Slip or Trip Injury Compensation Claims

If you have been injured in a slip or trip accident, we can help.

This guide aims to help anyone who is considering a legal claim for compensation after a slip, trip or fall. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

Your compensation for a slip, trip or fall

If you suffered a slip or trip accident, and your injuries were caused by the negligence of another person or organisation, you could be eligible to make a slip or trip compensation claim. Your slip, trip or fall accident must usually have happened within the last 3 years.

A No Win, No Fee slip and trip injury claim will help compensate you for lost earnings, pay for treatment and care costs and support you during your recovery.

In our guide to claiming slip or trip injury compensation:

How common are slips and trips in the UK?

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), slip and trips account for around 30% of non-fatal workplace injuries every year.

Slips and trips are by far the most common accidents to cause injury. Data from one insurer suggests that 37% of accidents reported at work, and 50% of injuries to members of the public, involved slips, trips or falls.

Slip and trip claims often follow accidents in supermarkets, high street shops, pavements and parks. You can also claim compensation after a slip or trip accident at work.

Ankle and wrist sprains are common after a slip and fall, as are more serious, long-term injuries like fractures, back and neck pain, concussion and other head injuries.

How do I find out if I can claim compensation for a slip and fall?

Whether you have slipped on a spill, tripped on a loss cable or suffered a bad fall, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

To claim compensation, your slip or trip accident must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have been injured by the slip, trip or fall.
  • Your injuries must have been caused by another party’s actions or negligence.
  • The negligent person or organisation must owe you a duty of care and be legally liable for your injuries.

If the person, business or public authority who caused your injury has accepted responsibility for the harm you suffered, you have a good chance of making a successful claim.

If the party who caused your injury does not accept responsibility (or you do not know who was responsible) you may still be eligible to claim compensation.

The defendant may also argue that you were partly responsible for your injury, which may reduce the compensation you receive.

How likely am I to win my slip and trip claim?

Whether you will win your claim will usually depend on the facts of the case. Your solicitor will gather evidence to prove the extent and seriousness of your injuries, and to prove another party owed you a duty of care, and that their negligence caused the accident.

For example, if you suffer a broken wrist and sprained ankle after tripping on a loose paving stone, your solicitor will ask questions like:

  • Who was responsible for maintenance of the pavement?
  • Did they know about the loose paving strong?
  • Did they do anything to repair the damaged paving or warn of the trip hazard?
  • Did anyone witness your accident?
  • Does CCTV or other evidence exist to support your claim?

In most cases, proving that the defendant owed you a duty of care is simple. By law, employers owe their employees a duty of care. Shop owners and occupiers of premises visited by the public owe a duty of care to anyone on the property (even trespassers).

Are slip and trip claims more difficult to win?

Proving negligence in a slip or trip claim can sometimes be more difficult.

For example, if one shopper spills milk on the floor and another shopper immediately enters the aisle and slips on the milk, the supermarket may not be negligent.

Depending on the facts, it may not be reasonable for the shop staff to have mopped up the spill in time. If, however, the spill has been reported to staff and left for several minutes, if a shopper then slips on the spill, the supermarket is more likely to be negligent.

In the above example, the supermarket could still be negligent even if the accident happened straight after the spill, if the milk was poorly stacked or stored in a way that meant a spill was reasonably foreseeable.

Can I still claim for a slip or trip if I didn’t go see a doctor?

Yes. Although it can be more difficult to prove that you were injured after a slip or trip if you didn’t seek immediate medical help, you could still be able to claim compensation.

Your solicitor will work with you to gather evidence in support of your claim, including evidence of time off work, and any communication about your injury, like SMS or email you sent to other parties. You will also be assessed by a medical professional.

If you reported the accident or received help from staff at the scene, the incident should also have been recorded in the accident book of the premises where you slipped or tripped.

How do I build a stronger case?

Regardless of whether the defendant accepts liability for your slip or trip, there are steps you can take to help build a stronger case:

  • If you have been injured at work, report the incident in your employer's accident book.
  • If you have been injured in a public place such as a shop, report the accident to the owner, management or local authority.
  • Take photos of the scene of the accident, including what caused your slip or trip.
  • Gather the names and contact details of witnesses to the accident.
  • Keep any communication you have about the accident and your injuries, including letters, emails and SMS messages.

Even if some time has passed since the accident, it is worth considering the above and doing what you can to strengthen your case.

Who is at fault for my slip or trip injury?

Slips, trips and falls can happen in many environments, from public parks and streets, to shops, bars, offices and factories. UK laws impose a duty of care on employers, local authorities, landlords and the owner and occupiers of other premises to protect workers, visitors and the general public from harm.

Health and safety laws and regulations require owners, occupiers and other bodies to observe safety measures like:

  • Perform regular safety checks to identify risks.
  • Carry out regular maintenance.
  • Ensure staff are trained to avoid creating hazards (like wet floors, or untidy cables).
  • Clearly signpost slip and trip hazards.
  • Undertake emergency repairs to resolve urgent hazards.

The person or organisation responsible for your accident will usually be the owner or occupier of the property where your accident happened. However, there are some cases where someone else may be responsible for your accident, or it is not immediately clear who is responsible.

Slips and trips in supermarkets and high street shops

If you have been hurt after slipping or tripping in a supermarket or other shop, the business that operates the premises may be liable for your accident.

Shop owners must ensure the property is safe for both staff and the general public. Pathways must be clear of obstacles like boxes and loose clothing and all areas must be well lit. Hazards like spills must be regularly cleaned up or made safe with warning signs and other measures.

You may be able to claim compensation even if you slip in a well-lit area or where warning signs have been posted - your solicitor will help you find out if the business took appropriate steps to keep you safe, or if they fell short of a reasonable standard.

Read more:

Supermarket injury compensation claims

Slips and trips in bars and restaurants

Like shop owners and operators, any business that runs a pub, bar, nightclub or restaurant owes all patrons and staff a duty of care.

Owners must take all reasonable steps to protect patrons from harm, including ensuring that spills are promptly mopped up, and that any hazards are clearly signposted.

You may also be able to claim compensation even if you were drunk when you slipped or tripped. Although slip and trip accidents are more likely when you’ve had a few drinks, bar owners must take this into account, and take reasonable steps to protect you from harm.

Read more:

Pub or Bar injury compensation claims

Slip and trip accidents at work

Your employer owes you a duty of care to provide a safe working environment, and to carry out regular health and safety assessments.

Your workplace should have a suitable system in place to report, monitor and deal with hazards, including spills, loose packaging, boxes and other slip and trip hazards.

If you have been injured by a slip or trip at work, you may be entitled to claim compensation from your employer. Your employer will be liable for your injuries even if the hazard was caused by another worker’s negligence.

Read more:

Work accident compensation claims

Slips and trip claims in public places

If your slip or trip was caused by a poorly-maintained pavement, loose railings, a pothole or other hazard, you may be able to claim compensation from the local authority or public body responsible for the area.

Local councils owe the public a duty of care to carry out regular maintenance and safety checks on public property. If hazards are not promptly repaired or removed, and you are then hurt as a result, the local authority is likely to be negligent.

Your solicitor will work out who is responsible for maintaining the property or public land where you were injured, and whether the owner or occupier was negligent.

Read more:

Public place accident claims

Slip and trip claims against a landlord

Private landlords, local councils and housing associations are responsible for keeping their tenants’ property in a safe condition. Landlords must carry out regular repairs and maintenance, and make urgent repairs if there is a risk of a hazard causing serious harm.

If you tripped or fell as the result of faulty stairs, loose carpet or exposed cables or pipework, you may be able to claim compensation from the landlord responsible for the property. You can make a claim regardless of whether you are a tenant or a visitor to the property. Your claim will be stronger if the landlord was warned of the hazard, or should have known, before your accident.

Read more:

Claim accident at home compensation

What slip and trip injuries can I claim compensation for?

When you claim slip or trip compensation, the extent and seriousness of your injuries will be assessed by an independent medical professional.

The medical will report on all your injuries caused by the slip or trip, and how long your recovery will likely take. The assessment will also consider if any existing conditions, such as a back or hip injury were made worse by the accident.

Slips, trips and falls can cause a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries, including:

  • Sprains, strains and other soft tissue injuries, including wrist sprains and ankle sprains that require physiotherapy.
  • Colles wrist fractures, broken arms and finger injuries.
  • Achilles tendon injuries and ankle fractures.
  • Knee injuries, including patella fractures, ligament and tendon damage.
  • Skull fractures, jaw fractures and other facial injuries that may require reconstructive surgery.
  • Hip fractures, which may require surgery including hip replacement surgery.

Slip and trip claims for more serious, long-term injuries

Although most slips and trips tend to result in short-lived injuries like sprains, some accidents can lead to very serious and permanent health conditions, including spinal injuries, concussion and brain damage. Seizures and psychological injuries may also follow a serious head injury.

Complex hip, ankle and wrist fractures can also lead to permanent loss of movement and chronic pain.

If you have suffered an injury that has led to debilitating symptoms that affect your daily life and ability to work, you can claim compensation for lost earnings, lost future earnings and for care costs and home alterations.

Time limits for slip, trip and fall claims

You have three years from the date of your slip, trip or fall to start your compensation claim.

However, most solicitors will not accept a claim if the three-year deadline is close (within a few months). Slip and trip claims can take some time to gather evidence, carry out a medical assessment and negotiate a compensation settlement with the defendant. If the defendant doesn’t accept responsibility for your accident, your claim can take even longer.

If you are thinking about starting a No Win, No Fee claim, you should speak to a solicitor as soon as you can. You can discuss your options with a claims specialist with no obligation to proceed if you are not ready.

Do injured children have more time to make a slip or trip claim?

Yes. If your child is injured in a slip, trip or fall, you have until the child’s 18th birthday to start an injury claim on their behalf.

If you were injured as a child, you have until your 21st birthday to claim compensation.

How much compensation can I claim for a slip or trip injury?

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

  • the extent 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 slip or trip injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

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

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

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after a slip or trip injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Slip or trip injury compensation amounts

The following slip or trip injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.

These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.

Example Amount
Ankle injury
Minor injury with full recovery Up to £10,960
Full recovery or with mild ongoing symptoms £10,960 to £21,200
Severe injury with permanent symptoms £24,950 to £39,910
Back injury
Full recovery within 3 months Up to £1,950
Full recovery within 2 years £1,950 to £6,290
Full or nearly full recovery within 5 years £6,290 to £9,970
Elbow injury
No significant long-term problems Up to £10,040
Some long-term problems £12,480 to £25,510
Severe and disabling injury £31,220 to £43,710
Knee injury
Minimal ongoing symptoms Up to £10,960
Mild long-term symptoms £11,820 to £20,880
Less severe long-term disability £20,880 to £34,660
Pelvis and hip injury
Soft tissue injury Up to £3,150
Serious but with no permanent disability £21,200 to £31,220
Less extensive fractures £49,350 to £62,490
Shoulder injury
Soft tissue injury Up to £6,290
Dislocation £10,180 to £15,300
Wrist injury
Wrist fracture recovering within one year £2,810 to £3,790
Taking around two years to heal completely Up to £8,160
Causing permanent pain and stiffness £10,040 to £19,530

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a serious shoulder injury can be £15,000

For a more minor wrist injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £2,900.

However, if you have a serious shoulder injury and a more minor wrist injury, you would typically receive £15,000 + a reduced percentage of £2,900.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.

Will I have to pay tax on my slip or trip injury compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following a slip or trip injury injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.

Average compensation payouts for slip and trip claims

For two reasons, average slip and trip compensation payouts are not a useful guide when working out what your injury claim could be worth.

Firstly, your compensation will be based on your injuries, not on an average amount for slips and trips. Different injuries, with different recovery periods, will be awarded different levels of compensation.

An average payout for slip and trips could be much less than you receive, if your injuries were particularly serious and lead to long-term or permanent symptoms.

Secondly, you can also claim compensation for the financial losses and expenses you specifically faced after your slip or trip. If your injuries affected your ability to work for a longer-than-average period, you should receive compensation for the total value of your actual lost earnings.

Average slip and trip payouts for general damages and special damages will not directly affect what you personally can claim.

Calculate my slip or trip injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a slip or trip injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your slip or trip injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a slip or trip claim take?

Average slip, trip and fall compensation claims can take anywhere between 4 to 9 months. Your claim could complete within a matter of weeks, if your injuries are simple to assess, and the defendant accepts responsibility and responds quickly.

In practice, the time your slip or trip claim takes to complete could vary considerably. You may be eligible to receive an interim payment if you need urgent financial support during your claim.

For more information, see: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your slip or trip injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Who pays for this specialist help?

The cost of treatment will be factored into your compensation settlement paid by the defendant or their insurance company. Should you require private treatment before the case settles, an interim payment to cover treatment costs may be possible.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

How does no win, no fee work?

No win, no fee removes the risk from making a slip or trip injury claim. If you don't win your claim, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.

No win, no fee promise

If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a slip or trip injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my slip or trip injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my slip or trip injury claim?

If your slip or trip injury claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Can I get Legal Aid?

Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.

Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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Slip or trip injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a slip or trip injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the slip or trip injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your slip or trip injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a slip or trip injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim slip or trip injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a slip or trip injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Slip, trip and fall prevention resources

RoSPA Falls Prevention Hub

HSE Slips and Trips Hazard Spotting Checklist (PDF)

HSE Preventing Slips and Trips at work (PDF)

Highways England Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention (PDF)

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Author:
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher