Slips, trips & falls compensation claims in Belfast & Northern Ireland
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You might be entitled to compensation following a slip, trip or fall accident
If you are in a public place and slip, trip or fall and it wasn’t your fault then you might be entitled to compensation if you were injured as a result. These types of personal injury claims are called public or occupier’s liability claims. However, they are informally known to most people as slips, trips or falls claims.
What causes a slip accident in public?
Slip accidents occur when the fall was caused by the person slipping on a wet or greasy surface. Those responsible for public spaces should reasonably ensure that surfaces are made from a material that reduces the risk of someone slipping. They should ensure there is signage if the floor is wet in circumstances. Doing so would indicate to the public that they should be more careful whilst walking.
Spillages are a common cause of slip accidents. Those responsible for the public place should ensure that they have a reasonable system of inspection in place to avoid such accidents.
Some common causes of slipping accidents include:
- Spilled drinks in places such as bars, restaurants and office foyers
- Greasy or oily spillages in workplaces such as factories and building sites
- Wet floors in heavy foot-fall indoor spaces when it’s raining outside
What causes a trip accident in public?
Trip accidents occur when a fall was caused by the person tripping on a surface or item that is raised above the surrounding walkway. Those responsible for public places should ensure that walkways are unobscured from trip hazards and that there are no damage surfaces that could catch someone’s foot as they walk. Much like with spillages, they should ensure that they have a reasonable system of inspection in place to avoid such accidents.
Some common causes of tripping accidents include:
- Items or debris left unattended in walkways such as corridors or supermarket aisles
- Cracked or raised pavements
- Damage to infrastructure such as uneven stairs and skirting boards
Where do slips, trips and falls take place?
Slips, trips and falls and accidents resulting from them can happen in any public place in Northern Ireland. This is under the condition that it is under the management of the government, a business or a private individual.
If the location is under the management of a public body and an accident occurs, then the injured person takes a public liability claim. Examples include:
- Public footpaths
- Local parks
- Government buildings such as Council operated leisure centres
If the public space is controlled by a business or individual and an accident occurs, then the injured person pursues an occupier’s liability claim. Examples include:
- Hospitality venues such as bars, clubs and restaurants
- Supermarkets and corner shops
- Retail shops and department stores
How long do I have to claim for slips, trips & falls?
You have three years to begin legal action for a slip, trip or fall injury. The time limit usually begins from the time the accident occurred, but it can start later if you were not immediately aware of your injuries. You can learn more about personal injury time limits by reading: How long do I have to claim?
Should I claim following a slip, trip or fall?
Despite the clear entitlement to compensation, many injured through a slip, trip or fall choose not to exercise their legal right. It may be the case that some of those people are embarrassed by the nature of the accident. Few people will slip, trip or fall in public without leaving with a bruised ego. However, when the bruises (or fractures!) are physical, the accident and the consequences should not be undermined. It’s no different from being injured in a car accident or a workplace accident.
We are slip, trip & fall injury solicitors
If you slipped, tripped or fell in a public place and suffered injuries, we can help you pursue compensation. Visit Public or Occupier’s Liability Claims to learn more or contact us for a free initial consultation.