Public liability accidents are accidents where a public entity is liable for the accident. This is commonly the council. The accidents usually happen on the street, on the roads and in public places such as parks. Accidents in shops and supermarkets do not fall under public liability, as they are privately owned. Therefore, they are occupier’s liability.
Public Liability Accidents
The most common type of public liability accidents are slips, trips and falls. These accidents can happen on the pavement, on the road or on public footpaths in parks. They are usually caused by potholes or defects in the ground.
There are certain rules when claiming for tripping on a pothole or defect in a pavement or road. On a pavement, a pothole or defect must be at least an inch deep or raised. In the road, this must be at least 2 inches deep and at least 12 inches wide.
The Responsibility of Local Authorities
The Highways Act 1980 states that local authorities are responsible for keeping all roads and footpaths safe to use. Keeping all roads and pavements marble smooth at all times is both unnecessary and impractical. However a council has a legal duty to repair any damage that occurs to surfaces. They must do this by making repairs within six months of being notified of the risk. If a local council does not do this and someone has an accident, then they may be liable.
If You Have Had A Public Liability Accident
When you have an accident due to a defect in the road or pavement, it is important that you take photos of the defect. This will help with your case, as it can be proof of the defect in a claim. If you have an accident and you have information about the defect, then it can be helpful to note this down too. Details include how long the defect has been there, how often the local council repair defects, and if other people have had accidents in the same place. If the accident was previously reported, how long it took the council to fix the defect, and if they actually did fix it.
It is important that you report the defect to the council so that they are aware of the defect. They also need to be aware so that they can fix any defects. However, if you wish to make a personal injury claim, you should not try and claim directly with the council. This is because if you have already tried to claim from the council and they deny liability, then it is unlikely that they will accept liability if you start a personal injury claim.
How We Can Help
Here at The Compensation Experts we work with solicitors who have years of experience in all manner of personal injury claims. This includes slips trips and falls in public places. Contact us today by filling in our contact form or by calling us on 0800 182 2185 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.