The owners of private properties such as shops, pubs, restaurants, department stores or other venues have a legal duty of care to anyone who visits them. Under Occupier Liability law they are required to ensure that:
- The premises are reasonably safe.
- Any specific dangers they are already aware of are highlighted.
It is not always immediately obvious who owns these kinds of premises – for example if the unit is within a larger shopping centre.
In the first instance, call our team of expert personal injury lawyers to discuss your case in more detail. We can then investigate who is liable if we agree to take on your case.
What is the value of the claim?
Once we have established who is liable, we then need to assess the value of the claim and agree it with the other side. The value of the claim is known as 'Quantum' and comes in two parts – general damages and special damages.
This aspect of the claim is the compensation you receive for your injuries. Every claim is different and will be judged on its own merits.
We will arrange for an independent medical expert to examine you and provide a detailed report on your injuries. They may recommend that another specialist diagnoses or treats you, and we will arrange this for you on a private basis.
You may need to see a number of experts, covering both the physical and psychological impacts of the accident.
This aspect of the compensation covers the losses or expenses you tell us you have suffered as a result of the accident or your injuries.
This includes loss of earnings, prescription costs and travelling expenses. We will assess your claim and bring in other experts if we need to.
Gathering important supporting information
- Always take photos of where the incident took place.
- Report the accident to the relevant people on site where it happened.
- Have your injuries diagnosed by your GP or at your local hospital.
- Generally, you will need to make your claim within 3 years of the accident. If you are under 18 when the accident happens then the 3 years begins on your 18th birthday, giving you until you are 21 to pursue the claim.
- Remember, the onus is on you to prove any claim.
You do not have to make a claim directly to the responsible party. We will take instructions from you as to the circumstances of the accident and the extent of your injuries. We will then submit your claim to the insurers on your behalf setting out your claim.
The value of your claim will be based on the medical evidence. No claim is settled without your specific authority to do so. This ensures that you keep absolute control of your claim. Compensation is generally divided into two parts:
These are damages for pain and suffering including the loss of the ability to do certain tasks, hobbies etc. This award compensates you for the suffering you have encountered usually in its physical form e.g. whiplash, broken leg, strained muscles etc. However, it is also possible to be compensated for psychological distress and conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
You will also receive compensation for specific quantifiable losses attributable to the accident. These include loss of earnings, car hire expenses, care and services, extra expenses (e.g. travel costs incurred going to doctors, hospitals, etc,) damaged clothing, and prescription charges. All we ask is that you keep a note of any expenses, and preferably receipts so that when we eventually calculate your claim for special damages, we will be able to include all relevant items.
If the injuries were the result of a criminal attack then you might be able to claim from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). We have devised a CICA calculator to give victims an idea as to how much compensation they could be entitled to.
You need professional legal advice to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation due to you. Insurers will attempt to settle your claim at an early stage and often before you have been able to instruct a solicitor. They do this to save legal costs which they otherwise would have to pay and to also secure the lowest settlement award possible.
Most people who make a personal injury claim do so reluctantly. Very little is generally known about the process and there have been many negative news stories in the press in recent years. Claims are progressed through the insurers and not directly with the responsible party.
This depends on the type of claim. A simple claim can conclude within a year if liability is established early on. Only a very small proportion will ever make it to court. In the UK, less than 2% of claims actually reach a trial.