Members of the public who have suffered an accident in a public place which wasn’t their fault can look to advice from legal specialists to ensure the incident is properly recorded should they wish to make a claim for compensation.
From tripping accidents on the street over a pothole or loose paving stone, to slipping over on a wet surface within a premises which had no sign, businesses and local authorities have a duty of care to ensure that members of the public are safe and if anyone experiences an injury, this is a form of negligence regardless of how minor the incident.
From reporting it as soon as possible, to getting witness statements and seeking medical advice immediately, the law experts at JMP Solicitors have compiled a list of considerations to look to following an injury in a public place if you wish to receive the appropriate treatment or make a personal injury claim.
Kamini Minstry, solicitor at JMP Solicitors said: “Whether it be a slip, trip or fall within a public space, it is vital that after any incident occurs, it’s handled correctly and with caution - ensuring the individual involved receives the appropriate aftercare and claim that they are entitled to.
“Whilst it can be difficult to maintain a cool head within these stressful situations, it is crucial to comply with certain steps, as they essentially act as a form of vital evidence in the future of any claim.”
Here are six considerations for what to do if you suffer an injury in a public space:
1. Raise and report it
Once the incident has occurred, it is advised to raise your concern and report it to the person in charge immediately. Certain businesses log accidents in a designated incident book for the premises – which helps to prevent future incidents from taking place. If the establishment doesn’t have an accident book, then it’s important to ask for the incident to be recorded in a written format, to refer back to in the future.
2. Record the events and names of witnesses
If claims are made, it is necessary for a contemporary witness statement to be provided in as much detail as possible. It’s advised that these statements are drafted as close to the incident as possible, in order to provide relevant details and information which may be forgotten in time.
Witnesses are also a crucial aspect to recognise, as they can play a huge role in the development of the claim, re-enforcing the truth and helping to corroborate the case.
3. Take photographs
If you are unable to take photographs of the scenes due to needing medical attention, try and make sure whoever is with you (or a potential witness) is able to take a snap of the scene. This is hard evidence of the location at the time of events, showcasing in great detail any factors that may have led to or caused the accident.
4. Seek medical help immediately
Whether or not you think the injury is minor, the adrenaline from the shock of an accident can often take over the body for a short while, therefore, the initial impact is softened, and injuries may not initially feel as bad as what they are. It is vital that you seek medical help immediately to ensure that all injuries are recorded and the appropriate medical treatment is prescribed.
Medical records will then be stored and we will be able to refer to them in the future when making a claim.
5. Seek CCTV footage
Just like photographs of the accident scene, CCTV acts as a pivotal piece of evidence when making a claim. It is a legal requirement for most establishments to have CCTV in place, therefore, it is more than likely the accident has been captured on tape.
Those who have experienced an incident should always request to recover footage, and this can be done by sending a ‘Subject Access Request’ to the owner of the camera in writing. * It is essential for individuals to do this as soon as possible, as CCTV footage is only kept for a short period of time.
6. Seek a specialist injury solicitor
When these situations occur, it is advised that the individual involved seeks the help of a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible, in order to get the case moving, whilst receiving specialist knowledge and guidance.
Here at JMP, we have a personal injury team with a wealth of knowledge, to assist with any enquiries in relation to injuries in public spaces.