Your city is home to some of the most beautiful places in the world due to the memories associated with them. The park where you had your first-ever kiss, the breath-taking night city landscape you can see from your bedroom’s window, and the art-filled building walls that always make a great subject for photography make it a unique place in the world.
Unfortunately, some of these public spaces can contain hazards that can cause injuries or, in the worst case, death. Negligence of local and national authorities can contribute to costly accidents.
Having an accident is never fun? Falling, slipping, or tripping in a public space is always embarrassing, even if people around you have no idea who you are. You’ll probably never see them again. When you’re lucky, you get an injured pride, but when unfortunate, you can end up in a hospital. If you sustain injuries (fractures, contusions, or worse), you can claim compensation. This article discusses how to make a public liability claim and the steps you must follow if you get injured in an accident in a public place.
What types of injuries can you experience in a public space?
Public spaces owned and managed by the local authorities must be adequately cared for and managed to protect the citizens’ safety. Public areas include public sidewalks, museums, parks, and roadways. If you get seriously injured on public property, you can pursue a compensation claim against the government, local authorities, or state entity that manages the space.
The most common injuries you can get in an accident in a public space are:
- Car accidents as a result of improperly managed roads or lacking signage
- Injuries to children in poorly created or maintained playgrounds or because of defective equipment
- Injuries caused by falling objects like defective vehicles or poorly maintained buildings
- Personal injuries caused by negligent drivers or malfunctioning public transport vehicles
- Slips and falls due to poorly maintained grounds or roads or public buildings.
The local authorities or space manager can be deemed negligent if:
- They could have prevented the accident if they had properly maintained the public space
- The structure wouldn’t have been dangerous if they’d properly cared for it
- Someone reported the danger, but the authorities neglected to correct it or warn the citizens of its existence.
You wouldn’t be successful in gaining compensation if you injured yourself while breaking the law; for instance, if you trespass a closed public building and your illegal actions get you hurt, you won’t be able to get rectification money. You’ll also not be able to hold the authorities liable if you caused your injuries in a situation like tripping on the sidewalk because something distracted your attention.
What to do after an accident in a public space?
If you get injured in a public space, get medical help immediately. Call the emergency service to determine how to help you best and mark the spot as dangerous. The police need to come to the accident place to file an accident report because you need proof that the public space was poorly maintained and triggered your accident if you want to claim compensation.
The experts from Personal Injury Claims Care recommend documenting the conditions that led to your accident while at the scene. If you cannot do it, ask for someone to do it for you. You need photos of the space where you got hurt and notes with the details of the accident. For example, if you sprained your ankle climbing the stairs in the park because they deteriorated due to age and the authorities neglected to repair the structure, it’s necessary to take close-up photos of the stairs and tell the police. Witness statements are also crucial if there were people who saw the accident.
Your health and wellbeing are your top priority after an accident. Having said this, report the accident as soon as possible. Ideally, you declare the accident immediately because if you leave the scene, the factors/hazard that triggered it may be removed or cleaned up, and the police won’t document it properly.
The particular circumstances of the accident dictate whom you report the accident, but you need to inform the police and the authority responsible for managing the site most times. The space manager should take a detailed account of the conditions that led to the accident and note down:
- Details about the location, time and date of the accident
- Specific factor that triggered the injuries
- Type of injuries you experienced
Request copies from all reports from the authorities because they’re essential documentation in case of a compensation lawsuit.
Get medical attention after you notify the authorities about the incident (supposing you don’t suffer severe injuries and have to leave the place immediately). Don’t neglect your health even if you seem to have experienced only minor injuries. By seeking professional help, you get an extra source of documentation to prove your compensation claim case. Request the emergency room doctor or your personal physician copies of the medical reports (including x-rays and scans) because they are valuable sources of information about how severe your injuries are and what your recovery implies. All medical documentation serves as proof that your injuries are the direct result of your accident and you didn’t suffer from a pre-existing health issue.
If possible, take photos of your injuries before, while, and after getting treatment because they can support your claim.
Legally, the authorities and operators of public property must take all needed precautions to protect citizens from accidental injuries. This means that they should remove hazards immediately they find about their existence. Alternatively, they should provide adequate warning to notify the users and visitors of danger until correction or removal.
If you suffered an accident in a public space, hire a professional solicitor to assist you in the process of seeking compensation.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.