Injured in a Public Place – What are my Rights?

26 Mar 2020 | Magdalena Knez

If you have been injured in a public place, you may be entitled to claim personal injury compensation. This compensation could cover pain and suffering, loss of earnings and any legal and medical expenses incurred as a result of your injury. But how can you claim and what are your rights?

Here is a brief outline of the types of insurance from which you can claim, and recommendations on how to access a solicitor who is best placed to help you.

Rights under Employers’ Liability insurance

Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees. However, they are also responsible for the health and wellbeing of anyone who comes into direct contact with their business premises. These people can include customers or just ordinary members of the public.  For this reason, most employers are required by law to carry at least £5 million worth of Employers’ Liability insurance. The employer is liable to a stiff fine if not properly insured and may also be fined if their Employer’s Liability insurance certificate is not readily displayed or easy to access.

The insurance helps the employer to meet the cost of compensation claims should someone be injured on the site of their business. The coverage is applicable not just to staff but members of the public too.

Rights under Public Liability insurance

While it is not required by law, most businesses also carry Public liability insurance. This insurance is aimed at covering compensation claims from third parties. It covers injury, illness and death as well as damage to property and comes into play if the injury was the fault of the business owner. An example of this third-party claim would be if a customer slips in a spillage and breaks an arm. In addition to compensation claims, legal expenses, medical fees and the cost of any repairs to personal property are also covered by Public Liability insurance.

Right to reasonable safety in a public place

A public place is anywhere that the general public has access, such as libraries, restaurants, supermarkets, leisure centres and even parks and pavements. We have the right to expect to be reasonably safe in a public place, However, all sorts of injuries can and do occur, including trips, falls, and unfortunately, assaults.

If you have suffered an injury in a public place you may be able to claim compensation under either the Employer’s Liability insurance or their Public Liability insurance. In order to make a successful claim it must be shown that the accident was not your fault, but rather due to the negligence of the other party. And, in order to prove negligence, it must be shown that the other party owed you a duty of care to your health and safety and that the duty of care was breached, resulting in your injury.

Right to an independent solicitor

If you have been injured in a public place, you have the right to ask advice from an independent solicitor, in order to find out whether you are entitled to make a claim for compensation. It is likely that most claims may be made either on the Employer’s Liability insurance or Public Liability insurance. However, there may also be special circumstances which require claim pursuit from another body, for example the Council or Local Authority. In this case, there will be different claim mechanisms. A specialist personal injury lawyer will help navigate these complex areas of red tape.

In addition, you should also bear in mind that there are often time limits on making a claim for personal injury compensation: most court proceedings must be issued within 3 years from the injury, so time is of the essence.

Right to a solicitor expert in personal injury

To make sure that you get the right advice for your circumstances, you should consult a solicitor who is a member of the Law Society’s personal injury accreditation scheme. This scheme guarantees that all its members have a minimum of five years of experience dealing with personal injury claims. They are also required to follow a code of conduct and comply with a specialised consumer charter.

Blog post by Magdalena Knez

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