What is meant by a Slip, Trip and Fall?
Slips, trips and falls are accidents which can have minor or serious health consequences. They are one of the most common types of avoidable accident that occur in the United Kingdom. If you have suffered a slip, trip or fall which was not your fault, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
Causes and Prevention of Slip, Trips and Falls
There are lots of different things which can cause slips, trips or falls, and they can occur almost anywhere. If you are in an area which is not your responsibility, such as a public area, a hospital, a hotel or your workplace, then the owner of that area may be responsible for controlling slip, trip and fall risks.
Potential causes of a slip, trip, or fall can include; trip hazards being left on the floor, liquids not being cleared off of the floor, and a failure to provide adequate safety rails to prevent falls from occurring. Most of these accidents are preventable, and therefore the responsible party should take steps to mitigate the risk. For example, a shop should cordon off the area and clean up spilled liquid as soon as possible to reduce the risk of a customer slipping in the area. If the person who is responsible for the area has failed to take adequate steps to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls occurring, then they will be considered to be liable for any of these types of accidents that occur.
The Law in the England and Wales
The Health and Safety Act of 1974 sets out certain standards which employers must meet. These standards are designed to protect employees from potential accidents in the workplace, and to ensure that employees are not putting themselves in unnecessary risk. Part of the Act involves employers mitigating the risk of slips, trips or falls.
Other responsible parties are also expected to meet these requirements to help to protect members of the public. In many cases, a risk assessment should be created to consider potential risk and to reduce the risk factor involved. If a property owner or employer cannot show this risk assessment, or if they have not been taking adequate steps to mitigate risk, then a civil case could be brought against them.
Cost of Slip, Trip and Falls
Slips trips and falls can have serious consequences, including lacerations, strains, sprains, broken bones, head injuries, neck and spine injuries, paralysis and even death. In addition to this, accident victims may also be left to shoulder financial costs that are associated with the incident, such as loss of present and future earning, additional transport costs because of their injury, and the cost of aids and adaptations which are required to allow the victim to continue to enjoy their present quality of life. All of these costs should be considered when making a claim for compensation.
Making a Slip, Trip and Fall claim
To have the best chance of making a successful slip, trip or fall claim, then accident victims are advised to get in contact with a qualified claims solicitor. The solicitor will help to compile evidence to support the claim and to establish how much the claim may be worth. Once they have created a strong case, the solicitor will get in contact with the responsible party or their insurance company.
The defendant may not offer the full claim amount if they do not agree with it. The solicitor will negotiate with the defendant to come to a suitable agreement. If no agreement is reached, then the claim may go to court.