Tripping and slipping claims are most frequently brought against a highway authority responsible for maintaining a highway at public expense.  Under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980, a highway authority is liable to maintain as a public highway and this includes the pavement and the roadway.  However, the highway authority will be able to successfully defend the claim if the highway authority has taken such care as is reasonable to see that the highway is not dangerous to pedestrians or traffic.

Tripping claims

Personal Injury Solicitors – Tripping and Slipping

If you are considering bringing a claim for a pavement tripping accident, it would be necessary to prove:-

  • That part of the highway was not reasonably safe.  There is a “rule of thumb” that a defect of about an inch is likely to be considered unsafe.
  • The defect in the highway caused the accident.
  • There is no adequate system of inspection and maintenance in force, or, if the pavement was inspected, the inspection was done carelessly.  For this reason, it is often necessary to prove how long the defect has existed for.

However, sometimes an accident can be caused by a utility company responsible for phone, gas, water or electricity cables and pipes, excavated the pavement or roadway and who carried out their work negligently.

Tripping and slipping accidents do not necessarily always occur on the highway.  Such accidents can occur in shops or office premises, or on land open to the public – parks are a good example – and upon land or in a building which you have to visit as part of your employment.

How Slips and Trips Can Affect Your Health

Tripping and slipping can lead to long term issues with your health such as a chronic back injury, bruises and strains, through to fractures, partial paralysis and in extreme cases, death.

Three Common Circumstances for Slip Trip or Fall Claims

There are three main areas where a person can suffer a slip trip accident and successfully make a claim. These are accidents that happen in a public place that is maintained by the local council, accidents that happen in a company’s premises that they maintain or accidents that occur at work.
Slipping and Tripping Claims on Council Maintained Lands

Examples of Slip Trip Accidents on Council Maintained Land:

• Cracked or badly set paving stones and curbstones
• Loose paving stones or curbstones
• Defecting pavements that result in an obstruction sticking up from the footpath
• Potholes and dips in the pavement
• Wires or other items obstructing the pavement
• Slip Trips or Falls in Retail Shops or Supermarkets

Slipping and Tripping Claims in Retail Areas

All retail shops and supermarkets have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for the public at all times; this also applies to the car park area.
Here are some examples of slip and trip accidents in retail and supermarket environments –

• Spillages that cause an obstruction to the thoroughfare.
• Food dropped on the floor.
• Liquid spilt on the floor.
• Wet floors that have been cleaned and are not yet dry before being opened to the public.
• Defects in pavements, floor coverings, and floor tiles.
• Uneven surfaces.

Slip Trip or Fall Accidents at Work

Every company is required under the National Health and Safety Standards, to maintain a safe place for employees to work in plus a responsibility to educate their workforce in health and safety requirements. This will should also include a regular audit of health and safety performance. Any failure to comply with health and safety protocols leading to slip trip accidents at work can lead to a compensation claim.

Examples of slips and trips that could lead to a compensation claim include:

• Tools or equipment left on the floor causing an obstruction.
• Materials or partially completed workpieces left on the floor causing an obstruction.
• Wet floors.
• Oil or other liquids spilt on the floor.
• Icy floors that have not been clearly marked as a hazard.
• Uneven surfaces and other defects with the floor surface.
• Loose or badly fitting slabs or tiles.

It can be necessary in such cases to also consider: –

• Occupier’s Liability (see Claims Involving Land and Buildings)
• Health and Safety at Work (Accident at Work)

If you’ve been involved in a slip or trip accident, we would advise making a compensation claim soon after the incident as it will be much harder to press a compensation claim at a later stage. The same as all personal injury claims there is a strict three-year deadline from the date of the injury to starting a slipping or tripping accident compensation claim.

What Can I Claim for in a Slipping or Tripping Claim?

What and how much you can claim compensation for a slipping or tripping accident depends entirely upon the individual circumstances of your accident.
Here are some common areas you will be able to claim compensation for –

• General damages – pain and hardship, mental anguish and other general damages.
• Care costs – if you need help, assistance or care as a result of your accident.
• Medical expenses – incurred as a direct result of your accident.
• Travel expenses – incurred as a direct result of your accident.
• Loss of earnings – if you are unable to work after your accident.

Speak to our Personal Injury Solicitors and Start your Claim

Making a case against an employer or occupier can seem daunting. Our personal injury solicitors work professionally to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Speak to Salmon Solicitors today to arrange an initial consultation meeting.