Falls and slips can happen for a variety of reasons. Slippery paths may not have been gritted properly during winter. A wet floor might not have been signposted properly, so people fail to realise the potential hazard. Uneven paving stones can cause us to trip because we don’t notice them as we rush to work.
While most trips and falls only involve minor injuries such as bruising or scratches, some do cause very serious injury. In these circumstances, it’s critical to understand who is responsible if you are going to make a compensation claim.
Who is at Fault?
Slips and falls often become likely when businesses, landlords and organisations such as councils don’t carry out the necessary maintenance and servicing to keep an area safe for those who use it.
- For example, if you’re in a supermarket and the floor is wet and you slip, you can rightly say that the owners of the supermarket are liable because they didn’t signpost the area and warn you of the hazard. You’ll often see yellow warning signs placed on aisle floors following a spillage of some sort and most supermarkets get these out quickly to avoid accidents.
- A council may be responsible for maintaining the paving around your home. If a piece of pavement is uneven or broken and you trip over it and fall, the council are liable because it’s their job to keep our roads and paths well maintained.
- Landlords who don’t maintain their properties to a good enough standard may also be liable if you trip while on their property. This could be the case if communal areas are not lit properly or areas like stairs are in disrepair.
Nearly 30% of accidents in the workplace involve trips and falls, so employers also have a duty of care to people who use their premises, including employees. All employers need to follow general health and safety regulations and some industries, such as construction, have even stricter rules.
If a fall or slip is serious, it can lead to significant injuries and that can have an impact on someone’s daily living. You may have to take time off work and can’t earn a salary because of your injury. The fall may have been so bad that you are left with a disability which means you need help reorganising your daily living.
Compensation is awarded for a variety of reasons. It may help you fill any shortfall in wages. If you are unable to do the same job as before because of your injuries, the payment will compensate you. It can also cover the cost of additional treatment and rehabilitation that you may require.
The good news is that personal injury solicitors generally offer a free consultation to their clients. If you have suffered an injury following a slip or fall, this enables you to find out if there is a case for claiming without costing you anything.
In addition, most lawyers operate a no win no fee service which means you don’t have to find the cost of legal action upfront – this is taken out of any successful compensation award. If the claim is unsuccessful, then you don’t have to pay anything.