While vehicle accidents often constitute the majority of accident compensation claims, off the road it is slips, trips and falls that are the primary cause of worker hospitalisation. While sometimes such accidents are nobody’s fault and afflict you with little more than some minor bruising (and perhaps a slightly bruised pride as well), on other occasions you may suffer a more serious injury, and one that it is clear you have suffered as a direct result of somebody else’s negligence.
While these, of course, vary depending on the workplace, some common slip, trip and fall hazards include:
- Loose cables
- Improperly stored boxes, tools and other equipment
- Dangerously irregular stairs or steps
- Loose or broken paving slabs
- Spillages (with the spilled substance in question also potentially harmful in its own right)
- Failure to use the appropriate signage after a floor has been cleaned
While it is to some extent everybody’s duty to ensure that your working environment is safe and comfortable to work in, it is ultimately the responsibility of your employer to make sure that necessary health and safety regulations are in place and adhered to. If they don’t keep an eye on the various potential hazards present on their business premises, they could be held accountable if somebody is injured and attempts to make a claim as a result.
While slips, trips and falls might not necessarily sound as dangerous as a car accident, they can cause potentially life-changing damage or at the very least put you out of action for a significant amount of time. The latter can lead to a loss of earnings, quality of life and extensive medical bills, while a successful slip, trip or fall compensation claim could help allow you to relax in the knowledge that you are financially provided for.
A duty of care
Slip, trip and fall accidents do not just occur in the workplace. Local authorities and councils in the United Kingdom owe a duty of care to the general public, this meaning that they must ensure that:
- The state of pavements, footpaths and other public highways means they are safe for use
- Street lighting works and properly illuminates the surrounding area
- Secure handrails are provided for steps where they are needed
- Dirt, mud, litter and any other detritus are safely and cleanly cleared away
While stumbling on a loose paving slab may not necessarily seem like a big deal if you’re alright, in the case of somebody such as a frail or elderly pensioner (or indeed a person of any age), a simple fall could result in serious injuries, hospitalisation and, in extreme cases, even death.
In the case of shopping centres, supermarkets and even small independent stores, it is the management who owe you the all-important duty of care. While they are often incredibly busy spaces, it is important for them to be able to quickly identify and deal with any trip or slip hazards that may occur. If you do suffer a slip or trip accident in a shop, it is important to report it to a senior member of staff straight away so it can be properly recorded should you decide to pursue a claim.
If you’ve suffered an accident and believe you may be able to pursue a slip, trip or fall compensation claim, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced team of legal experts. They will discuss your claim with you in detail and, if they think you have a case for compensation, help you every step of the way towards getting the justice you deserve.