Public space accidents are no joke since they can cause considerable health damage and leave you bound to endure a week – or even month-long recovery period. Your earnings will likely suffer during this time since taking time off or being left unable to work altogether will be difficult. However, the thing about this type of incident is that it happens out of nowhere, and you cannot be prepared for it. It is also something that generally occurs under unexpected circumstances or in places you would never deem unsafe.
Whether it is a trip and slip accident or an allergic reaction to something you’ll eat in a restaurant, you must know what you need to do to get better and, ideally, get the compensation you deserve for the duty of care you were owed and which was breached.
After talking to a medical professional, assessing your injuries and getting treatment, you should get in touch with an attorney. Public liability claims can be filed if the person or body responsible for a public space fails in their duty of care towards you. They must ensure that all safety precautions are respected on the premises. This is outlined in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. Before 1957, the visitors to a property were classified in different ways, and this classification determined the kind of duty of care a tenant or owner had towards them.
If the individual or entity that occupies a space breaches their duty of care towards you, and the infringement results in you becoming injured, you are within your rights to start a claim. Legal action applies to both physical and mental injuries. You will need to provide evidence of your injury, and the medical bills and documents you incurred due to the examination and the treatment scheme you had to follow are the best indicators ascertaining your health.
Restaurants and cafes
There are several different types of incidents that fall under the umbrella of public space accidents. Even though it’s impossible to always be vigilant, knowing the most common types can help keep you safer. Although it might sound surprising, cafes and restaurants are often the site of accidents. Ensuring that any spilt food and drink is promptly cleaned is very important since it can be a slipping and falling accident. While some of them are relatively minor and only result in a few scrapes and minor bruising, others might lead to serious health complications, including head trauma or broken limbs.
Maintaining furniture in perfect condition and repairing or replacing any damaged or worn down items is a must, or the chairs and tables are fundamentally unsafe. If you have a food allergy, you must inform the staff about it to avoid a reaction. You can sue for compensation if they neglect their duty towards you despite being told. The parking area should also be adequately maintained, free of any tripping hazards such as potholes.
Supermarkets and malls
Everybody loves a bit of retail therapy, and November and December are traditionally the months when people flock to the shops in higher numbers than any other time during the year. Even though online shopping has become far more popular nowadays, many shoppers prefer it over brick-and-mortar locations because the product variety is much larger. The days of the pandemic lockdowns also made ecommerce more attractive to the average consumer, as people were unable or unwilling to leave their homes to get the products they needed.
However, some still prefer going to the shop and browsing through the aisles to find the right thing. However, supermarkets, stores and malls can also be the sites of accidents. Slips, trips and falls are common since wet and slippery floors as a result of leaks, spills or cleaning can cause you to lose your footing. Sprains, broken bones, ruptured ligaments, and even head injuries can occur from falling on surfaces.
Falling objects, especially those placed on high shelves, can also cause serious injuries. If products are stored incorrectly, the risk of injury increases as well. Shelves should always be sturdy, and the products must be stacked securely. The ubiquitous shopping trolley can cause wounds and accidents as well. You could get hit by carts pushed by other customers. Children are especially vulnerable to this type of injury.
Pavements and playgrounds
It might seem verging on paranoia to worry about walking down the street. Road surfaces are not dangerous by default but can become that way, often due to poor maintenance. Broken or damaged paving stones, splintered kerbs, potholes along your walking path, loose slabs and raised paving can all pose a threat since you’ll likely trip over them. Inadequate street lighting is also a problem, and if you’ve already got a vision problem, the risk is even more likely.
If sewer holes or other utility covers are broken or missing, you can end up with impact-related injuries such as fractures. Even attempting to avoid one of them too fast can cause strains or sprains. Tree roots that have managed to break through the pavement can also become tripping points. Poor maintenance that leaves many faults and irregularities unattended is responsible for most accidents in this public area.
Playgrounds are places of fun and relaxation, and many children have to visit hospitals and clinics every year as a result of the injuries resulting from the accidents. Faulty play equipment, including defective swings or jagged metal on slides, has the potential to cause severe cuts and injuries. Poor layout designs can also raise the incidence of injury. For example, the space should consider which age groups are allowed on the playground and what time of play equipment can be safely used by the children in that age group.
Much like in the case of road surfaces, poor maintenance is the crux of the problem since the equipment deals with normal wear and tear that isn’t remedied in any way.
To sum up, injuries can occur in public areas, and being aware of them can reduce your chances of encountering one. However, if you do become wounded, you must know that there are experts in the medical and legal fields who can help you.