Accidents in a Public Place


All Councils, shop owners and other owners of property to which the public have access have a legal duty to ensure all reasonable steps are taken to avoid accidents and injury to members of the public, and are required by law to have in place Public Liability Insurance.


If you or a member of your family are suffering from a Personal Injury caused by an accident in a public place, because the land or premises were dangerous, you may have a public liability claim. Personal injuries can happen as a result of various incidences, common accidents reported are tripping on uneven or broken paving, or on an object sticking out from the ground, falling or stepping into an uncovered pot hole, slipping on a wet floor or produce in a shop or cafe, pub or nightclub or faulty gym equipment.

Definitions of Public Places

The term public places could include streets, sports stadiums, railway lines or stations, highways, shops, shopping centres, parks, play grounds, schools, other education establishments, gyms, pubs, nightclubs, hotels, a neighbour’s property – this is a non exhaustive list and you should report any accident as soon as possible.

Accidents in public places you may be able claim compensation for include:

  • Burns and scalds in restaurants or on aircraft – or from hot water taps not clearly marked
  • Dog bite injuries in parks, on the public highway or on private property.
  • Electric shocks or burns from electric fences, tracks or wiring not signposted.
  • Falling scaffolding or masonry injuries in public places.
  • Falls from staircases and steps in public or private buildings.
  • Leisure injuries such as horse riding accident injuries.
  • Leisure park and fairground accident injuries.
  • Lift, elevator or escalator injuries.
  • Livestock injuries if there was no warning sign.
  • Pavement accident injuries.
  • Playground/school accident injuries.
  • Slips, trips and falls on wet or slippery floors in public places.

After an Accident in a Public Place Occurs

It will help your claim if you can document and provide evidence of how your injury occurred, for example: if you slipped or tripped over an object or cracked paving, were hit by something that was not secured properly i.e. falling masonry and scaffolding, or fell because of stepping into a pot hole, you should try and record the measurement of the depth of the trip or hole, taking a photograph detailing the measurement. If you do not have a tape measure, use something identifiable such as a 50 pence piece.

You will also need to report the accident to the land owner at the earliest opportunity, for instance if your accident happened in a public building, regardless of how minor your think your injury is, it must be recorded within an on-site accident book, a quick phone call will be sufficient if this was not done at the time.

Please call 01685 886 611 or contact us online to book a free assessment. We offer a home visit service for our elderly clients who are unable to easily attend our office, as well as hospital visits if required.