Slip, Trip or Fall
Slip, Trip or Fall Accident
Slips, trips and falls are the most common accident at work and can have a major impact on the victim's life if they suffer a serious head injury or a spinal injury. Even a sprain or fracture can leave you unable to work for sometime.
The most common causes of slips, trips and falls in the workplace are:-
- Slips on spillages that haven't been cleaned up or leaks from faulty machinery.
- Untidy or trailing cables and wires.
- Obstacles such as clutter and piles of boxes or products.
- Damaged or uneven flooring.
However, it's not just the workplace that can put people at risk of slips, trips and falls, public areas like supermarkets, stations, shopping centres, parks and pavements can also have hazards. Examples of hazards in the public environment include:-
- Poorly maintained pavements - Uneven slabs, manhole covers, broken slabs, pot holes etc.
- Wet floors - Mopped floors with no "Wet Floor" signs as a warning, spillages in shops and supermarkets, puddles under faulty machinery or vending machines.
- Cables - Trailing cables or loose wires around electrical installations can be a trip hazard. For example, one woman tripped over a cable from electronic scales in a supermarket.
- Pot holes - Pot holes in roads can be a hazard to both drivers and pedestrians who cross the road.
- Litter - People can slip on wrappers that have been left lying on the floor in shops or public places.
Employers, shopkeepers and the council or local authority all have a duty to keep employees and members of the public as safe as possible and they can be found liable and ordered to pay compensation if they have not taken the appropriate measures to ensure people's safety. This does not mean that you can sue for personal injury compensation for every little fall you have - you must be able to prove that it was not your fault and that it was due to someone else's negligence.
Town and city councils have suffered in the past with being bombarded with compensation claims for injuries caused by broken paving slabs and so measures have been taken to ensure that claims are not frivolous or bogus. In the case of pavements, claimants now have to prove that the lip of the crack is over a certain height, and therefore a proper hazard, and that the slab had been broken long enough for the council to have known about it and fixed it. People who abuse the system and who make frivolous or fraudulent claims can and will be prosecuted.
However, if you can prove that you have suffered a personal injury from slip, trip of fall caused by the negligence of your employer, council or the fault of someone else, you probably have a legitimate claim and should seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor to pursue a claim for compensation.
Claiming Personal Injury Compensation for Slips, Trips and Falls
Personal injury compensation claims for slips, trips and falls are a tricky area and need to be undertaken by experienced specialist personal injury lawyers. This is because it can be difficult to actually find out who is at fault. For example, if you slip at work on a puddle from a faulty piece of machinery, is it the fault of your employer or the engineer who recently serviced the machinery? In the case of a fall on a road or pavement - who exactly is responsible for the upkeep, maintenance and repair? Is it a council or could it be a private individual? This is where a personal injury lawyer can help. They will have experience in investigating these types of claims and will be able to find out who is to blame and what evidence is needed to win you personal injury compensation.
There are things that you can do to help your case:-
- Report the accident immediately or as soon as you possibly can - Report what happened and the cause of your fall to the council, your employer, the shop keeper or whoever is responsible and make sure that the accident is logged in some way.
- Get medical attention - This will allow you to get the appropriate medical treatment and will also be a record of your injury.
- Gather evidence - Take photos of the hazard that caused your accident, gather witness statements etc.
- Contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible and choose one who will work on a no win no fee basis for your injury claim.
Remember, only claim if you have a valid case otherwise you could be at risk of prosecution.