway from getting injured. We see a lot of injuries that have occurred after trips, slips or falls on public highway, which has been caused in a variety of ways, including:

·         Uneven or raised ground and paving slabs

·         Potholes

·         Ironworks, including manhole covers, being left uncovered, or damaged covers not being repaired

Local authorities are required to have systems of inspection and must check for and fix hazards in a timely manner. The frequency of inspection will vary depending on the location of the roads and paths and how busy the area is. Some areas may only need to be checked annually but busier locations should be checked up to as often as once per month. The local authority will need to prove that checks have been carried out, and for a claim to be successful, it will need to be proved that the authorities haven’t completed their duties of care. As well as this, it will need to be proved that the defect that caused the incident is sufficiently dangerous enough to have warranted repair by the local authority, if it was identified as being a hazard on inspection. The general rule is that the defect must be over one inch deep on the pavement and over two inches deep on the road, but circumstances may change on a case-by-case basis.


If you have been injured in a public place and would like to explore a personal injury claim on a no win, no fee basis, please get in touch with our Personal Injury team today on or 0800 975 6066.