How to make a Public Liability Claim*
What is Public Liability?
To make a claim for an accident in a public place, as with any other type of injury claim, the key requirement is that liability of another party can be established. In other words, if negligence can be claimed against the person(s) or business who are responsible for the place where you had your accident you may be entitled to compensation.
You can be compensated for;
(i) damages for pain and suffering
(ii) loss of earnings (and potential loss of future earnings if applicable)
(iii) medical expenses (and potential future medical bills if applicable)
(iv) legal expenses associated with your claim
To enquire about public liability injury claims, contact Margaret O’Flaherty, publisher of Lawyer.ie & Principal of Tyrrell Solicitors.
To arrange a consultation by phone or in person, contact her using the enquiry form or call (01)6671476.
Most Public Bodies have Liability Insurance
Most public bodies (e.g. county councils, Health Service Executive, Dublin Bus etc) which interface with the public have liability insurance to cover claims pay-outs to those who bring a personal injury claims against them.
The same is true of privately-owned businesses, be they shopping centres, waste management companies, construction firms etc. Whether they are public or private, large or small, if their negligence causes you injury you are entitled to compensation.
What type of accident can I claim for?
You can claim for all accident types which meet the criteria above and for which liability can be established.
These include (but are not limited to);
- Slips, trips or falls due to dangerous footpaths, staircases, wet floors etc.
- Being struck by loose fixtures and fittings e.g. a shelf or object falling off a wall.
- Injuries caused by concealed sharp object or similar obstructions whereby the claimant could not have reasonably expected to notice such as hazards.
Common Sense Issues
In order to determine if you have grounds for making a claim it is best to contact a Law Society registered personal injury solicitor.
To a large extent personal injury law in Ireland adheres to common sense. If you were drunk and fell on your head on the footpath, it may not be anyone else’s fault but your own!
On the other hand if there were a barely noticeable unguarded hole in the middle of the footpath, you may have a claim. (In some cases, the defendant may accept only contributory negligence and offer a lesser amount of compensation e.g. 50% of the total award. Whilst, relatively few cases go all the way to court, when they do, the judge can make similar rulings if he or she feels that both parties were to some degree responsible for the accident.)
So if you have been injured an accident in a public or other place and someone else is blameworthy, you can probably make a claim.
To help make a successful claim, bear in mind the following points;
There must be an identifiable liable party
The must be evidence. Record everything (e.g. photographs, eyewitness contact information etc)
Report the accident to the liable party and seek written acknowledgement of your accident report. In exceptional circumstances, where you feel that the accident scene could be dangerous to others (dangerous debris or obstruction), the gardaí can also be notified.
If you are claiming for out-of-pocket expanses, remember to keep all medical receipts associated with your accident injury.
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