You don’t have to be clumsy or careless to find yourself a victim of a slip or trip accident. They happen every day and when they do, it’s hoped that a little bruising and embarrassment is the worst of the consequences. Sometimes, however, the injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident can be more serious and adversely impact the injured person’s life. When this happens, they may want to pursue compensation for their injuries.
Who will be eligible for compensation?
If you suffer an injury in almost any public place due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to make a public liability claim. Public liability covers a great deal of situations, including slips, trips or falls in places such as grocery stores, rental properties, school yards, shopping malls, parking lots, and even sporting events.
Once it has been established that you were injured in one of these places, you will then need to establish that the accident occurred due to the negligence of the store owner, for example.
To prove negligence the injured party must show that the person claimed against – a store owner or their employees, for example – owed them a duty of care, breached that duty of care and that the harm caused (the injury) was due to the breach of care.
What steps should I take?
If you or a loved one slip or trip and fall in a public place, there are a few steps you should take to ensure your claim’s best chance of success. You should:
- Report: Make sure to notify the shop of the slip and fall immediately. This puts them on notice of your injury and can prevent others from suffering the same harm.
- Seek help: Even if your injuries appear to be minor you should seek medical attention right away. Many slip and trip injuries cause neck, back, knee and head problems, the consequences of which are not always immediately apparent.
- Record: Take note of the conditions that contributed to your accident. Make a special effort to identify and collect the detail of any witnesses. Their statements may prove to be crucial testimony in proving your claim. Also, definitely take pictures of the scene of the accident. These days, everyone has constant access to a camera via their mobile phones and this will be a huge advantage in making a claim.
Types of compensation
The types of compensation you may be entitled to receive will depend upon your individual circumstances, but some of the most common include:
- past and future medical expenses;
- lump-sum payments for your pain and suffering;
- past and future rehabilitation expenses;
- past and future financial losses (lost wages and superannuation funds).