Public Liability – Slip and Fall Accident

If you’ve had a trip or fall anywhere in a public place in the past year then you may be entitled to compensation. Whether you’ve tripped over some unfinished or dangerous pavement or fell down some stairs as the proper warning signals were not visible a solicitor can help you recover compensation to pay for the required medical treatment.

Typical examples of Public Liability claims include:

  • Injuries due to uneven sidewalks, driveways, paths, steps, or stairs. For example, a customer who trips on a loose brick in a walkway could open a claim for injuries.
  • Injuries due to slipping, tripping, or falling within your store/business or on your public grounds (restrooms, gardens, cafeterias). For example, a customer who slips in a grocery store aisle could sue for injuries.
  • Injuries from falling objects that occur on your property. Even non-customers who walk by your property could open a claim. For example, a member of the general public who walks by a construction site and is hit by a falling hammer can open a claim against the construction company.

However, many other public liability claims may occur in situations that do not fall into any of the above categories. Property damage due to business practices also falls under public liability claims. These claims can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A mechanic who makes house calls works on the brakes of a customer’s truck. As he tests the brakes, he drives into the back of the customer’s garage. The mechanic is responsible for the repairs.
  • A lawyer based in an office suite has a window air conditioner, and it falls from the window due to improper installation. The shop below her has an expensive commercial awning, and the unit rips through the awning. The lawyer is responsible for the damages.
  • A horse trainer works on a five-acre plot connected to a neighboring orchard. A horse breaks free and tramples a full acre of newly planted seedlings. The trainer is responsible for the seedlings.

Other public liability cases are opened because of defective products. One of the most famous cases is the McDonald’s hot coffee case in which a customer spilled hot coffee in her lap, receiving third-degree burns. McDonald’s was forced to pay almost three million dollars in punitive and compensatory damages for maintaining their coffee at a dangerous190-degree temperature. Other defective or dangerous product cases include:

  • Defective children’s toys. Recently, some toys made in China were recalled for high levels of lead in the product.
  • Defective food. A few years ago, many dog food companies recalled their food for defective product.
  • Defective electrical equipment. In 2010, Whirlpool recalled a dishwasher series with a possible defective chip. The dishwashers were all potentially dangerous, as the chip had been proven to start the dishwasher on fire.
  • Or the famous Snail in a bottle of pop case, which is leading reference for Liability cases. Mrs D went to a cafe with a friend, who bought her a “knickerbockerglory” ice-cream with ginger-beer. She enjoyed some of the dessert and poured the remainder of the ginger-beer to see a dead snail fall out of the bottle. She then became ill. She tried to sue the cafe, but there was no contract with the cafe owner (as her friend bought the ginger-beer) and the cafe owner could not see inside the bottle. So Mrs D sued the manufacturer of the re-cycled beer bottle, Stevenson & Co. The case went right through the UK court system from Scotland to the UK House of Lords and she finally won damages for the tort of negligence.

The claim is brought against the insurer. Legal Costs are paid by the insurer, not the shop owner.

Also go to Public Liability Compensation for Additional Information

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