Personal Injury

Claiming for Slips and Trips

Trips and slips are the most common types of personal injury claims. They can occur in the workplace, on a public road or footpath, in a shop or someone’s home. Injuries caused by slips and trips can range from cuts and bruises to broken bones, paralysis and in rare cases, even death. If you have been injured in a slip or trip accident caused by the negligence of a public body, employer or another person, you can claim for compensation.

I have tripped over a pothole on a footpath – who is liable for my injuries?

At common law, a highway is a defined way over which all members of the public have the right to pass without hindrance, for example a footpath.

The appropriate defendant in these cases is the body which is liable to repair the highway where the accident occurred, usually the local or country council. The highway authority is under a statutory duty to maintain the highway and may be liable for compensation if this is not done.

How do I make a claim against my employer if I slip or trip at work?

Under UK law all employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace for their employees.  Therefore, every floor or traffic route in a place of work must be suitable for the purpose for which it is used. In particular, the floor or traffic route must:

  • have no hole or slope
  • not be uneven or slippery
  • be kept free of obstructions or articles that may cause a person to trip or fall

If you are injured due to a slip or trip at work, the first step is to seek medical attention and obtain a detailed report from your doctor.  Ensure that the accident is reported in the correct way.  The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) requires all workplaces to report and keep records of:

  • work-related accidents which cause death;
  • work-related accidents which cause certain serious injuries (reportable injuries);
  • diagnosed cases of certain industrial diseases; and
  • certain ‘dangerous occurrences’ (incidents with the potential to cause harm).

If there were witnesses to the accident, try and obtain a witness statement from them.  Take photographs of the accident site if possible and make detailed notes of the incident.

The next step is to contact a personal injury lawyer to ascertain whether your employer was in fact negligent and owes you compensation.

Can I make a claim if I slip at a supermarket?

Supermarkets have a duty to clean up any spillages or breakages as soon as possible and cordon off the area until the hazard has been removed and it is safe and dry.  If this is not done and you slip and injure yourself, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

I cannot afford a lawyer – can I still make a claim?

You will need professional legal advice and support to make a claim for slips and trips.  Most personal injury solicitors offer a ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements, which means that if you lose your case you will not have to pay your solicitor any money.

Slips and trips can cause severe injuries, especially to the elderly and those working in risky environments such as manufacturing and construction.  If you have been injured from a slip and/or trip accident, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to talk about making a claim for compensation.


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