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Keeping The Family Safe Out and About: Understanding Public Liability (AD)

Memories are made playing in parks and on beaches with the children or on shopping trips and days out with family and friends. Spending time outside your home is also important for your mental health and wellbeing but being out and about comes with risks.

Anyone can become injured or involved in an accident in a public place and, with the peak of winter on its way, it’s important to know how to keep the family safe.

Read this guide to find out more on accidents in public places and how to make a claim if you’ve been affected.

What is public liability?

Businesses and individuals who own or operate a public space have a responsibility to ensure it is safe for use by anyone who may use it.

A public space can be inside or outside and ranges from your local supermarket, to the beach, the park or even the gym.

If you have an accident in any place that is accessible to the public, you could be eligible to make a public liability claim.

What type of accidents happen in public places?

Some of the most common include trips, slips and falls. These can be caused by uneven walkways or surfaces, slippery floors in supermarkets or cafes, or unseen obstructions.

Injuries also occur when objects fall from shelves, or sharp objects like broken glass are left lying around.

Staying safe in winter

We’re into the heart of winter, and the colder weather is well on its way, making the risk of having an accident much higher – especially for the elderly.

Whether you’re on the road or on foot, snow, rain, ice and fog can make your journey more difficult.

Surfaces can become frozen and slippery and visibility is reduced, making slips, falls and road traffic collisions more likely.

You can try to prevent injuries by wearing sensible footwear with plenty of grip, taking more time to make a journey, and by being mindful that excess water can gather in doorways from people having brought it in on their shoes or coats.

If you’re driving, make sure your heaters, defrosters, windscreen wipers and lights work and check your tyre tread depth and pressure. You should reduce your speed to avoid skidding, keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you and try to stick to main roads that have been gritted.

Despite taking all measures possible to ensure you are safe in adverse weather conditions, accidents can unfortunately still happen.

Can I make a claim for an accident that happened in a public place?

If you are involved in an accident in a public place because of someone else’s fault, you may be able to claim compensation. Following your accident, and to increase the likelihood that a claim might succeed, you should:

• Report the accident to the person responsible for the area as soon as possible

• Take the names and contact details of any witnesses of the accident

• Take photographs of where and how the accident happened, if possible

• If there’s an accident book, make sure to record what happened

• Visit your GP to make a record of your injuries

If you think you might be able to claim, don’t delay in getting legal advice. All personal injury claims have a strict deadline of three years from the date of the accident. When choosing a law firm to represent you, be sure to choose a specialist based on their experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before you instruct them.

Author bio:

Thompsons Solicitors has helped injured and mistreated individuals since its foundation in 1921. They only represent claimants and never employers or insurance companies, so they’re totally on your side.

*This is a collaborative post

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