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Suffered an injury in a public place? Here’s what you need to know about public liability claims

Going about your daily business doesn’t usually entail constantly having to assess each shop, restaurant or public place that you enter for what dangers you may potentially face as well as whether you may need to make a public liability claim.

It’s expected that establishments we visit on a day to day basis will be safe for us to enter and if this isn’t the case, then the owner of the property or private land may be liable for any injury that had been caused by the negligence of them or their staff.

In this article, we share some of the common places where a public liability or occupiers liability claim may arise, whilst also revealing what you need to do if you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.


At some point, we’ve all probably witnessed a glass being dropped in a restaurant or a brew being spilt in a coffee shop. While many establishments will clean any liquid up as soon as possible, they must also display a sign highlighting the wet floor to any and all customers.

If the business fails to do this and a customer slips on the wet surface, suffering a personal injury in the process, the owner of the business may be liable and you may be able to pursue an occupiers liability claim against them.

Every business owner owes those who enter their premises a duty of care and failing to notify people of a potential hazard that could cause them to slip is a breach of that duty.

Uneven surfaces

If you trip on an uneven surface you may also be able to make a personal injury claim. If you are injured in a public place such as a restaurant or sports centre after falling over a step, an upturned tile a hole in the floor or similar hazards, this may be deemed as negligent maintenance on behalf of the business owner or owner of the private premises.

However, dangers don’t only lie indoors. Public walkways, pavements, potholes and broken asphalt can also cause accidents. If these issues are encountered and your injury wouldn’t have occurred without the damaged pavement or road, then you may be able to make a claim against the local council who may be responsible for maintaining all publicly accessible walkways and roads.

If you slip or trip as a result of an uneven surface then our personal injury team can help you get the rehabilitative treatment and financial compensation you deserve.


With buildings getting taller and taller across the country, it’s no surprise to see an increase in lifts being installed. The Equality Act 2010 also requires businesses and organisations who own multi-floor premises to legally make provisions that enable access for those who suffer from a disability. Installing a lift plays a key role in affording those with a disability access to higher floors.

However, when it comes to ensuring the safety of those who use the lift, it is the owner of the building or those they lease the building to, that are responsible for the maintenance of the lifts and consequently, if their negligent maintenance of the lifts causes a personal injury they may be liable for said injury.

Falls caused by rubbish or waste

If there is construction work being carried out in an area where the public has access or a business or public authority creates a lot of waste and that waste isn’t put away properly, this can cause a hazard to those who are in the vicinity of it.

Falling debris is a particularly dangerous hazard that can manifest itself when construction work is being carried out. Falling debris has the potential to cause a host of injuries including brain injuries and spinal injuries.

If the waste or debris causes an injury then either the business that caused the injury as a result of negligence or those who employed them may be liable and a claim for compensation can b made against them for any injuries that may have been suffered.

How Thorneycroft Solicitors can help if you’ve suffered a personal injury

If you have suffered an injury in a public place as a result of any of the potential causes we have discussed in this article, our personal injury team are here to help.

Whether it is in a restaurant, on a public walkway, or any other public or private place, you deserve to be able to access it without suffering a personal injury.

If your injury could have been avoided, but for the negligence of a business owner or public authority then we can help you secure the financial compensation you deserve as well as helping you secure the best possible rehabilitative treatment if the injuries you suffered require such treatment.

Our team have developed an expertise in handling occupiers liability claims and will do all they can to support you and your family whilst gathering evidence to help make your claim as strong as possible. If you’d like to learn more about how our team can assist you with your potential occupiers liability claim get in touch with us today for free by calling 0800 1979 345 or complete our online enquiry form and our team will get back to you at a time that is more suitable for you.

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