Accidents can occur in both public and private places. Sometimes these accidents are of a slip and fall nature arising from spillages and or defective steps or floors.
If you have been injured in a public or private place, the owner or occupier of the property where the accident occurred may be held responsible.
Normally, owners and occupiers of public or private property have a duty to take ‘reasonable care’ to ensure any visitor will be kept safe. This duty includes taking reasonable and adequate steps to correct/prevent any hazardous conditions that may arise on their property. If a person is injured due to a breach of this duty or due to the property owner’s negligence or failure to act, they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and loss.
It is vitally important that there is a record of the accident and therefore you should ensure that you have reported the accident and request that the property owner, occupier or employee in charge document details of the accident in their accident report book. You should request a copy of the log.
Most shops, stores, restaurants and general public areas have CCTV nowadays and as such you should enquire as to whether there is any, and if so that it be kept safe.
In the event you have an accident in a public area e.g. a defective footpath or roadway, you should contact the relevant local authority office as soon as possible in writing to report the incident, setting out when and where the accident occurred. This notification may prove vital in any future claim that is brought.
Most people have camera phones these days and we would recommend that as many photos be taken as possible. As the old adage goes a picture is worth a thousand words. Feel free to take as many photographs as you need, however we recommend you take pictures of both the area and ideally, what caused the accident; for instance, the photograph may show a spillage of liquid or a crack. We recommend that you use some kind of object (preferably a bank note such as a €10 note) to add perspective in terms of depth and width. These photographs must be kept safe along with details of who took them. These photographs could prove vital to the prosecution of any case which may be brought.
If there are any witnesses to the accident, ensure you get their details and keep them safe, if the witnesses are independent to you as opposed to a friend who was there they will provide more weight to any case, however all witnesses should be noted.
For more information please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01-514 3800.