How to find out if you are entitled to compensation

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In simple terms, any person who has been injured and believes that someone else is responsible for their injuries, can make a claim for compensation. The law is the same for adults and children, with the only difference being the length of time you get to make your claim. Children are allowed up until their 21st birthday to pursue a claim, whilst adults have 3 years.

The first question to ask is whether the accident which lead to the injuries was caused by negligence? Could the accident have been avoided by using better practices and did the 3rd party have every reasonable chance to foresee such an accident?

These are the main criteria you need to check to see if you can claim:

  • Was the accident someone else’s fault?
  • Do you know the identity of the liable party (business name and address etc)?
  • If not, did you report the incident to the police or local authority?
  • Have you sought medical treatment from your GP or hospital?
  • If not, are your injuries still presenting symptoms that your GP can diagnose?

Ultimately, you’ll need to speak to a solicitor to confirm whether or not you are entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. They will assess the merits of your case and be able to tell you if claiming is in your best interest.

Valid work accident claims

Just having an accident at work is not enough to guarantee compensation. To make a valid claim, the injured employee must be able to demonstrate that the employer was liable and exposed the staff to risk of injury, rather than it being their own fault. For example:

  1. Did your employer give you the correct training?
  2. Were you given an induction to the workplace?
  3. Were you provided with personal safety and protective equipment to complete your job safely?
  4. Did your employer adequately maintain equipment and service machines?
  5. Were you advised how to report accidents and how to access the accident book?
  6. Did your employer ensure correct staffing levels and an adequate amount of first aid trained staff?
  7. Did your employer act upon reports of potential risks of danger to employees?

The above is just a guide and there could be many more ways in which an employer would be liable.

Valid road traffic accident claims

RTA claims can be made for a range of physical and psychological injuries, not just whiplash. And the cause of the accident need not be another vehicle, it could equally be a faulty traffic light or road surface. If the person who caused the accident is insured you can make a claim against the insurers, for hit and run or uninsured drivers the claim will be made against the Motor Insurance Bureau. If the accident was caused by the road surface itself, it may be possible to make a claim against the Highways Agency.

Valid slip, trip or fall claims

Slips, trips or falls can obviously take place anywhere, but to claim compensation you need to prove that responsibility for the accident lies with a third party rather than yourself. Shops, restaurants, libraries and business establishments, for example, all have a responsibility to ensure people’s safety. If they fail to do so and accidents occur as a result, they can be found to have been negligent and liable to compensate the injured party.

Clearly, if you slip and fall after mucking about, any injuries you have are going to be seen as being your own fault. You can’t claim personal injury compensation if an accident was caused by your own actions!

Reporting the accident

Another important factor in making a successful claim is reporting the details of your accident to the right people. If you’ve slipped on a wet floor in a private establishment (a business premises, a supermarket, a cinema, a restaurant etc) you must make every effort to ensure that the party responsible for running the premises is informed. Any employer or location open to the public should have an accident book and a way of recording incidents. By recording the incident, you are providing proof that you fell in their premises and that your injuries were caused on their patch.

Unless you are severely injured and incapacitated, you should report your accident and injuries immediately and ensure that they are noted in an accident book. If the third party tell you they don’t have an accident book, or won’t let you have access to it, there are things you can do.

Are your injuries serious enough?

It’s not enough to just be injured, the injury has to be severe enough to provide a sufficient level of quantum to enable the claim to be placed. Quantum is the posh Latin term for value of the claim used in the legal world. To ensure that the injury value is sufficient, it is usually the case that an injured client will need to have suffered from their injury for a period of at least a few weeks. Therefore, if you sprained your ankle mildly and recovered within a fortnight, you would struggle to bring a claim. But if you sprained your ankle badly, tearing the ligaments and spent 6 weeks on crutches and then had 5 physio sessions, your claim would easily pass the quantum test.

If you haven’t had medical treatment, it is likely that your injuries will not be seen as sufficiently serious to warrant a claim as medical evidence is needed to support your claim. If you have been suffering in silence and haven’t seen the GP, you still can. If the GP is happy to note that your injuries are consistent with those suffered in a slipping on a wet or dangerous floor surface, you can then prove your injuries and pursue a claim.

If all this seems a bit complicated, or you haven’t done any of the above, don’t worry – if you contact us we can talk you through it and help you to complete the necessary steps.

Being involved in an accident which isn’t your fault can be rather traumatic, not just for you but also for your family. Most people don’t know how to react after being thrust into such a scenario and it can rock a family to their core when they least expect it.

You might not think it is worth going through the hassle of putting in a claim for compensation, but it doesn’t take much time at all and provided you hire a good solicitor who has experience in dealing with such matters, you will find the process of claiming for compensation rather easy.

4 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

  1. my wife has received a head injury whilst walking along a pavement and tripping over a raised water meter cover on a small newly built housing estate. Most of the houses are occupied and the pavement was opened up for public use8/9 months ago possibly longer. It is too soon to say what the long term affect will be on her health but being in her mid 70,s it could have longer term repercussions so I feel she needs to consider all her options when she feels sufficiently recovered. I have taken plenty of photographs with a 50p coin to guage size of hazard and intend advising the developer and local authority but don`t hold out much hope as local residents have been complaining to the planning officer for months saying the state of the pavements are an accident waiting to happen and the developer is very cavalier in his attitude. The pavement is a route for children walking to the village school and this played a part in granting planning permission for the site, It seems to me both developer and planning/building control have been negligent one for giving public access for something not fit for purpose the other for not using their enforcement powers when public safety is being put at risk. Does my wife have a winnable case?

    • As you can imagine, at this stage we can’t say for certain that your wife has a winnable claim for tripping accident compensation. However, I can say that on the basis of your initial description of the incident and cause of your wife’s injury, it would seem that she has a valid claim for tripping accident compensation that warrants further investigation as the relevant ‘boxes’ appear to have been ticked in that there is a tripping hazard protruding from the pavement surface that has been in situ for many months (if not longer).

      We would need to see the photographs of the ‘hazard’ and discuss the situation in more detail to give a more qualified view, but our initial view is positive. We would like to help further with this as and when your wife feels able to do so. At that time, please either call us on 01225430285 or use our ‘start a claim‘ function to get the ball rolling.

      Whilst it is always wise to avoid delays in making a claim, your wife does have 3 years from the date of her accident in which she can make a claim.

  2. Hi Ian

    I was in the store yesterday (25 June) at around 15.50h/16.00h

    I entered the store and initially looked at the refrigerated meats. I did not pick up any items.

    I then walked across the aisle and in the middle of it slipped, fell and landed on my bottom/back.
    I dropped both my iphone and wallet.

    I am 6ft and 15 stone and the noise from the fall alerted the whole store.

    A number of shoppers assisted me.

    It became immediately apparent that I had slipped on pink yoghurt type product that was on the aisle flooring and the skid mark was visible.

    I fell into a metal basket holding crisps which was knocked over and cut my arm. My iphone screen smashed.

    I did get up but was obviously shocked.

    Two members of staff came to the shop floor and one of them took a photograph of the yogurt.

    The yogurt was cleaned up and I went into the back of the store with the Duty Manager and left my details. The incident was filmed on CCTV.

    I was actually quite shaken by the incident.

    I awoke this morning with a very sore lower spine; my right knee is also sore. I called the local GPs and I have an appointment at 4.30pm today to check that I have not damaged anything.

    As my back is sore I have decided to remain at home today so that I dont have to drive 40 miles round trip for 2 hours.

    I am actually quite annoyed about this incident.

    The accident shows negligence with regard to Health and Safety.

    The accident have led to personal injury.

    The accident has led to the damage of personal items which are essential for my work.

    I don’t think that the injuries are long term, just soft tissue.

    Do I have a claim?

    • The scenario you describe certainly indicates that you have a valid claim for slipping accident compensation and on that basis, we suggest that you use our ‘start a claim‘ option to submit some further details and contact information to us so that our team can call you to help get the ball rolling.

      At Direct2Compensation we can link you with some of the best slipping accident compensation Solicitors available and our No Win No Fee service means that you can pursue the claim without having to take any personal risk.

      Of course, there can be no guarantee of success with any claim but given your description of the incident, we think this claim should be pursued and we look forward to helping you with that.

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