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Occupiers Liability Claims

Have you had an accident in a public place or injured yourself on someone else’s property?

If you are involved in an accident on someone else’s property (which could be the street, a shop, a housing estate or any public place such as a park), you may be entitled to compensation from the ‘occupier’ of that property.  You may have an occupiers liability claim.  What is that? If you were injured on someone else’s premises, whether because of uneven paving slabs, slippery surfaces or falling objects, the ‘occupier’ of the premises may be responsible for your injuries.

The ‘occupier’ is usually the person, council or company, landlord or tenant who has ‘control’ over the premises/land where you were injured.  This is called an Occupiers Liability Claim.

Call Grieves solicitors on 0800 0747 644 now to speak to an experienced personal injury solicitor for legal advice, and begin public injury claims.

What counts as someone else’s land?

‘You are a ‘visitor’ if you have permission to be on the premises/land.’

Under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957, an occupier must take reasonable care to ensure that ‘lawful visitors’ to his/her premises/land are safe when they are on their premises/land.

You might have been given express permission to be on the land such as a landlord making an appointment for a plumber to visit, or legitimate reason to be there such as a school or building site.

Even if you were not a ‘visitor’ i.e. you did not have permission to be on the premises/land, you may still have a claim. A child may not have had permission to be on the premises/land but may have been attracted onto the property because of something which was alluring to him or her. It is down to the occupier to ensure safety measures are in place that this is not possible.

In the case of Gabriel v Kirklees Metropolitan Council [2004] EWCA Civ 345 brought by Helen Grieves of Grieves Solicitors,  in the Court of Appeal, Tashan Gabriel, a child claimed damages against the Kirklees Metropolitan Council through his father and litigation friend.  He was walking past a building site, when he was struck in the eye by an object thrown by children playing on the site. This site was owned and occupied by Kirklees Metropolitan Council.  The Court of Appeal ordered a re-trial and the Claimant was successful in obtaining an award of compensation from Kirklees Council who had failed in their duty of care to the Claimant  

If you want one of our specialist lawyers to fight your case for personal injury claims, please call us now on 0800 0747 644 for a free, no-obligation assessment.

Can I claim pavement trip compensation?

You may wish to make a claim against the council for failing to maintain the highway or footpath. This is a possibility, although the law surrounding a council’s liability does provide them with a defence to such claims if they can show they operated a reasonable system of inspection and repair of the highway.

So, for example, they are not liable for a slip, trip and falls claim as soon as a defect occurs in a pavement, but only if they fail to repair it within a reasonable time once it has been reported, or when it should have been discovered through a reasonable maintenance regime. Records must be kept of such maintenance and must be available for inspection.

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If the problem was not a defect in the highway but some obstruction or work being carried out on the highway, then potential liability is likely to rest with the person or organisation that is carrying out the work or who caused the obstruction.

What constitutes occupiers liability claims?

You can make an occupiers liability claim for an accident that happened in a place which was not controlled by you or your employer.

This could range from fixed indoor locations like a supermarket or shopping centre, hotels and gyms to outdoor premises like car parks and even on planes and public transport.

It is the responsibility of the occupier, or the owner of the land to ensure that the proper measures are taken to make visitors and members of the public aware of potential hazards, for example:

  • Store managers have to ensure that wet floor warning signs are visible when floor cleaning is taking place to avoid supermarket accidents.
  • A coach driver checking all passengers are wearing seat belts.
  • The owner of a gym keeping a routine of regular safety check on all equipment and public spaces.

Occupiers have to ensure that people on their property are abiding by the safety laws in place and that they are at least aware of them. If you were aware that it was a safety law to wear your seat belt on a coach but were hurt in an accident because you were not wearing it, that would then no longer be the fault of the occupier.

If you slipped and because injured in a supermarket because of the lack of any warning signs you have a very good chance of making a supermarket accident compensation claim.

Can I make a claim?

If you or your child have suffered an accident in a public place or on land belonging to someone else, or in someone else’s property, which has left you injured, you should be entitled to make an Occupiers Liability Claim for injury compensation.

If you intend to make a personal injury compensation claim you may want to act immediately, especially if the accident was very minor and it is possible for you to recover and forget details about it. There is a time limit on claims such as these of three years from the date of the accident or a child’s 18th birthday, meaning that if you claim more than 3 years after the date of the accident or three years after a child’s 18th birthday (i.e. when the adult child is 21)  it’s highly unlikely you can pursue your case unless there are special reasons why you did not proceed.

If you suffered a severe accident it’s quite possible that in addition to the injury you or your child have suffered you may have a loss of earnings claim, a claim for medical bills and prescriptions or have to pay for aftercare for some time. Contact us today to see how we can help.

If you want one of our specialist lawyers to fight your case on your No Win No Fee Injury Claim basis, please call us now on 0800 0747 644 for a free, no-obligation assessment of your case to see if we can help. Alternatively, fill in our contact form below.  You can also read details of our successful cases here. 

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