Trips, Slips and Falls in a Public Place or Pavement

Shops, restaurants, bars, cinemas, schools and nurseries, concerts and other events, communal parts of residential buildings. The list is almost endless but the point is that if a person or organisation invites another person onto his land or to his event then he owes that other person a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent him suffering injury. This is not an absolute duty and no-one is liable for a pure accident or another person’s misadventure.

Here are some examples of situations we have dealt with where an accident claim has been successful:
  1. Woman tripped over raised paving slab outside her home and fell, breaking a wrist. Council denied liability and blamed contractors. Case won at trial and Claimant awarded £6000.
  2. Broken handrail in restaurant caused elderly lady to fall. Physical and psychological injuries accelerated need for residential care and case settled after litigation for £100,000.
  3. Visitor to art exhibition slipped on mock blood from (very modern) art exhibit and suffered nasty wrist fracture. Case settled after proceedings for £9000.Young child squeezing through railings of first floor internal balcony outside his flat to the floor below, sustaining serious injury.
  4. Leak from roof of railway station causing rainwater to drip onto the concourse of the platform below forming a puddle of water.
  5. Pub toilet situated at bottom of poorly lit steep staircase caused man to break leg.
  6. Rotten softwood handrail on 2nd floor Council block caused council tenant to fall to the ground, fracturing hip.
  7. Hospital waiting room chair defective causing trip hazard; serious elbow injuries.
  8. Housing association cast iron front gate fell on 5 year old causing skull fracture and dental injuries.
  9. Scaffold pole fell from building site hitting pedestrian below a glancing blow.
  10. Slip in supermarket where spillage not cleared up properly and no warning signs left out.
  11. Pedestrian fell down uncovered manhole, sustaining multiple fractures.
  12. Tenant required to stand on bar stool to reach electricity meter high up on wall of hallway fell sustaining broken leg and ankle.

If you have had a similar accident and suffered an injury as a result, then the success of any potential claim for compensation is likely to depend upon whether you can show that the defendant, be they a supermarket or housing authority, knew or should have known, about the defect that caused you to slip or trip.

For example, a supermarket chain will have a successful defence to a claim that you have slipped on a substance on the floor of their premises, if they can show that they were using a reasonable system of monitoring for spillages and cleaning them up, and that their staff had been trained in this system. These days most supermarkets are aware of these requirements, and to be fair, do a good job of reacting to spillages on the shop floor quickly and efficiently. However this can lead to an over-reliance on the systems of monitoring and cleaning used by most supermarkets, meaning that staff can become complacent when monitoring for spillages.

So when a slipping or tripping accident has occurred in a shop, it is often because their cleaning policy has broken down or was not implemented properly, rather than simply being an unfortunate coincidence. If this is the case, then we are likely to be able to make a successful claim for compensation for the injury you have suffered.

From experience, people who have suffered an injury following a slip or trip in a shop can often be deterred from bringing a claim for compensation because they feel that it will be too difficult and not worth the hassle. However at Osbornes we will do all we can to ensure the entire process is as straightforward and stress free as possible. We will keep you informed of the progress of your claim, breaking down legalese jargon and explaining the process in clear English.

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