Personal injury: what to do when you’re hurt in a public space

The last thing you want to think about when you’re out and about is having to deal with the effects of a nasty injury. But this is what so many individuals who have made personal injury claims have had to do.

Businesses, local authorities and other organisations have a responsibility to ensure all members of the public are safe when visiting their premises. If they have neglected this duty of care, you are legally entitled to pursue a compensation claim against them.

Where you might be injured

All public spaces are legally required to be safe for visitors. However, this is not always the case. Accidents happen – often down to a lack of maintenance. This could be in spaces such as:

  • Parks and playgrounds
  • Pavements and public streets
  • Gyms
  • Beaches
  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Concert venues
  • Cinemas and theatres
  • Office buildings
  • Car parks
  • Supermarkets and shopping centres
  • Apartment buildings

Common accidents suffered in public places

Although falls may initially seem a relatively minor accident, they can pose significant danger. Globally, falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths, behind only road traffic accidents, according to the World Health Organization.

Uneven pavements and paving stones have been responsible for a significant number of trips and falls – and, therefore, injuries suffered in public spaces. You could make a personal injury claim for an accident suffered as a result of drain covers being raised or damaged, tree roots growing through the pavement or potholes, for instance.

Meanwhile, indoor accidents are often caused by wet floors, either because they have recently been cleaned or something has been spilled. Without a warning sign, these surfaces become real hazards.

Poorly maintained staircases also present a risk to many in public spaces.

Why you should consider pursuing a claim

One of the most important reasons to consider a personal injury claim is to address the issue that caused your accident in the first place. By making a claim for compensation, you’ll draw attention to what happened.

This means the organisation responsible can identify the problem and do something to fix it. This will help prevent anyone else suffering the same accident you did.

The organisation responsible for the upkeep of the public space is required to have public liability insurance in place, which is how any compensation you’re awarded will be funded. This means you are not directly claiming against the organisation itself.

Any compensation you’re awarded can then help you get back to the position you were in before your accident – whether that’s through private medical treatment or to repair any damaged property.

What to do next

If you’ve suffered a serious injury as a result of a slip, trip or fall in public, your main focus will be on your recovery. This is when you need the expert help of a legal professional, who can help ensure you do what’s right for you. A personal injury claim can help you get back on your feet.

When you’ve suffered an injury after an accident that wasn’t your fault, the best thing to do could be to pursue a legal claim against the organisation that neglected its duty of care.

Image copyright: 9nong