Tripping slipping accident claims are very common and often result in substantial damages payments in the courts. If you have suffered personal injury in a trip, slip or fall that was not your fault at any time in the last three years then you might be entitled to compensation.
Many people don’t realise that they can make a compensation claim for injuries sustained from a tripping and slipping accident in a public or private place. Provided that a person, company, local authority or even the government have been negligent then they can be held legally liable for paying compensation for personal injury in a trip, slip or fall claim.
As an example, you may have slipped on a polished, wet or greasy floor of a restaurant, shop or factory whereby the defendant failed in the common law duty of care to ensure the safety of others. In this situation if you have been injured in a tripping or slipping accident you can claim compensation.
It may even be possible to make a claim for a trip slip accident as a result of a tripping and slipping accident on open land away from buildings, pavements or highways. There is a duty placed on the occupier of all land including recreational parks, sports facilities, building sites, open car parks and even waste land to ensure that the public is safe.
The burden of proof in a trip slip accident claim for compensation for personal injury lies with the claimant who has to show on the “balance of probabilities” that there was a risk of injury. The court will not award compensation if the place was found to be reasonably in order and that the accident was a rare or isolated incident. However, if the area is in a dangerous condition and the risk of injury was high, the fact that the relevant authority neglected to correct the risk by repair or maintenance makes them responsible.
The owner must maintain roads and pavements. A trip slip accident solicitor can make a successful compensation claim if it can be shown that the road was dangerous as a result of inadequate maintenance. The owner can avoid liability if it provides evidence that it took reasonable safety measures available in the circumstances.
It is surprising how often pavements and highways are the direct cause of injury to members of the public. If you have been injured due to shoddy design or uneven surfaces, then you are certainly not alone. Typically, the authority is responsible for checking and maintaining the pavement and highways that come under its jurisdiction. Once a defect in the pavement has been identified by inspection, a repair must be carried out within a reasonable amount of time to prevent injury to the public who frequent the area. Previous legal cases have already shown that uneven surfaces even to the degree of a few centimeters are enough of a risk to permit compensation in the event of personal injury.
Authorities are not bound to keep their pavements in perfect condition as the costs would be unacceptable. The judges have in effect balanced safety against cost and indicated that pavements need not be made up to the standards of a bowling green.
The owner of property or premises must take care, as far as is reasonably possible, that visitors are safe to use the premises for the purposes for which they have been permitted to be there. The law is comprehensive in its coverage of locations in which trip slip accident compensation claim settlements will succeed including private homes, private gardens, hotels and shops, sports facilities, offices and other land or premises. It is legally required that any occupier of such premises takes as much care as is reasonably possible in the circumstances to ensure guests or visitors are safe to use the land or property for the purposes for which they are invited or permitted.
Buildings that attract public traffic such as shops and markets, cinemas, garden centres and other areas have a duty under law to put measures into place that protect their visitors and customers. They must ensure that reasonable care is taken to minimise any potential dangers to the public who use the area.
Larger companies such as supermarket chains will have strict rules in place so that potential dangers to the public are dealt with quickly and efficiently should they arise unexpectedly. Staff are under no illusions as to the serious nature of protecting customers since their jobs often depend on making the correct judgements when it comes to customer care. If a shop doesn’t properly or prudently deal with a potential hazard, even when they didn’t cause it, then they become responsible for any injuries sustained by people affected.
Trips and slips that occur in private residences or areas or work that are not public are typically covered by occupier’s liability legislation specific to such accidents. Compensation is due where accidents have occurred in private areas where the owner or operator has not taken the legally required steps to care for potential hazards. This lack of care is fundamental to the claim procedure. If the owner has household contents insurance, then they may be covered for such eventualities anyway.
Trip slip accident claims differ from other accidents because the conditions or causes of the accident are easily cleaned up, concealed or repaired. For a trip slip solicitor to have a good chance of successfully winning a case it is vital that available evidence is collected as soon as possible after the incident:
Photographs of damage to clothing and shoes should be taken as soon as possible after the accident
Photographs of the location and immediate vicinity of the accident should be taken to capture the nature of the surroundings at the time of the fall
Photographs of mats, rugs or slip prevention fabrics at or near the location should be taken. If none are in place, take photographs of locations in which they might potentially have been located.
Photographs of any warning signs at the site of the accident or in the surrounding area
Photographs of visible injuries – cuts and bruises at the time of the accidents, and subsequent to it, as bruising may develop.
Take the contact details of all witnesses or potential witnesses to the incident
It is crucial to keep the shoes you were wearing at the time of the accident, as they may be a key source of evidence. Do not wash or clean them – seal them in a plastic bag so their condition stays the same as at the time of the accident.
Preserve all clothing you were wearing at the time of the accident and do not clean or wash any item to ensure they are in the same state they were in when you fell.
If applicable, enter the details of the fall into any accident book available.
If possible, preserve any item you tripped on in the state it was in when you fell. If it is perishable, consider using liquid preservative or freeze it.
Depth of Trip
The law governing a tripping and slipping claim is often complex and the depth of unevenness necessary to facilitate a compensation claim is often in dispute The ‘depth of trip’ has been modified to a greater or lesser degree dependent on the ‘footfall’ being the number of pedestrians visiting the location. In general terms, in a suburban location, requires better maintenance than a country location and there are also many successful claims arising out of ‘rocking’ paving slabs which can be very dangerous as the problem is concealed until such time as the victim steps on the slab. Claims for sloping or uneven tarmac are more difficult to prove unless there is a fracture in the tarmac causing a clear edge against which the trip occurred. The courts have indicated on many occasions that a local authority responsible for a highway or pavement does not have to provide a surface akin to a bowling green.