When does an accident go from being just an accident, to someone else’s fault?
Simpson Millar discusses the issues around when an accident becomes a potential claim for personal injury and the common types of claims and who is responsible.
By: Simpson Millar LLP - Personal Injury Solicitors
The term "accident" is, however, now widely used as the term to describe an incident which occurs as a result of the negligence or breach of statutory duty of a person or corporate entity and to describe the incident which introduces risk to the claim in each of the significant numbers of personal injury claims which are brought in the UK each year.
In order to pursue a claim for personal injury, it is necessary to show that an accident, and indeed the subsequent injury sustained by a person, has been caused as a result of the negligence and/or the breach of statutory duty of a person or a corporate entity.
Employers Liability & Public Liability Accident Claims
The most common types of accident claims that we deal with are Employers Liability and Public Liability matters. Employers Liability claims involve accidents which occur at work and there are a significant number of Statues and Regulations which are now in place governing all manner of workplaces. These Statutes and Regulations provide duties upon both the employer and also, to a lesser extent, the employee.
For example, just some of the duties imposed upon employers are that they must provide suitable work equipment, suitable personal protective equipment and they must ensure that traffic routes in workplaces are, so far as reasonably practicable, free from any obstructions which may cause a person to slip, trip or fall.
With regard to Public Liability claims, occupiers and owners of premises who invite the public onto their premises must ensure that they take reasonable steps to ensure that visitors to their premises are reasonably safe.
Examples of such cases are customers who slip, trip or fall in shops such as supermarkets and in these circumstances, the occupier of the shop will normally be expected to show that they have taken reasonable steps to prevent the accident, for example by inspecting and maintain the floor at regular intervals. The steps which a Court would consider reasonable can often depend upon the size and resources available to the shop.
The issue of negligence can be slightly more ambiguous in terms of the acts or omissions which are alleged to have caused an accident, however in general, negligence will be considered to be a failure to use reasonable care.
There are of course many accidents which can be classed as genuine accidents, meaning that no particular person or third party is responsible.
Should you consider, however, that you may have a potential personal injury claim arising out of an accident which has occurred in the last 3 years, you should speak to a personal injury solicitor at Simpson Millar LLP who will be able to assess your case. They will advise you whether there may have been a potential breach of statutory duty and/or negligence on the part of a third party which may entitle you to pursue a claim for personal injury and associated losses.