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Slip, Trip and Fall Claims

Claiming compensation for a slip, trip or fall

You have the right to feel safe in public and private places such as supermarkets and bars, while walking on pavements and footpaths, or when doing your job.

Yet a slip, trip or fall accident can occur anywhere – whether you’re out in public or at work.

Businesses and local councils have a legal duty to follow health and safety laws designed to keep you and other members of the public safe. For example, carrying out detailed risk assessments, clearly marking wet floors, and fixing cracked or potholed pavements within a reasonable timeframe.

If they’ve failed to take the proper precautions, or have been negligent in their duty and you’ve been injured as a result, then it’s likely you could make a personal injury compensation claim. You shouldn’t have to deal with the physical, emotional and financial impact your injury may have had on you and those around you, on your own.

You might be able to claim compensation if your accident occurred:

  • Within the last three years (or within three years of you becoming aware of the injury)
  • Your accident was the result of somebody else’s negligence
  • The other party owed you a duty of care

If you aren’t sure if you’re eligible to make a slip, trip or fall compensation claim, get in touch with a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438, or fill in one of the secure contact forms on this page to arrange a call back.

Can I claim against my local council?

Under the Highways Act 1980, your local council is responsible for making sure any pavements or pathways are well maintained and safe for use. They should do the same for roads, parks and other areas which are open to the public.

Your local council’s responsibilities include:

  • Gritting roads and pavements in snowy or icy conditions, to make surfaces less slippery;
  • Fixing potholes or cracks in the road, especially if they have the potential to cause a serious accident for cars, motorcyclists and other road users;
  • Maintaining public playgrounds by fixing broken equipment or flooring that may cause injury to children or parents supervising them;
  • Ensuring there is sufficient lighting on walkways;
  • Making sure that discarded rubbish does not clog walkways;
  • Ensuring that there is adequate signage near roadworks.

If you’ve suffered a slip, trip or fall because of negligence by your local authority, you could make a compensation claim against the council to cover the costs of your fall injury.

Slips and trips in privately owned businesses

We all visit businesses such as shops, restaurants, bars and supermarkets regularly. The people responsible for maintaining those spaces are also responsible for ensuring you and other customers are safe.

They should follow ‘due diligence procedures’ to keep you safe from harm as far as they reasonably can. If they fail to do so then accidents can occur, caused by:

  • Uneven flooring (such as carpets if indoors, or damaged car parks outdoors)
  • Wet floors with inadequate signage
  • Poor lighting
  • Obstacles in walkways, such as loose wires and objects

Business owners and managers should make sure any spillages are cleared away as quickly as possible, and that wet floors are signposted in the meantime.

They should also keep walkways or aisles clear of obstacles and trip hazards to avoid accidents from happening.

The quickest way to find out if you’re entitled to make a compensation claim is to speak with a legal adviser on 0800 234 6438.

Slips, trips and falls at work

Employers have a duty of care to ensure your work environment is clean, tidy and clear of obstacles, so that you can feel safe at work.

Equally, they should provide health and safety training and guidelines to all staff to make sure the workplace is as safe as possible.

Slips, trips and falls are common injuries at work

Slips, trips or fall accidents are the most common cause of injury at work according to Health & Safety Executive statistics/a>.

Slips, trips and falls can happen anywhere, but are especially likely in high risk industries like construction, agriculture, or factories where packaging or other objects might be left on the floor.

Still accidents can still occur, even if your employer has followed their legal duty and done all they can to avoid accidents, including:

  • Taking measures to avoid slips, trips and falls
  • Carrying out regular risk assessments
  • Ensuring you have the right safety equipment to do your job
  • Placing warning signs
DID YOU KNOW: Workplace injuries cost an estimated £5.6 billion in 2018/19.
Slips, Trips & Falls Video
Video providing key information on claiming for an injury caused by a slip, trip or fall, and how many of these claims are settled under a fast-track scheme.

What will my slip, trip or fall compensation cover?

If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence either in a public place or a private business, it’s only right that you’re awarded compensation for the slip and fall injuries you’ve sustained and endured.

A personal injury solicitor will take the full impact of your slip, trip or fall into consideration when putting together your claim.

So long as they can prove on balance that someone else was to blame, and your injuries are a direct result of the slip and fall accident, you have the right to bring a public liability claim and receive compensation to help you get your life back on track.

If you’re successful, you’ll receive compensation to cover two main areas:

  • The financial costs of your injury (including any expected future costs)
  • Your physical pain and suffering

How do I make a slip, trip or fall compensation claim?

The first step is to get in touch for free legal advice with an expert legal adviser on 0800 234 6438.

An adviser will be able to give you advice on whether they think you have a claim, as well as how to make your claim. They will also put you in touch with specialist solicitors.

Once you’ve made contact with a solicitor, they’ll look closely at your case to make sure they fully understand the injuries you’ve sustained, and that they’re aware of the effects your injury has had on your life.

They will take all of this into consideration when negotiating your compensation, to make sure you receive the maximum compensation you’re owed.

Who pays for slip, trip or fall compensation claims?

All workplaces, including public buildings, are required to have public liability insurance. If you’re worried about the financial implications for the business or local authority you’re bringing the claim against, don’t be. They will have adequate insurance in place to compensate you as the injured person.

To find out more, simply contact an expert legal adviser today and they will put you in touch with specialist personal injury solicitors who will assist you with your compensation claim.

How much compensation could I claim for a slip, trip or fall?

Every personal injury claim is different. For a rough idea of how much compensation you could claim, check out our personal injury claims calculator for fall compensation amounts you might be entitled to.

Specific examples of the kinds of compensation which could be covered in your slip and fall claim can include:

  • Compensation for pain and suffering, depending on the severity of your injuries
  • Any lost earnings from time you’ve had to take off work while you recover from your injury
  • Medical treatment costs you’ve had as a result of your injury
  • The costs to family members who may have cared for you while you recovered
  • Travel expenses to medical appointments
  • Physiotherapy or other rehabilitation measures you might need
  • Any equipment or adaptations to your home you might need as a result of your injuries
  • Any interim payments you may need to cover living expenses while you wait for your final compensation package

If you’re thinking of making a slip, trip or fall compensation claim, or want to know if you have a compensation claim to pursue, get in contact with an expert legal adviser today. You can talk to one for free, friendly advice on 0800 234 6438 or by filling in the quick claim form.

If they believe you have grounds to claim compensation, they will put you in touch with specialist solicitors who will help you with your claim.

Do I need to collect any evidence to help my claim?

If possible, it can be very helpful to gather evidence of your slip or trip accident, so that your personal injury lawyers stand the best chance of being able to prove that the accident was due to negligence and that you were injured as a direct result – though your solicitor will also help you collect evidence. For example, evidence can include:

  • Photos of what caused you to trip or fall
  • Photos of your injury (if visible)
  • Contact details of the people responsible for maintaining the area
  • Names and addresses of any potential witnesses
  • CCTV footage of the incident if available

Can I make my slip, trip or fall claim on a no win no fee* basis?

The simple answer is yes – the vast majority of slip, trip or fall claims are made on a no win no fee basis. A no win no fee claim means you won’t have to pay your solicitor any money if your claim isn’t successful.

The benefit of no win no fee agreement is that there’s very little financial risk for you – if you don’t receive any compensation you won’t have to pay your personal injury lawyer out of your own pocket.

If your slip and trip claim is successful, your solicitor will charge a ‘success fee’ which is taken out of your compensation. This amount will have been agreed before starting your case, but you can be sure this will be a relatively small portion of the money you receive. Success fees are not more than 25% of the final compensation award.

How long do I have to start a slip, trip or fall claim?

You’ll usually need to start a personal injury claim within three years of your injury, otherwise you might be ‘time-barred’ under the Limitation Act 1980. If this happens then the court might refuse to hear your case.

If you’re claiming on behalf of your child, you can do so up until their 18th birthday – after that they have until they turn 21 years old to make a claim themselves.

If you’re claiming on behalf of someone with a mental disability, the three-year period does not start until they’ve regained their mental capacity.

How long does the claim compensation process take?

If your slip, trip or fall has caused injuries which have fully healed within three or four months, it’s more likely to be settled quickly. In fact, it’ll usually take no more than a few months to complete if the other party admits responsibility for causing your injury straight away.

However, it’s not uncommon that the defendant denies liability (ie. the other side deny responsibility at first). If this does happen, it can mean your case takes longer, as your solicitor will have to work with experts to prove that your accident was their fault.

If you’ve suffered from a serious injury, then this might also cause your case to take longer to complete. This is because your solicitor will want to wait until they know the full effects your injury might have on your life in the future, so you can receive the maximum compensation you deserve to cover this.

Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

When you submit your details, you'll be in safe hands. Our partners are National Accident Helpline (a brand of National Accident Law, a firm of personal injury solicitors regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority). They are the UK's leading personal injury service. Their friendly legal services advisers will call you to talk about your claim and give you free, no-obligation advice. National Accident Law may pay us a marketing fee for our services.

By submitting your personal data, you agree for your details to be sent to National Accident Law so they can contact you to discuss your claim.

If you win your case, your solicitor's success fee will be taken from the compensation you are awarded - up to a maximum of 25%. Your solicitor will discuss any fees before starting your case.