If an injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward

An occupiers' liability claims may be possible if you suffered an injury due to unsafe conditions on someone else's property, like a fall in a public space or an accident on private premises.

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an injury, we can help. Whether your injuries were caused by a slip, trip, fall or other incident, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

You can make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

What does occupiers' liability mean?

People, companies and other organisations who control privately-owned land or property are known as 'occupiers'. Occupiers have a legal duty of care for the safety of people who visit their property -even in the case of trespassing.

An occupier should carry out regular risk assessments to identify and remove or mitigate hazards. If an injury occurs and the occupiers did not take suitable safety measures, they could be found liable and be required to pay financial compensation to the victim.

You are not alone

Injuries in public spaces and on private property, ranging from slips, trips, and falls to more serious accidents due to uneven flooring, poor lighting, or inadequate maintenance, are common.

Public spaces such as shops, parks, and pavements, and private properties including offices, bars, and restaurants, are typical locations for injuries.

Children are particularly vulnerable to accidents caused as a result of occupiers' negligence. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) estimates that each year approximately 40,000 injuries to children on playgrounds alone result in a hospital visit. RoSPA suggests injuries can be caused by poor layout of equipment, incorrect installation, poor maintenance and inadequate inspection.

Do I have an occupiers' liability claim?

As a general rule, you can make a claim if you were injured:

  • within the last 3 years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.

For an injured child, the 3-year limitation period begins on their 18th birthday, giving them until they are 21 to start a claim.

Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.

What if I was partly responsible for my accident?

Determining who is to blame for an accident is not always black and white.

In our recent 2023 Public Liability Injury Claimant Survey, 17.45% of respondents believed they may have been partly (or wholly) responsible for their injuries.

Claims are usually possible even when your actions partially caused the accident. In instances of 'contributory negligence', claims are usually settled with a split liability agreement.

Read more:

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

How long do I have to start a claim?

In general, a claim for compensation can be started within three years of the date of your injury, or the the date your illness or injury was diagnosed (date of knowledge).

For an injured child, the three-year limitation period begins on their 18th birthday, giving them until they are 21 to start a claim.

It is recommended that you start a claim as early as possible, however, as this will give your solicitor more time to gather the necessary evidence and to negotiate your claim. Witnesses may be easy to track down, and supporting evidence (e.g. a faulty door or broken tile) may not have been repaired.

How much compensation can I claim for an occupiers liability?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

Occupiers liability compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated May 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

Special damages are awarded to compensate you for any costs or losses you've incurred or might incur as a result of your accident. These costs might include lost earnings, or any other out of pocket expenses.

Special damages may also be awarded for medical treatments or procedures that you might need to treat your injury, including pain medication and psychological support.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

How does the law treat occupiers liability claims?

The law is very clear regarding occupiers liability claims. Under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957, any lawful visitor to a property has a right to expect it to be safe. The phrase 'lawful visitor' covers any visit you make to a property either with the occupier's permission or because they have allowed access to the property.

Unlawful visitors are those who are trespassing on the property, whether they are aware they are trespassing or not. Historically, trespassers were not entitled to make occupiers liability claims. The Occupiers Liability Act 1984 was passed to grant more protection to unlawful visitors.

Can i claim for an accident on private land?

Occupiers liability claims can be made for injuries sustained anywhere an occupier owes a duty to you as a user of those premises, from supermarkets and swimming pools to building sites, playgrounds, schools and offices. If you have sustained an injury within the previous thee years as the result of an accident on someone else's property, you may be entitled to make a claim.

To make a successful claim, your lawyer must prove that the occupier was responsible for the accident and that the injuries you sustained resulted from the accident.

You may be able to claim compensation if responsibility for the injury or accident is shared by both sides. Generally, a split liability agreement will resolve these claims.

Does the law treat children differently?

The law recognises that children are less aware of dangers than adults and are less likely to take appropriate precautions. As a result, occupiers of premises that children may visit (or otherwise have access to) are held to a higher standard when a claim is made on behalf of a child. Occupiers liability claims made on behalf of children are often more likely to be successful for this reason.

What if I already knew the land was dangerous?

If you were already aware of the danger present, or if your job or experience meant you should have been more aware, you will need to demonstrate that you took reasonable steps to mitigate the risk. If you took reasonable precautions and nevertheless sustained an injury, you may still be entitled to make a claim.

What if I was trespassing at the time?

Under the 1984 Act, trespassers are entitled to make a claim after sustaining an injury on unsafe or dangerous premises or land. It must be shown that:

  • The owner or occupier knew of the danger or should have known one existed
  • The owner or occupier knew or should have known you were close to the danger
  • The owner or occupier should have protected you against the danger

If you are unsure whether you had a right to visit the property where you were injured, or are not certain whether the above tests can be proven in your case, call Quittance on 0800 376 1001 for a confidential, no-obligation discussion regarding your options.

How can a solicitor help?

A solicitor can guide you through the treatment and recovery process, offering advice on your specific accident or illness.

Our personal injury experts specialise in occupiers liability claims, successfully handling cases like injuries sustained on building sites, playground accidents, classroom incidents, and slips and trips on commercial premises. They manage all negotiation and legal aspects, allowing you to focus on recovery.

How likely is my claim to succeed?

The three points needed to prove fault are:

  1. did the other side owe you a duty of care?
  2. did they breach that duty?
  3. did the breach cause your injuries?

In short, "Were the injuries caused by the owner or occupier of the property "

If it has been accepted by the occupier that they are liable, then a successful claim is very likely. If the occupier does not acknowledge liability fully it may be harder to successfully negotiate compensation.

Your solicitor will discuss with you what happened and ask questions to help build a strong case. There are some key questions that need to be answered when considering any claim under the Occupiers Liability Act:

  • Was the danger obvious?
  • What warnings, if any, were in place to help make you aware of the danger?
  • Should the area have been better lit or were lights defective?
  • Had any fences or barriers been put in place to help make it safer?
  • What were you doing at the time of your visit to the land or premises, why were you there?
  • How old were you at the time?
  • What did the Occupier know about the danger or should have known?

Accidents in a public place

The compensation process will depend on what caused your injury or illness. Click the icons below to learn more:

No win, no fee occupiers liability compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim occupiers liability compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Get expert advice now

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Citations

Source: (reviewed: 13/12/2023)

Source: (reviewed: 08/12/2023)

Chris Salmon, Director

Author:
Chris Salmon, Director