Other Accident Claims for Personal Injury

If you have suffered an accident when you were neither at home nor at work then you may be able to make claim against the owner of the land or premises.  Depending on whether your accident occurred on public or private land your claim may be made against the Local Council under Public Liability or the occupier of the premises or land under Occupier’s Liability rules.

Examples of both types of cases are given below.

+ Accidents in public places (public liability)

Have you, or anyone in your family, had an accident in a public place owned/maintained by the Local Council?  If so we may be able to assist by making a claim under the Highways Act 1980.

Under the Highways Act the Council have a duty to ensure that roads, pavements and other areas of public access under their control are maintained in a reasonably safe condition.

Some of the most common public liability compensation claims we deal with involve:

  • Injuries caused by dangerous footpaths or uneven paving slabs/pavements, untreated ice and snow, pot holes, tree roots and steps or staircases in disrepair.
  • Broken down fences or other obstructions to the highways or pavements creating a tripping hazard in walking areas, or other hazards such as missing drain covers etc.

If you have been injured in an accident on a defective road, pavement or other area which is the responsibility of the Local Council give us a call to check if you can make a claim.  Our initial advice is always free of charge.

Claims arising from accident in public places, for example uneven pavements, can be a lot more complicated than they first appear.  Under the Highways Act the Local Authority may have a defence to a claim if they can show that they had a proper system for the maintenance and repair of roads, pavements, footpaths and other walkways and have operated that system.  However, if you can prove that they haven’t, or that their system differs from the recommendations of the national recommended standards for highway maintenance, then you may be able to claim.

It is generally impossible to know whether or not the Council are able to take advantage of the defence until a claim has been put in and they provide us with a copy of the inspection regime/inspection/repair records.
Evidence can be very important in these types of cases.
To help your case it would be useful if you knew the exact spot the accident occurred and take photographs of the area where the accident happened. In cases involving badly maintained pavements, it would be advisable to put a ruler or a coin such as a 10p or 50p piece standing upright beside the defect before you take the photograph to give an idea of depth / height.

Obviously if there were any witnesses to the accident it would be very helpful if could obtain their name, address and contact telephone numbers.  Witnesses in these cases would also include anyone who knew the area and could verify the length of time the defect had been evident.  This would be useful to counter any argument by the Council that he defect was not evident on their last routine inspection.  Basically the more evidence you have the better in these cases.
For more information on claiming for an accident on public land or premises please see our Trips, slips and falls FAQ. Alternatively give us a call on 0191 3753938

+ Accidents on other people’s premises or land (Occupier’s Liability)

Have you, or anyone in your family, had an accident while on someone else’s land or premises?  If so you may be able to make a claim under the Occupier’s Liability Acts of 1957 and 1984.

Accidents in other people’s premises can result in serious consequences, and the vast majority are foreseeable and could have been prevented if the “occupier” had had simple control measures in place such as a system of inspection for spillages, placing a sign or a barrier where a floor is wet, ensuring that there are no obstructions where people walk or salting an icy access route.

If you were injured in an accident while in a shop, hotel, in a pub/nightclub or restaurant, in a railway station or other public building when your accident occurred you may have a claim.  Indeed you do not even have to have been in a building to make a claim as car parks and other cleared sites come under these Acts.  If you are injured while on someone else’s premises or land in England or Wales then we can help you make a claim against the occupier.

The “occupier” means anyone who is in control of the land, building, shop, warehouse etc. but any claim will be made against their insurers.

If your accident happened while you were at work then separate rules apply and you should look at our Accidents at Work page on this website.

If you child was involved in an accident then we can help.  “Occupiers” have a greater responsibility towards children than against adults and even if there were signs or barriers this may not prevent a successful claim.

For more information on claiming for an accident on someone else’s land or premises please see our Trips, slips and falls FAQ’s or give us a call on 0191 3753938 or 0191 3753939.


If you have had an accident in the last 3 years that was not your fault then give us a call and we will be more than happy to discuss your potential claim with you. There is no charge for initial advice and no obligation. You have absolutely nothing to lose by giving us a call on 0191 375 3938 to discuss your potential claim.
Our initial advice is always free.