We all shop in supermarkets, shopping centres and on the high street regularly and go about our daily lives, using business premises a great deal of the time. It would be highly unlikely that you will have given any thought at all to having an accident in any of these locations. More likely, you will be thinking about any number of other things such as your shopping list, or what to you are going to do that evening. However, accidents can happen in all of these places and they may not be your fault. This means that you may be able to make occupiers liability claims as a result.
Occupiers liability claims are often called slips, trips or falls as these are the kinds of accidents more usually associated. Accidents such as a slip on a supermarket floor on a spillage or your child may have had a fall in a public playground, a park or even at school which could result in an occupiers liability claim.
It can be extremely embarrassing to fall in public, espcilaly in a shop or business as there will be lots of people around. You should make sure that your accident is logged in the accident book if you require hospital treatment as this will be a reportable accident for them.
There are two pieces of legislation on occupier’s liability. The first is the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 and both deal with separate issues. The law splits people into lawful visitors and trespassers for the purpose of these acts and the 1957 Act deals with accidents of a lawful visitor and the 1984 Act applies to trespassers.
As a member of the public you can expect a reasonable level of care for your safety from ‘occupiers’ of land or premises. Your children should expect to be kept safe when at school and also when in parks and playgrounds too. This expectation is reasonable and therefore if an accident happens, there may be an option to make a claim.
If you are injured whilst a classed as a trespasser, the duty of reasonable care owed to you is less and it will therefore be more difficult to make successful occupiers liability claims. We will be able to tell you if we think you have a successful claim.
You will have 3 years from the date of your accident to make a claim, providing you are above the age of majority (18 years old). If your child has an accident, you can make a claim on their behalf right up until their 18th birthday. After which they have 3 years from the date of their 18th birthday to make a compensation claim for themselves.
It is important to remember that you will need to prove evidence to demonstrate how the business or local authority was responsible for your accident. Nearly all of us have mobile phones with cameras now, so it is important to take pictures of the accident scene and of anything relevant to the cause of your accident. This is particularly important in a child claim as the length of time from the accident happening to making a claim could be significant.
Choosing a solicitor with specialist experience in occupiers liability claims is very important as these claims contain some complex points of law. We have helped many people just like you to get the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
If you would like to see how we can help you too, call us on 0800 056 0346 or on 020 8520 4555 if you are on a mobile, email [email protected] or complete our Free Enquiry online and we’ll be happy to help.
Romain Coleman, Occupiers Liability Claims Solicitors