Accidents in public places happen frequently. They can happen to adults and children alike at any time and can take place in a variety of ways. A public place is anywhere that the public can access, free or not. It includes places such as: schools, shopping malls, supermarkets, play areas, pavements, sports centers, parks, streets, highways, pubs, nightclubs, railway stations, railway lines, hotels, sports stadiums – the list is endless.
Common types of accidents include stepping into a pothole, slipping on a wet floor in a caf or pub, or tripping on an object that is protruding from the ground. The most common type of accidents involving both children and adults relate to slipping and falling.
Slips and falls in a public place are most of the time not your fault. For example, a slip and fall may be caused by a wet substance such as melted ice cream, causing the floor in a public place to be slippery. Slip and falls can happen without any warning and anyone can suffer such an accident, often in the blink of an eye, not noticing a slippery floor. Aisles and walkways can cause many slips and falls especially when they lack proper signs for maintenance or work areas. Slips and falls may also take place in a restaurant where a worker does not clean up after a beverage has been spilled.
The basic types of slip and fall accidents fall under 3 categories:
A slip and fall happens when your footing slips and you fall to the ground. It is usually caused by wet, slippery, or icy substances on the floor.
A trip and fall usually occurs when there is an object in your path or when the pathway is not leveled well. It can be the result of unpaved or uneven sidewalks, or a misplaced box in the middle of a store aisle.
A step and fall happens when there is a hole in the walking path. An example of which is when someone steps into a pothole that they wouldnt have expected.
In these public areas, it is the responsibility of the property owner to prevent such accidents. If slip and falls occur on their property, the owners are liable and will owe you accident compensation. It is crucial for you to seek accident compensation if you know you are not at fault and are involved in a slip and fall accident in a public place. Accident compensation can also be given to children who slip or trip while on school premises. If a child trips on computer wire or a wet cafeteria floor, parents may pursue a claim for accident compensation. Successful accident compensation on behalf of the child can also be made when the property owner of say, a shop, does not employ a regular system of cleaning up spillage and ensuring that the floors are clean and dry, and their walkways are free from any obstruction.
Keep in mind that our law protects us from being injured in a public place and requires local authorities and public land owners to have regards for the safety of people who are accessing their areas. Special care must be given when children will be entering into or using their properties. So if you have suffered an accident and have incurred injury in a public place due to dangerous premises or negligence from the land owners, you may have a claim. If possible, take some photographs of the place where your slip and fall took place, showing evidence of the danger that has caused your injury.