Slips, trips and falls

Have you been injured due to a slip, trip or fall?

Slips, trips and falls are all too common, and can happen to you anywhere, at any time. They can sometimes be embarrassing, but in the worst cases they can cause you serious injuries, with symptoms which could affect you for years after the accident.

While in public places, such as supermarkets and bars, or while walking on pavements and footpaths, you have the right to feel safe.

If you’ve suffered a slip, trip or fall because health and safety laws haven’t been followed, we know this can be very difficult to accept.

It’s likely your injury has caused you to have to take time off work or pay medical expenses – on top of everything else – you might be under financial pressure.

We’re here to help you start a claim, so you can get the money you need to support you during your recovery and into the future. You can get in touch with our team on 0800 234 6438, or fill in one of the secure contact forms on this page.

Claiming against your 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:

If you’ve suffered from a slip, trip or fall because of the poor condition of a pavement, you could make a compensation claim against the council to cover the costs of your injury.

Slips and trips in privately owned businesses

Most people visit businesses such as shops, restaurants, bars and supermarkets every day. The people responsible for maintaining those spaces are also responsible for taking measures to make sure 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 be caused by:

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.

If you do have an accident, we recommend you gather some information that could help later on with your claim including:

DID YOU KNOW: Any freshly cleaned floor should have a ‘wet floor’ warning sign on display.

Slips, trips and falls at work

Employers have a duty to make sure your work area is kept tidy and clear of obstacles, so that you can feel safe at work. Equally, they should provide training and guidelines to all staff to make sure other members of staff are making the workplace as safe as possible.

Slips, trips or falls are the most common cause of injury at work according to Health & Safety Executive statistics. Accidents can happen, especially in high risk industries like construction or agriculture, but your employer still has a legal duty to do all they can to avoid accidents from happening. This includes taking measures to avoid slips, trips and falls, carrying out regular risk assessments and ensuring you have the right safety equipment to do your job.

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

SLIP, TRIP & FALL 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.

Your compensation

While slipping or tripping may seem like a minor accident, we’ve seen how much of an impact the resulting injuries can have on your life, as well as the lives of those around you. In some cases, the effect on your health and mobility can even be permanent.

While claiming compensation can’t take away what happened to you, it can help you to be more comfortable financially.

For example, as well as compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced, you might also receive damages to help cover the costs of:

Any injury can be upsetting; and it feels so much worse when someone else is at fault. Your solicitor will also take into consideration any emotional impact that your injury may have had while they work to settle your claim, too.

If you’re thinking of making a compensation claim, or want to know if you do have a claim, get in contact. You can talk to our advisors for free, friendly advice on 0800 234 6438 or by filling in our quick claim form.

Our specialist solicitors will also help you gather the all evidence together needed to bring your claim – such as medical reports and witness statements – and either negotiate a settlement with those responsible if liability is accepted or help you bring your case to court.

No win no fee

We may able to bring your case on a no win no fee basis. This means you won’t have to pay your solicitor any money if your claim isn’t successful. The benefit of no win no fee is that there’s no financial risk involved – if you don’t’ receive any compensation you won’t have to pay out of your own pocket.

If your claim is successful, your solicitor will charge a ‘success fee’ 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.

If you have any questions, or are interested in starting a claim and want to find out whether you might have a case, you can speak to us for free on 0800 234 6438.

How long do I have to make a claim?

You generally need to start a personal injury claim for compensation within three years of the injuries caused by your accident becoming apparent, otherwise you may be ‘time-barred’ under the Limitation Act 1980 and the court may refuse to hear your case. It’s always best to talk to a specialist solicitor as soon as possible after your accident while everything is fresh in your mind and evidence easier to obtain.

If you’re claiming on behalf of your child, they have until they reach 21 years of age to make a claim; and if you are claiming on behalf of someone under a mental disability, the three-year period does not start to run until they have regained their mental capacity.

How long will a claim take?

Many simple slip, trip or fall claims involving relatively minor injuries can be settled quite quickly and will usually take no more than a few months to complete if liability is admitted.

If liability is denied the claim may take longer, as it will if your injuries are more serious. This is because your solicitor will want to wait until you have a final prognosis for your recovery period to ensure you receive all the compensation you deserve before the case is closed.

Pre-action protocol

Many slip, trip or fall claims need to be brought using a special procedure called the Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims. This sets certain standards which the parties to a personal injury claim are expected to observe before formal court proceedings are issued.

It outlines the steps you need to follow to bring your claim and the time limits involved for each part of the process, starting with the letter of claim which you send to the defendant – this summarises the facts of the case, the nature of your injury and financial loss it has caused, and the damages you are seeking.

The defendant then usually has 21 days to acknowledge receipt and then three months to provide a full response, giving their side of the story, identifying their insurer (if any), and indicating if liability is denied or contributory negligence claimed.

If the defendant admits liability, any medical reports about your injury should be disclosed to the other party. You cannot start any court proceedings for 21 days from the disclosure of any such report to allow time for you and the defendant to consider settlement.

The Pre-action protocol encourages you and the other side to exchange information at an early stage, think about using a form of alternative dispute resolution to settle the claim and to consider, as early as possible, whether you have needs that could be met by rehabilitation, treatment or other measures.

Failure to follow the Pre-action Protocol properly could see costs being awarded against you if the case goes to court.

About the Author
Lucy Trevelyan LLB

Lucy Trevelyan LLB

Find Lucy on LinkedIn

Lucy is a NCTJ trained journalist who studied law at the University of Greenwich. She is a legal journalist and editor with more than 20 years’ experience writing about the law.

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How Much Could You Claim?

Does your claim qualify? Get free, no obligation advice!

Or call free on 0800 234 6438

Find out how we handle your details in our privacy policy.