Slip and trip claims often arise from injuries sustained on dangerous floor surfaces at work or, as we examine here, in public places. This would include tripping over a pothole or damaged pavement, or slipping on a wet floor in a shop or restaurant.
Such accidents may be due to employer or council negligence. For example, by not properly cleaning up a spill or removing a hazardous obstruction. They can be held liable for any accidents that occur as a result of not adhering to any required health and safety procedures.
In addition to this page, the public questions and our responses at the bottom of our article on valid slipping claims will help you to understand more about the wide range of scenarios involved. Here we look at how to make a successful compensation claim after injuring yourself following a slip, trip or fall that wasn’t your fault.
Direct2Compensation have helped many clients win compensation for slips or trips, including:
- A lady who tripped over a a raised paving stone caused by a tree root growing under the surface of pavement sustaining a broken arm.
- A mother of 3 who slipped on water that had leaked from a broken freezer unit in a supermarket with no hazard warning sign displayed, causing her to sustain a dislocated knee.
- A man who tripped in a large pothole in a cul-de-sac fracturing his ankle.
- A worker who slipped on oil leaking from a faulty forklift truck at his workplace, breaking his leg in the process.
How to make your slip, trip or fall claim
Claims for slips, trips or falls should be made as soon as possible after the accident, but legally you have a three-year window. Liability can be difficult to prove, but with the right guidance it is certainly possible to win a fair amount of compensation for injuries that were not your fault.
Obviously, your first port of call is medical treatment for your injuries. Following that, you should seek expert legal advice on your next steps to maximise the chance of success. A solid claim will usually need to be reported and recorded, and have evidence and/or witnesses to back it up.
Ideally, the incident should be recorded with the company or authority responsible for the area in which the accident happened.
For example, if you slip on a wet floor in a shop or restaurant, it should be recorded in an accident book within the premises. The injured party should contribute to the statement and only sign it when they are happy with what is written.
In the case of a trip or fall on a footpath, the matter should be reported to the Highways Department of the local authority. A full description of the hazard should be given along with its location.
If possible, you should take photographs of the cause of the accident with clear measurements of the hazard. Delays can lead to your claim failing as the hazard could be removed by weather or repaired/cleaned up by the liable party. This would damage your prospects of successfully claiming.
Witness statements are also admissible as evidence, so try to collect the names and contact details of anyone who saw your accident and is willing to back up your claim.
Don’t worry if this all seems a bit complicated – if you are in any doubt about what to do, feel free to call, email us, or complete our online claim form, and we will be happy to help. There is no charge for assessing your case, so you have nothing to lose and much to gain if you can make a successful claim.
How do I know if I have a valid claim?
Being injured doesn’t necessarily mean you have a valid claim. You can’t claim personal injury compensation if an accident was caused by your own actions; it has to be someone else’s fault.
For example, if you slipped on a wet floor and there was no hazard sign erected, you may have a valid claim for compensation. The 3rd party could be seen as liable for your injuries by failing to provide a warning of a foreseeable risk to your safety.
Even if a warning sign is present, the 3rd party is required to remove a known hazard in a reasonable time frame. If they hadn’t taken action within this time, they would still be liable.
It would also be worth checking to see whether the premises have public liability insurance. Public liability insurance covers companies, shops and organisations should anything happen whilst somebody is on their property. It is a legal requirement to have public liability insurance and you can be prosecuted for not having it.
If you haven’t had medical treatment, it is likely that your injuries will not be seen as sufficiently serious to warrant a claim. If you have been suffering in silence and haven’t seen the GP, you still can. If your injuries are consistent with those suffered in a slip or trip, you can then prove your injuries and pursue a claim.
Whilst the law states that in most cases you have three years from the date of an accident to make your personal injury claim, it is best done as quickly as possible. This ensures the availability of evidence and fresh medical opinion. However, in some circumstances this can be extended for an even longer period, for instance if you were not 18 years old at the time.
How much compensation will I receive for my injuries?
There are guidelines issued by the courts for solicitors, but it’s impossible to say exactly how much you can expect as all cases vary. All our solicitors are experts in handling accident claims and know how to use the guidelines to ensure you receive the right amount of compensation for your injuries.
Settlements are calculated based on the type and severity of the injury, plus the financial and quality-of-life impact it has. For example, a wrist injury that has resulted in permanent pain and stiffness could amount to between £10,000 and £20,000. That’s just for the injury itself, not including ‘special damages’, which relate to incurred expenses and other effects on the injured person’s life.
You will be advised once initial evidence has been collected as to the likely level of compensation for your slip and trip injury. Usually we will claim for the following on your behalf:
- The pain and distress caused to you by the injuries sustained
- Associated costs and losses
- Lost earnings if you have been away from work as a result of the accident
- Medical treatments and post accident care
- Restrictions on your ability to fulfil your usual activities and social life
- Miscellaneous expenses (bus fares, painkillers etc)
What do I do now?
If you need some clear, honest advice, contact us. We have many years experience of handling these claims, and you can use our knowledge and expertise to give you the best chance of success.