Suffering a slip, trip or fall may sound like a fairly trivial misfortune, but even the most minor fall can result in pain, injury and/or inconvenience, and a more awkward or difficult landing might lead to broken bones, whiplash or even some degree of paralysis. If someone else made a mistake that led to you falling, then you’ve every right to pursue him or her for compensation.
Contact us for free advice on 0333 555 7781 and we will advise as to whether there has been negligence involved in your fall and exactly who it is you should be seeking to blame.
Falls, slips or trips on Pavements
If you trip and fall on a public walkway and feel that it had been left in a dangerous state, thus causing you to fall, then your complaint and claim should be directed at the local council responsible for the upkeep of public spaces. The Local Authority has a duty of care to ensure they check their pavements regularly so that they are safe and free from risk and obstruction.
There is no strictly legal definition of what constitutes a ‘dangerously uneven’ paving stone, but the study of cases fought and won or lost has led to an industry wide acceptance that a paving stone which protrudes by an inch or more will be deemed ‘dangerous’. In certain circumstances, a smaller defect may provide the basis for a case, but this is a general rule and we would need to discuss this with you to determine whether your accident fits the criteria.
A local authority has a responsibility to keep its roads and pavements safe. In practice, this means that if you’ve slipped on an uneven or dangerous surface, then in order to claim compensation you have to be able to show that the council concerned has had the time and opportunity to repair the defect.
The process of putting together a claim runs as follows:
- Gather Evidence – record the defect which caused you to fall as quickly and accurately as possible.
- Measure and photograph it and take the details of any witnesses to your accident.
- Complain – make an official complaint to the relevant authority, thus establishing an official record of your accident.
- Seek medical advice – not only will this maximise your chances of recovery, but it will also create an official account of the extent of your injuries.
- Repairs – you can use a freedom of information request to find out how often the road is inspected and maintained and whether the defect has been reported before. This information will form a vital part of your case. If you can show that the authority have not inspected the road or pavement often enough, or have been aware of the defect but failed to correct it, then you have gone a large way towards demonstrating their negligence.
If you are an older person and fall because somebody else has been negligent, you are entitled to make a claim for fall injury compensation.
Any money awarded will allow you to start putting your life back together and will also make sure that your financial situation is not made worse by a period of enforced recovery. This means that any and all expenses which are a direct result of the fall and injury will be reimbursed, and the compensation will also include a sum intended to represent the extent and severity of your injury.
If you fall in a public place such as a hospital, supermarket or train station then the viability of a compensation claim will depend upon the circumstances. If, for example, a floor has been cleaned but no warning signs put up, and you slip on the wet surface, then the owner of the building is clearly in the wrong – you wouldn’t have slipped had they taken the proper care to warn of the danger and therefore they have been negligent.
The important thing is to gather as much information regarding your fall as soon as possible. This includes accounts from witnesses, any entry in an accident book, photographs (if possible) of whatever it was that caused you to fall, all medical records or any CCTV footage. At Pedestrian Law Scotland, we will use all of this, along with receipts for any expenses, when putting together the strongest possible case. If you fall and break some bones or otherwise injure yourself, it is bound to impact you in your later years. Claiming the compensation you’re rightly due will lessen the burden somewhat and help you get back to living a full life as soon as possible.
Pedestrian Law Scotland's specialist Lawyers are experienced in obtaining compensation for those involved in falls, slips or trips.
For a free claim assessment consultation, just call us directly on 0333 555 7781 or use one of our Contact forms and a specialist pedestrian accident lawyer will contact you at a suitable time.