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Claims for an accident in a public place 

Maybe you’ve slipped or tripped, maybe you have been hit by something which has fallen from above or you have walked into something which shouldn’t have been there.

Maybe it was in a supermarket, shop or restaurant. Maybe it was on a path or pavement next to a road.  Whatever the circumstances, you have somehow found yourself injured, in pain and certainly inconvenienced – so what can you do about it?.

What is an accident in a public place?

Generally speaking, accidents in a public place fall into two categories:

Public liability accidents – most commonly involving accidents on the street, road or on public land and your claim is against the local council

Occupier’s liability accidents – where accidents happen in premises like shops, supermarkets, cinemas or stadiums and your claim is made against a private company.

You might be wondering about schools or hospitals but the guidance above is the same. If it’s a private school then you’d claim against the private company that owns or manages it (occupier’s liability). If it’s a school run by the local authority i.e a public body, then you would have a public liability claim.

If you wish to learn more about each claim type, we have dedicated Public and Occupier’s pages that may be of interest - however, we encourage you not to worry about these terms.

It’s for our legally trained staff to worry about who is responsible for your injuries and it really makes no significant difference to the process of your public accident compensation claim.

The only ‘real world’ difference is in working out who is negligent and liable for your damages.

Can I claim for an accident that occurred on public premises?

If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to seek a personal injury claim.

Businesses, local authorities and owners of premises which are accessible to the public have a duty of care towards those who are present on their premises. This means that the occupiers have a responsibility to take reasonable care so that the person does not suffer injury.

What to do after an accident in a public place?

These key steps are not only necessary but may prove to be critical in the future if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.

  • Seek medical attention - Having your injuries checked and treated by a medical professional should be your first consideration. It’s not only important for your well-being but your medical records could provide vital evidence later on in the event of a claim.
  • Reporting the accident - It is important that you or someone who witnessed the incident report what happened to whoever is in charge of safety, wherever the accident took place, and as soon as possible. That might be the shop owner, hotel manager or your local council if it happened on the street.
  • Gather evidence - Photos or videos of where the accident happened (especially any footage that’s been captured in the immediate aftermath) can help build a picture of the scene and how the accident happened. It may even help identify an obvious fault or provide extra key details that might otherwise be forgotten (like the weather or lighting conditions).
    Witness details are also a big help. We wouldn’t expect you to gather full statements from people but if you could gather any names and contact details of those who saw your accident then we can speak to them later for any supporting evidence.
  • Contact Digby Brown - Whatever the circumstances of your public accident injury claim our people will be able to provide reliable advice – just like we’ve done for hundreds of others. 
    Like our client who tripped on a path while walking her children home from school. Our solicitors took on her claim against the council to seek compensation for her injury. Or Mrs Cameron who slipped on wet tiles when leaving a store and broke her hip. Our Ayr solicitors took on her case and were able to secure over £35,000 for her injuries.

What can I claim for an accident that occurred in a public place?

The compensation we help you recover is based on how the injury impacted your whole life, not just on the injury itself.

This is broken down into smaller sums, known as 'heads of claim', which relate to things like:

  • physical pain and suffering caused by the accident
  • Loss of earnings
  • any impact on your pension due to your inability to work
  • Ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation
  • damaged belongings
  • Other costs – like if you had to pay for private travel (like taxis) to attend medical appointments

No win, no fee personal injury solicitors

The expression “No win, no fee” is often used in personal injury cases.  It is used as a way of funding a compensation claim where the accident victim does not have the means to pay for the costs involved as the case progresses. 

A number of solicitors are prepared to handle personal injury cases on a “No Win – No Fee” basis but very few are able to offer their clients complete protection if the case is unsuccessful. 

In that event, the client could end up being liable for many thousands of pounds in legal expenses or the case won't be fully investigated and therefore likely to under-settle.

Compensate 'no win, no fee' funding

Digby Brown has its own funding company, Compensate, which provides the funding to allow the case to be fully investigated, employ the best experts surrounding the circumstances of the accident and/or injuries sustained and where and if necessary go to court.

If for whatever reason the case is unsuccessful, Compensate pays all your legal expenses and those of your opponent – you pay nothing

On average our clients receive over 3 times the pre-litigation offer

Because of Compensate funding Digby Brown's success rate is extremely high and on average our clients receive three times the pre-litigation offer.

In the event the case is successful, a small percentage of your damages will be deducted with VAT to pay for this service. The percentage which Compensate will charge depends on the degree of risk involved. We believe that this is the fairest method of giving clients access to justice whilst ensuring their cases are fully investigated, prepared and funded.

Don’t take our word for it, just read many of the court decisions and case studies on our website.

Beware of compensation offers which may be too good

We know you will have seen many adverts offering 100% compensation or telling you that you will not lose any of your compensation, however we believe there are a number of problems with companies that do this.

  • How do they make their money if they don’t charge you anything?
  • If they aren’t taking any money from you, the client, what incentive do they have to ensure you receive the right level of compensation, appropriate to the injuries you have sustained?
  • Fully preparing a case, finding out exactly what happened and what the consequences of your injuries may mean in the long term, is expensive, how do they do this properly?
  • If they aren’t fully preparing these cases will they just accept the first offer they are given on your behalf by the Insurance company?
  • It makes simple business sense, the less work they do the higher their profit margin is - they simply have no incentive to work harder on your behalf.
  • These adverts in the main are from English firms on national television which operates in a different way and therefore wouldn’t apply to a Scottish person.

We know from the many client cases we mandate from other firms of solicitors (in the main at the request of the client who is extremely unsatisfied with the service received for the other firm) that many shortcuts are taken in preparation and that the first offer received is being recommended for acceptance, regardless of the value. 

Getting something for nothing is usually the first sign of poor service.

Correct level of compensation with Digby Brown

Our experience and statistics show time and time again we will achieve the correct level of compensation which will be substantially more than the insurer is initially prepared to offer.

Even after we have deducted our percentage as a success fee you will gain considerably more than you would have achieved using a 100% compensation model.

Contact Digby Brown's personal injury solicitors

We have offices across Scotland in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Aberdeen and Ayr.

For further information about no win, no fee, or anything else, call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our enquiry form below and someone will get back in touch with you.

0333 200 5926

Monday to Friday: 8am - 8pm 
Saturday and Sunday: 12pm - 4pm

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