Throughout this guide, we will be discussing frequently asked questions about making a public liability claim. Following an accident in a public place, you will no doubt have many questions surrounding when it could be possible to begin a claim, who you could claim against and what that claim could be worth. Our guide aims to address these questions.
We have provided guidance on the duty of care owed by the parties in control of public places and how failing to uphold this duty can lead to accidents in which visitors are injured. You will also see information on how personal injury compensation is calculated in public liability claims and the evidence you can gather to strengthen your case.
The final section of this guide lists the advantages of starting your potential claim with a public liability claims solicitor from our panel of experts.
To ask any questions or get a free consultation regarding your eligibility to claim, contact our advisors. You can speak to a member of our team via the following contact details:
Browse Our Guide
- When Can You Claim For An Accident In A Public Place?
- What Are Examples Of Accidents In A Public Place?
- Is There A Time Limit For Public Liability Claims?
- How Much Compensation Could You Receive From A Public Liability Claim?
- What Evidence Could Help You Make A Public Liability Claim?
- What Does ‘No Win No Fee’ Mean?
- Read More About Making A Public Liability Claim
The party in control of a public place (the occupier) has a duty of care to take steps to ensure the reasonable of all visitors to the premises. This duty is contained within the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. Failure to take these steps can lead to accidents where visitors could be injured.
Any potential personal injury claims for accidents in a public place will need to satisfy the following eligibility criteria:
- The occupier owed you a duty of care.
- They failed to take steps to ensure your reasonable safety as a visitor to a public place, therefore breaching their duty of care.
- This breach resulted in an accident in which you were injured.
You can discuss your potential public liability claim with our team by calling the number above. They can assess whether you’re eligible to proceed with your case.
“Public places” can refer to business premises, cafes and restaurants, public gardens and parks, and the road network. Below you will find some hypothetical scenarios where an occupier failing to uphold their duty of care could result in a public accident:
- You received an electric shock due to faulty wiring in a restaurant bathroom. The restaurant had known there was a fault with the wiring but had not taken steps to repair it.
- While cycling down a public road, you hit a pothole. The impact caused you to lose control of your bicycle and swerve into the path of oncoming traffic, resulting in multiple broken bones and a severe head injury. The council failed to organise a repair within a timely manner, despite being informed of the danger.
- The railing at a rooftop bar was coming free from its mountings. Despite being informed of the potential danger, the bar had not placed a warning. You were leaning on the railing when it gave way, and you suffered a serious back injury in the fall.
To discuss circumstances where you could begin a public liability claim, contact our advisors using the information given above.
Public liability claims are generally subject to a time limit of 3 years from the date of the accident, as established by the Limitation Act 1980. However, in certain circumstances, exceptions can be applied. For example:
- In cases where the injured party is a child, the time limit has a pause placed on it until they turn 18. This means a litigation friend could make the claim on their behalf. Alternatively, if no claim is started for them during the pause, they will have three years from their 18th birthday to start legal proceedings themselves.
- In cases where the party injured has a reduced mental capacity to begin legal proceedings themselves, an indefinite pause is placed on the time limit. During this time, a litigation friend can start the claim for the injured person. If this isn’t done, and the party recovers their capacity, the time limit will run from the recovery date.
Talk to our team today to learn more about the time limits for your particular claim and whether any exceptions apply.
A successful public liability claim will see you awarded personal injury compensation. Two different heads of loss, general and special damages, can make up the compensation settlement. General damages award for the pain and suffering caused by your injuries, whereas associated financial losses could be reimbursed under special damages.
Those responsible for calculating a potential value of general damages for your claim could refer to the figures in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This publication lists various injuries alongside their guideline award brackets. We have taken a selection of these brackets for use in our compensation table. However, please note the first entry is not from the JCG.
Please be advised that the amounts given in this table are intended as a guide only.
|Multiple Serious Injuries with Special Damages||Serious||Up to £1,000,000 and above||Compensation could be awarded to address several serious injuries and the financial losses caused as a result, such as lost income and care costs.|
|Brain Damage||Very Severe (a)||£282,010 to £403,990||The person shows minimal evidence of having a response to their environment that's meaningful, if any evidence at all. There will also be poor language function, double incontinence, and the requirement for full-time care.|
|Moderate (c)(i)||£150,110 to £219,070||Moderate to severe intellectual deficit, sensory impact and personality change with a significant risk of epilepsy and zero employment prospects.|
|Back Injuries||Severe (a)(i)||£91,090 to £160,980||Cases where there has been damage to both the spinal cord and nerve roots causing serious pain and disability including paralysis and significantly impaired sexual, bladder and bowel function.|
|Moderate (b)(i)||£27,760 to £38,780||A prolapsed intervertebral disc that requires surgery.|
|Epilepsy||Established Grand Mal (a)||£102,000 to £150,110||Awards for epilepsy depend on the effectiveness of medication, the impact on work and social life and any related behavioural problems.|
|Leg Injuries||Severe (b)(i)||£96,250 to £135,920||Fractures that haven't united and so extensive bone grafting has been required.|
|Less Serious (c)(i)||£17,960 to £27,760||Cases in this bracket include an incomplete recovery from fractures as well as cases of serious soft tissue injuries.|
|Other Arm Injuries||Severe||£96,160 to £130,930||The person suffers a serious brachial plexus injury and is left little better off than if they had lost the arm.|
|Simple||£6,610 to £19,200||Forearm fractures.|
As we said above, the costs you incur as a result of being injured can be reimbursed under special damages. We have included some examples of costs here:
- Lost earnings from time taken off work to recover from your injuries.
- Transport costs to and from work if you are unable to drive.
- Home modifications such as access ramps and accessible showers.
- Domestic support for food preparation, cleaning or maintenance of outside space if you are unable to carry out these duties yourself safely.
Claiming under special damages will require supporting evidence so retain copies of any documentation, such as payslips, travel tickets, and invoices, that prove you suffered monetary losses.
The examples of damages given above are intended to act as guidance as personal injury claims are calculated on a case-by-case basis. To get a more detailed estimate of the potential compensation you could receive following a successful claim, call our team today on the number given below.
To give your public liability claim the best chance of success, it is important to collect a thorough body of supporting evidence. Evidence is used to demonstrate the fault of the occupier, as well as show the extent of your injuries. Some examples of the evidence needed for a personal injury claim have been given here:
- Getting medical attention for your injuries is always advisable. This is important for your health, and your treatment will produce medical records, such as scans or test results, that you can request copies of to be used as evidence.
- If available, you can acquire a copy of CCTV or dashcam footage of the accident taking place.
- You can also take photographs of your injuries, the accident location, and its cause.
- Take down the contact information of anyone who saw the accident, as they may be called to give a witness statement later in the claims process.
Support with gathering evidence for your claim could be provided by one of the specialist solicitors from our expert panel. Get in touch with our advisors for a zero-cost assessment of your eligibility to begin a claim. If our team decides you are eligible to continue pursuing your case, a solicitor from our panel could assist you with gathering a strong body of evidence. Chat to an advisor today using the contact information given below.
Firstly, you can contact our advisors for a free assessment of your eligibility to begin a claim. After our advisors have deemed your potential claim as valid, a public liability claims solicitor from our panel could offer to take up your claim under what’s known as a Conditional Fee Agreement.
A Conditional Fee Agreement, or CFA, is a No Win No Fee contract that offers claimants a number of advantages. For example, in most cases, a CFA will mean no initial fees for the solicitor to start work on your claim. You will also not be liable for any fees for this work during the claims process itself. In the event the solicitor does not win your claim, you will likewise not be paying for their services.
Following the success of your claim, you will receive personal injury compensation. The solicitor will deduct a percentage of this compensation as their success fee. Since the maximum percentage that can be charged as a success fee is capped by law, you will keep the majority of any compensation payout you receive.
Our advisors can assess your eligibility to claim for free in addition to providing answers to any questions you may have. You can speak to a member of our team via the following contact details:
You can read some more of our public liability claim guides here:
- Find out more about payouts for theme park accidents and the eligibility criteria to start a public liability claim.
- Learn who could start a claim after slipping on a wet floor and how compensation for such an accident is calculated.
- Read our guide examining when you could make an arm injury claim and what compensation could be awarded following a successful claim.
We have also included some external resources you may find useful:
- The NHS has issued guidance on administering first aid, which you can find here.
- This page from the Health and Safety Executive outlines the steps businesses can take to manage risks at their premises.
- Learn more about claiming statutory sick pay for your injuries from this Government page.
Thank you for reading our guide on frequently asked questions about the steps involved in starting a public liability claim. Our helpful team of advisors is available 24/7 to answer any questions. They can also assess your eligibility to start a claim for no charge. You can contact an advisor at any time using the details given above.