Slips, Trips and Falls
Many thousands of people are injured each year as a result of slips, trips and falls in a public place such as shops or public footpaths. There are many hazards which can cause injuries whether it be holes in the floor, dangerous steps, slippery substances on floors or stairs, obstacles or obstructions in passageways, trailing cables.
Every occupier of land whether it is a home, shop, office, farm or factory has a duty to ensure the safety of their visitors.
Sometimes these claims can be quite difficult to prove. Naturally, your first concern after something like this happens is your pain and getting your injury seen to. However, if you slip, trip or are injured you should try and/or get somebody to take photos of the area where the accident took place. If the accident was in a shop or supermarket you should report it to the manager and they should record the accident in the accident book.
Taking photographs not only helps the case to be successful, it also gives us an early opportunity to assess your claim. When taking your photographs, please try and take them showing the hazard or defect from the direction in which you were travelling. Mark this direction on the photograph with an arrow. (It is safest if you can scan and email the photographs to us – it saves the originals being lost in the post).
Sometimes the depth or size of the defect is important because there are rules which local councils, for example, can rely upon to avoid liability. The best way to take photographs for this type of trip or fall is to use a tape measure or ruler to show the depth or height. It is important that we not only see the defect but also the measurement on the ruler or tape measure. Write the measurement down.
Photographs should also be taken not just of a close up of the defect but of the surrounding area, including a landmark or road name as one of the favourite delaying tactics of councils is to say that they cannot identify where the accident took place.
A bit of preparation goes a long way. For example, if you fell down a pothole which was full of water, please try to take a photograph of the hole once the water has disappeared. The photographs should be taken in daylight and in focus.
It is important that we know who took the photographs and the date they were taken, so please write these details on the back.
You should also try and take the names and addresses of any witnesses who are willing to help. Cases are much stronger if someone else can confirm that it happened.Public places are increasingly covered by CCTV and therefore it is important that you contact us as soon after the accident as possible so that we can try and preserve any CCTV footage which shows the accident occurring.