Tripping accidents can happen almost anywhere, from residential streets to busy shopping areas. Wherever your trip happened, you will want to know whether the circumstances will enable you to claim. Just because you’ve been injured, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a valid claim for tripping accident compensation. So how do you know whether or not you are entitled to a settlement if you trip on a damaged footpath, fall in a pothole or any other accident?
Whose fault was the accident?
Clearly, if your fall was your own fault, you can’t claim personal injury compensation. Therefore, the first question to ask yourself is: Was someone else responsible for the accident?
If you can answer that with a yes, then you may well have a claim for tripping accident compensation. The basic rule of thumb regarding liability is that a claimant must be able to prove two things. Firstly, that the hazard that caused them to trip sticks up or goes down from the surrounding surface level by more than 25mm (1 inch). This can be done easily. The second, and more difficult requirement, is that a claimant must demonstrate that the hazard responsible for their fall has been in place for at least 6 months. To find out more about your rights, contact us today. We can advise you of ways to ensure that your claim will be supported by evidence strong enough to enable you to win compensation.
Reporting the accident
If you have tripped on a public footpath or privately owned area of ground, the 2nd question you should ask yourself is: Did I report the accident and ensure that it was properly recorded? For example, have the details been recorded in an accident book?
The details of your accident and injuries need to be reported to the right people. If you’ve tripped on a public footpath, you must report to the relevant department of the local authority responsible for the area in which you fell. You should describe the hazard location, what the hazard is and what injuries you’ve had and what medical treatment you have received. If you have tripped on private land, such as in a car park of a shop, business premises or restaurant, you must make every effort to ensure that the party responsible for running the premises is informed.
By recording the incident, you are providing proof that it happened on their premises, 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 3rd 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. If this is the case look for a witness and get their details. If you can’t do that, take photos or send a letter by recorded delivery (keeping a copy for yourself with proof of postage) reporting the incident to the business or establishment.
The 3rd question is: Were you sufficiently injured to seek medical treatment from a hospital or your GP?
What severity of injury warrants a claim? If you haven’t had medical treatment, it is likely that your injuries will not be seen as sufficiently serious to warrant a claim for compensation. This is because 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 as a result of a slip or trip, you can then prove your injuries and pursue a claim. Generally speaking, injury symptoms need to last for 4 weeks to meet the minimum criteria needed to pursue a claim.
Making a claim
To form the basics of a successful claim for tripping accident compensation, these are the 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 (local authority or business name & address etc)?
- Did you report the incident to the landowner 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?
If you can answer the above positively, you may well be entitled to pursue a claim on a No Win No Fee basis. Our solicitors will claim for the following on your behalf:
- The pain and distress caused to you by the injuries sustained (the value of the injury element of the claim will be determined by medical evidence and a review of your medical records)
- Associated costs and losses (special damages) – such as lost income if you are unable to work as a result of the injury or damage to personal items – such as your spectacles or mobile phone and property
- Restrictions on your ability to fulfil your usual activities and social life
- Whether or not you have required any post accident care
If you have any questions about whether or not your accident scenario warrants a claim, or if you wish to discuss the No Win No Fee claims process with us, please call our team on 01225 430285 or use our contact form. We know your rights and can give you advice and support using the knowledge and experience we have gained in the many years that we have worked in this industry. We’ve successfully helped numerous clients with claims for compensation after being injured where they have tripped on damaged or uneven pavement surfaces and we’d love to help you if you have suffered the same problems.