Top 5 Tips.
There are many instances in which someone may be injured while using a public space; tripping over a crack in the pavement, falling in to a pothole, or slipping because of a broken object are just some examples that unfortunately happen all too often.
Such slips, trips, and falls are known as public liability claims, and can occur in any number of locations or environments that are regularly accessed by the general public, potentially leading to serious bodily harm with lasting consequences.
While people in these spaces hold personal responsibility to exercise a certain duty of care when using them, such accidents can often be attributed to the negligent upkeep of those areas that have led to the potential for injury.
Outlined below are the top five most important to do following an accident in a public space. This list is of particular importance to anyone who may be considering launching a compensation claim for their injury in the future.
1. Seek Medical Attention
If you have been injured, your health should always be your first priority.
Take a moment to assess yourself for any potential injuries that may occurred after a slip, trip, or fall in a public space. If the injury you have sustained is serious, call an ambulance to attend to you at the scene.
If the injury you have sustained is minor, it is still advised that you attend your local GP or an A&E department to ensure that it a more serious injury does not have the potential to develop in the future.
2. Report the Incident
After you have been able to confirm that your health is not at an immediate risk, contact the person or persons who is in charge of maintaining the area in which you were injured.
Such people may include a member of staff at a bar or restaurant, a local council or authority if you fell on a footpath, or a member of the cabin crew if injured while onboard a flight.
3. Identify Witnesses to the Accident
When injured in a public space, there will often be witnesses present who will be able to testify as to the cause of the accident. Identifying witnesses and obtaining their contact details will be crucial to the strength of your case should you decide to proceed with a compensation claim in the future.
Additionally, seek to find any CCTV that may have captured footage of the accident, if possible.
4. Gather Further Evidence
After you have acquired the contact details of any potential witnesses and/or located CCTV footage, undertake the process of gathering further relevant information that will be useful in support of your claim.
Such information can include:
- Documenting and detailing your summary of the incident.
- Taking pictures of where the accident occurred, as well as what allegedly caused you to trip, slip, or fall.
- The name and contact details of any emergency workers that attended the scene, such as Gardaí or paramedics.
5. Contact a Solicitor
Once all of the above steps have been followed, you may wish to speak to a solicitor about the incident with regards to launching a compensation claim.
If you feel that the accident occurred through no fault of your own while using a public space, it is recommended that you speak with a solicitor who specialises in such claims as soon as you feel ready.
By contacting a solicitor, you will be provided with a comprehensive assessment of your case and a full evaluation of your best options when deciding to move forward with a claim.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*