Whilst every accident and injury is unique, this list of common types of accident in a public place includes accidents and injuries of the greatest frequency in Ireland.*
What Do I Do If I Am Involved In An Accident In a Public Place
If you are involved in an accident and suffer an injury, you should:
- Get medical treatment for your injury
- Report the accident to the person(s) responsible for the area
- If there were witnesses, identify them.
- Record the details of the incident.
- Contact an experienced solicitor.
Some of the public place accident claims that we can help you with
If you have been injured in a council or local authority accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to make a council or local authority claim.
Councils and local authorities are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of the public in the local area. Each local authority is responsible for maintaining their area and the services they provide. This involves prioritising the health and safety of members of the public.
They should conduct frequent assessments of the services that they deliver, so that they can highlight and remove potential hazards in public places. They also have a duty of care to make people aware of these risks and hazards as this could reduce the risk of an accident occurring. If they are negligent in this regard, you may be entitled to make a claim if you have been injured on a property owned by a council or local authority.
Causes of Council and Local Authority Accidents
- Poor signage
- Bad road conditions
- Inadequate maintenance
- Inadequate training
When your child is at a crèche or nursery, they should receive excellent care. If they suffer an accident that injures them, they cannot make a claim themselves because they are under 18. However, the child’s parent or guardian (known as the “Next Friend”) can bring a claim on their behalf.
If an accident happens because of the behaviour or negligence of the staff of the nursery or crèche, they may be held liable. Employees have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of the children in their care at all times and to follow all health and safety regulations in place. However, if another child contributed to the cause of the injuries, establishing liability can be difficult.
Crèche and nursery responsibilities and guidelines include:
- Full training and qualifications for all employees
- Health and safety regulations in place
- First-aid training for at least one staff member.
- Recording all accidents that occur
- Adherence to ratios of child care workers to children
Adult to child ratios
The number of responsible adults who should be caring for a group of children is strictly regulated. These ratios vary according to the child’s age and the amount of time in care.
For 3.5 hours of care and more, the ratios are as follows.
- Under 1: 3 children per adult
- 1 to 2 years: 5 children per adult
- 2 to 3 years: 6 children per adult
- 3 to 6 years: 8 children per adult
For sessions of up to 3.5 hours per day, the ratios are as follows:
- Under 1: 3 children per adult
- 1 to 2.5 years: 5 children per adult
- 2.5 to 6 years: 11 children per adult
- 0 – 1 Years: 1 Adult to 3 Children
- 1 – 2.5 Years: 1 Adult to 5 Children
- 2.5 – 6 Years: 1 Adult to 11 Children
Supermarket accidents can occur in the store itself, the carpark, or any surrounding areas within the supermarket’s control.
It can be difficult to establish liability for a supermarket accident. Usually, the manager of the supermarket will be held responsible if they do not provide a safe space for employees and customers. The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995 stipulates that the occupier of a building has a duty of care to ensure that all visitors are safe. They must ensure that all potential dangers are removed before they cause an accident to customers.
Some supermarket accidents are caused by employee negligence. The employee may have left a spill unattended or stacked a shelf without due care. If their employer provided the correct training, the employee will be held responsible for your injuries.
Other supermarket customers may cause accidents. This could be because they leave trolleys where they obstruct other customers. Whoever was responsible, you should obtain their contact details if you are injured in a supermarket accident. You should also take photos of the scene and get access to any CCTV footage.
Common causes of supermarket injury claims:
It can be very traumatic to be involved in an accident on a flight. If you have been in an accident on a flight that was not your fault, you may be able to make a flight accident claim.
The 1999 Montreal Convention contains guidelines for air flight compensation amounts for personal injury and damages sustained by a passenger on an aircraft. The level of your claim will decide how your flight accident claim proceeds.
If you are injured on an aircraft and your claim for damages is no more than €126,800, you don’t have to prove that the airline was at fault or negligent to receive the compensation.
The 1999 Montreal Convention obliges airlines to make advance payments to claimants in airline accidents resulting in death or injury to passengers, if required by the airline’s national law. This gives the person entitled to claim the financial resources required to cover any additional costs arising from the accident.
Common Flight Accident Claims
- Death or injury to passengers
- Damaged, destroyed, or lost checked baggage
- Damaged cargo
Petrol station forecourt slip accident claims generally arise after a person slips and falls on fuel spillages or other obstacles. If you believe you have a valid claim for injuries suffered in an accident in a petrol station forecourt, you should pursue it through the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).
The occupier or owner of the premises is usually responsible for an accident in a public place because of a breach of their duty of care or negligent behaviour. According to the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995, the occupier of a premises owes a reasonable duty of care to any visitors. If it cannot be shown that they took reasonable steps to prevent an accident, they are likely to be found liable for any injuries suffered. Employers may also be deemed liable if an employee has acted in a negligent way that caused an accident.
Sometimes, other customers fail to show a reasonable duty of care to those around them. This could involve spilling fuel and not reporting it.
Accidents while working at a petrol station forecourt
If you suffer an injury during an accident at work in a petrol station, your employer may be considered liable if they acted negligently. They have a duty of care to prioritise employee health and safety. Employees must also cooperate with the health and regulations in place and ensure that they do not behave in a negligent manner.
Common causes of petrol station forecourt slip accidents
- Slips and falls on fuel spillages
- Uneven surfaces
- Poor weather conditions
Slip and fall accidents in car parks are quite common and can be caused by several factors. If you suffer an injury after slipping and falling in a car park, any claim for damages you make will be made through the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.
It can be difficult to establish liability for a car park slip accident because the car park may be owned privately or publicly.
Publicly-owned car parks
Usually, the local council is responsible for maintaining publicly-owned car parks. They have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of members of the public and must conduct regular risk assessments to identify and eliminate hazards. If hazards cannot be removed immediately, warning signs should make people aware of this. If they breach their duty of care and act negligently, resulting in an accident, they will be found liable.
Privately-owned car parks
Owners and occupiers of premises in which privately-owned car parks are located have a duty of care to car park users to ensure their health and safety. The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995 stipulates that an occupier of a premises owes a reasonable level of duty of care to any visitors. This means that they should consider their health and safety at all times and ensure that they do not suffer any injuries. They will be found liable for any accident in which somebody was injured, if they behaved negligently and failed to ensure health and safety.
Causes of car park slip and fall accidents
- Damaged footpaths
- Poor lighting
- Poorly maintained roads
Jogging accidents generally take the form of slip or fall accident* in a public place. The reasons for jogging accidents are varied, as are the kinds of injuries that can result.
Usually, the jogger trips over an obstacle or pothole, and, if the occupier of the land did not maintain it correctly, they may be found liable for any injuries sustained. Claims for injuries suffered in a jogging accident are made through the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).
Who is responsible?
Establishing who is responsible for causing the accident is an important first step in the claims process. If the accident took place in a public place, the local council will probably be found liable because they are generally responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of public places. Breaching their duty of care to ensure that visitors have a safe environment can lead to injuries being suffered. They must also notify visitors of any risk that could lead to an accident.
Under the Occupiers Liability Act 1995, owners and occupiers of private land must ensure the health and safety of all visitors.The property should be maintained to a standard that safeguards both themselves and visitors. They are also expected to make regular risk assessments of the property. They will be found liable for any accident found to have been caused by their negligence or a breach of duty of care.
You may not be entitled to make a claim for injuries if it is found that you contributed to the cause of the accident, through contributory negligence or the amount of damages may be greatly reduced.
You may be entitled to claim for injuries sustained in an accident abroad, if you can prove that the accident was due to somebody else’s negligence.
Common Types of Holiday Injury Claims
- Food poisoning due to poor restaurant hygiene
- Illness caused by polluted water
- Injuries suffered when using substandard equipment
- Slips or falls around swimming pools
- Unsafe accommodation
- Road traffic accidents
- Snow sports accidents
The Package Holidays and Travel Act 1995 sets out the circumstances in which a person injured on a package holiday organised by an Irish company in a foreign country can make a holiday accident claim in Ireland. Any claim will be assessed by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board before being settled or going to court. It is important to instruct a solicitor in Ireland as soon as possible after the accident.
If you have been involved in a car accident abroad,you may issue proceedings in Ireland. The level of damages awarded may be limited to the damages that you would receive if you issued proceedings in the state where the accident occurred.
Amusement parks can be dangerous places if the proper safety procedures aren’t followed. Those involved in the organisation, maintenance, or operation of an amusement park must adhere to strict health and safety procedures. If you or your child have been injured in an amusement park accident, consult your solicitor.
Safety Requirements and Duty of Care
Amusement parks are legally required to provide a duty of care to all people who enter them. They are bound by legislation including:
- The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
- Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
- Health and Safety Regulations 1996
- Work at Height Regulations 2005
- Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2016
All employees of the amusement park must also fulfill their specific duties to ensure the highest level of health and safety. Such duties may include:
- Ensuring the attractions are safe, installed adequately, and properly researched
- Maintaining all attractions in a safe condition
- Inspecting all attractions regularly
- Performing risk assessments and ensuring a safe layout and emergency procedures.
Common causes of amusement park accidents
To make a claim for an accident you suffered in an accident in a cinema, you must prove liability. The cinema operator may be found responsible if they breached their duty of care and acted in a negligent way. They are obliged to conduct regular hazard assessments and remove any potential risks. They must also train staff members to minimise risks.
Common cinema accident causes
Accidents in a cinema are generally down to negligence or the cinema’s failure to create a risk-free environment. This may result in:
If you are injured as a hotel guest, visitor, or employee because of the hotel’s failure to create a safe environment, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Such claims are usually made against the owner/management of the hotel for breaching their duty of care toward you.
Who is responsible?
Hotel owners and management must provide a safe environment for guests and employees. Part of their duty is to conduct frequent health and safety checks to identify and eliminate safety hazards.
If the hotel in question was booked as part of a package holiday, you need to inform your travel agent immediately.
Whereas guests must establish that the hotel owner’s breach of their duty of care to them led to the accident, employees pursuing a claim must prove that management did not provide the appropriate safety equipment and training required to do the job safely.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995 points out that an occupier of a building has a duty of care to provide a safe environment for all visitors. Hotel owners should prioritise the health and safety of guests and do everything possible to eliminate hazards that may cause accidents or injury.
Common Causes of Hotel Accidents
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Cuts & lacerations
- Food poisoning
- Manual handling accidents and injuries*
- Swimming pool accidents*
- Escalator and lift accidents*
- Falling objects
- Uneven surfaces
- Defective furniture
- Car park accidents
If you have been injured in an accident in a pub or bar, it can be difficult to make a claim, so you should consult a solicitor. Both customers and staff members may be entitled to claim for negligence against the owner of the pub, if they can prove that the accident was caused by the negligence of the owner/manager/staff.
Business owners are legally obliged to show a duty of care to employees and customers, but staff also need to be facilitated in identifying and removing hazards such as spillages and breakages. To claim successfully against a pub or bar, you must show that the bar behaved negligently. This could mean inadequate warnings of slippery floors, or not addressing spillages quickly enough.
Most claims are made against the manager or occupier of the pub. The occupier must ensure that employees and visitors are kept safe and that staff get the training required to do their work properly and minimise the risk of accidents.
It is also worth noting that members of the public have a duty of care to staff and other customers to act in a way that does not jeopardise the safety of others.
Common Causes of Pub or Bar Accidents
A combination of alcohol, crowds, and low lighting makes pubs and bars potentially hazardous places. This means that employees must always be vigilant to prevent any accidents.
Common causes of accidents include:
Restaurants can be busy settings, so accidents can be quite common. Both staff and guests can be injured in restaurant accidents, if they slip and fall, for example. If you have been injured or made ill in a restaurant, you may have a valid claim against the restaurant owner/manager if they are proved to be negligent.
Restaurant owners and managers have a duty of care to employees and customers to prioritise their health and safety. Failing in this duty of care can expose people in the restaurant to unacceptable risks and hazards. Occupiers’ negligence is the primary cause of restaurant accidents and illness. Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995, reasonable measures must be implemented to ensure that all dangers are identified and removed as soon as possible. Restaurant owners should conduct regular risk assessments to find and eliminate hazards and ensure that all equipment, machinery and furniture are good quality and replaced regularly. They should also ensure that all employees have adequate training.
To make a successful claim for an injury suffered in a restaurant accident, you must prove that the accident was caused by somebody else who acted in a negligent manner. If you were the main cause of the accident then you will not be entitled to pursue a claim for the injuries you sustained as a result. Members of the public also have a duty of care to avoid putting restaurant employees and other customers at risk.
Common Restaurant Accident Injuries
Accidents around shopping centres can happen in the centre itself, the car park, or the surrounding public areas under the shopping centre’s control. If you have had a shopping centre accident, you may be entitled to claim for any injuries you sustain.
Who is responsible?
Shopping centre owners and managers have a legal responsibility to ensure that all customers and staff are provided with a safe environment. This means they must conduct frequent risk assessments and remove any potential hazards. To prevent accidents and injuries, they must also implement adequate health and safety regulations.
Determining responsibility for a shopping centre accident can be difficult, but the manager of the shopping centre will generally be found liable if they did not provide a safe space for employees and customers. Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995, an occupier of a building is obliged to keep visitors safe.
An employee who has acted negligently in the course of their work may also be found liable for a shopping centre accident. They may have acted negligently, by failing to clean a spill quickly enough or leaving an obstacle on the floor, for example. If their employer provided the appropriate training, the employee may be found responsible for your injuries.
Other visitors to the shopping centre may cause accidents by acting negligently. This could involve leaving trolleys obstructing aisles or not taking adequate care when navigating the shopping centre.
Common Causes of Shopping Centre Accidents*
Accidents can occur at festivals and concerts, so it is vital to implement measures to reduce the risk. If health and safety regulations and procedures are not in place, you may be able to claim for any injury you sustain in a concert accident. This can be a complex procedure, so you are advised to consult a solicitor.
For many concert accident claims, it can be difficult to determine who is liable for the cause of injuries sustained. The circumstances of the concert will dictate liability.
The concert venue may be considered responsible for your injuries if the premises is shown to be unsafe for the public. The venue must conduct regular risk assessments to find and remove potential hazards that could cause injuries. They must also ensure the premises are kept clean and safe for all users.
Liability for accidents at music festivals is difficult to establish because they usually happen outdoors in public places. The organisers of the festival or concert may be found liable if they fail to ensure the health and safety of concert-goers. They are also required to put regulations and procedures in place to help to prevent both accidents and injuries.
Employees may also suffer injuries while working at a concert or festival. All employers must prioritise the health and safety of their employees. This involves providing adequate training to allow them to do their jobs in a safe and risk-free manner. They should also get proper rest breaks throughout the course of their work. Failing to ensure that the working environment is practical for the work being done could cause an accident for which the employer is found liable.
Common concert accident injuries
If you have been injured in a golf course accident, you may be entitled to make a claim if the golf course failed in its duty of care toward you.The golf course has a duty of care to everybody on it, under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This applies to players, club members, employees and spectators.
Golf course duty of care
The golf course is obliged to erect safety nets where a ball might go astray and injure somebody. If the space involved makes this impractical, signs should warn individuals to be vigilant. Every golf course must conduct frequent risk assessments to identify and eliminate hazards. If the golf course does not fulfill its duty of care, it may be held responsible for any resulting injuries.
Causes of Golf Course Accidents
- Obstructed vision
- No vocal warning
- Inexperienced players
Lift failures can cause serious accidents. If you have been injured in one, it is important to prove who was responsible. Consult a solicitor to help you bring a claim.
Responsibility for a lift accident could lie with the company that fitted the lift in the first place.They must ensure the lift is fitted properly and that all parts function correctly and safely. Lift users must also ensure that they are using the lift safely and responsibly.
Common lift accident causes
- Loose clothing becoming trapped
- Lift stopping between floors
- Defective electrical systems
- Unexpected stoppages
Swimming pool accident and illness claims may involve gyms, leisure centres, hotels, or water parks. Consult a solicitor to help you determine who was liable for the cause of any swimming pool accident for which you plan to claim.
To make a claim, you will have to prove the accident was caused by the negligence of another person. This is usually the owner or operator of the swimming pool or waterpark. They have a duty of care to prioritise the health and safety of all visitors and staff. To establish that the accident was caused by negligence, you should gather as much evidence as possible.
Another pool-user’s negligence could make them liable for causing the accident. Members of the public also have a duty of care to maintain the health and safety of those using the pool.
Common causes of swimming pool accidents
- Damaged tiling
- Slippery floors
- Defective drainage and filtration system
- Excessive chlorine or disinfectant
- Inadequate signage for wet floors and pool depth
- Damaged equipment
- Poor supervision and training
- Poor maintenance
- Poor lighting
- Lack of safety equipment
Injuries can happen in football that are nobody’s fault. If reckless, negligent, or deliberately dangerous behaviour has caused your football injury, you may be able to claim.
A good solicitor will guide you through the process of making a football injury claim. This could involve injuries suffered in a dangerous tackle or because of poor pitch conditions. Such an injury could have life-changing consequences.
It is important to establish that the accident occurred because somebody else was negligent or breached their duty of care.
Common football accident causes
Gyms are expected to provide safe environments for their members. If machines are not fit for use and instructors not trained appropriately, accidents can happen.
Gyms do not have specific health and safety legislation, but they do have a duty of care to:
- Check all equipment regularly
- Identify and remove potential hazards
- Maintain staff training
- Advise members on the safe use of equipment
Gym accident causes
If you are injured in a horse riding accident that was not your fault, you could claim compensation. You could be involved in a road traffic accident, an accident at a competition, or another kind of accident while horse riding.
Working with horses in any capacity will always involve risks, but you have a legal right to be kept safe by those responsible for your wellbeing. This could include instructors, stable owners, or other road users. Your solicitor will help you identify how to make a claim against those responsible.
Your horse riding accident claim
Financial damages can help finance your medical treatment, travel costs, and loss of income if you are unable to work. Generally, you will have three years from the date of the accident to make a claim. Exceptions include:
- Claims on behalf of children can be made at any stage before your child is 18.
- There are no time limits on making a claim on behalf of someone who doesn’t have the mental capacity to claim themselves.
In order to claim damages for child injuries in a school accident, it must be proven that your child sustained an injury due to the negligence of somebody who owed them a duty of care. Child injury damages claims are made by a parent or guardian acting as a “next friend.” It is prudent to consult a solicitor to guide you through the process.
If your child has been injured due to the negligence of a teacher or supervisor, or the reckless behaviour of another child, you may be able to make a claim for damages on your child’s behalf.
To succeed in your school accident claim, you will need proof that another individual is directly responsible for your child’s accident. To make your claim more likely to succeed, you should:
- Report the accident to a teacher as soon as possible.
- Ensure the accident is recorded in the school accident book.
- Collect as much information as possible about the child’s accident, including:
- Contact details of teachers, staff members and children involved
- Photographs of the injuries
- Photographs of the site of the accident
- Receipts for any costs incurred because of the accident, such as medical fees and travel costs.
Sporting accidents are often nobody’s fault and are simply the result of the sport’s inherent risks (e.g. injuries suffered playing contact sports such as rugby). However, if you can establish that your injuries were sustained because of negligence, you may be able to make a sports accident claim.
Faulty equipment or poorly maintained grounds or facilities may be to blame for the accident that caused your injuries. Sporting spectators can also claim for personal injuries caused by negligence of safety measures.
Sporting accident injuries
Sporting accident injuries can cause lasting damage and/or loss of earnings because of absence from work. Such injuries range from fractures and broken bones to scarring and soft tissue injuries.
How to start a sports injury claim
Your solicitor will help you prepare a case for lodging with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. If you have been involved in a sport accident or an accident on a sports ground that was not your fault, you may be entitled to financial damages.
If you or your child have suffered a dog bite, you may be entitled to pursue an injury claim. Even if the attack does not involve a bite, you may be able to claim for such personal injuries as shock or lasting anxiety.
Until the The Control of Dogs Act 1986 (Section 21), victims of dog attacks had to prove a mischievous propensity in the dog. This usually meant demonstrating that the dog had previously attacked someone else. Since 1986, however, the dog owner is liable for damage caused in an attack by the dog and for injury done by it to any livestock. When seeking damages now, you no longer have to show a previous mischievous propensity in the dog or to show that the injury or damage was due to neglect on the part of the dog owner.
Playground accidents can be upsetting for children and their parents or care-givers, but if they are caused by negligence, the experience can be even more serious. In such cases, you may be entitled to bring a claim for compensation.
Causes of playground accidents
Accidents in playgrounds can happen in several different ways:
- The owner of the location failed in their duty of care and did not provide the correct level of safety for the child.
- A playground employee’s actions or inactions caused the injury.
- The play equipment was defective.
- The food on offer was not subject to the proper hygiene standards.
A child under 18 is not entitled to make a claim, so an adult (usually the child’s parent or guardian) steps in on their behalf as a “Next Friend.” Any minor injury a child suffers could develop into a bigger health issue for the child in later years. This means the medical practitioner who attends your child should record the injuries. Symptoms arising from the accident will be used in evidence in your child injury claim.
After your child has been treated and you have contacted a solicitor, you should record such details as:
- Accident time and date
- Weather conditions
- Circumstances that caused the accident
- Contact details of witnesses
- Photos of the accident scene.
You should report the accident to the appropriate people or authorities. Your solicitor will help you to prepare a case for the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.
Farm owners have a duty to protect employees and members of the public while they are on their farm property. They also have obligations to avoid injury and damage being caused by materials or animals escaping from the farm property into other areas where injury or loss may be caused to people or property. Typical examples of such incidents would be attacks by animals or injuries caused by straying animals, defects in the farm property, defective farm machinery, injuries caused by unsafe processes, as well as injuries caused by untrained or unskilled farm workers.
If your reputation has been damaged by a false accusation you may wish to consider seeking advice on a Defamation action.
Types of Defamation Cases
In order to succeed with a defamatory action, you must be able to prove to the court that the publicised accusation made is false or malicious and has damaged your good name. Cases arise most commonly in public areas such as a false accusation of theft from a store, non-payment of a bill as a customer and searching of shopping bags by security. There are also scenarios that arise where a disgruntled ex-employer provides a biased reference for an employee.
Eligibility for a defamation case
Defamation actions primality arise from the following scenarios
- Newspaper articles
- Social Media Publication
- False Accusations in public places : Shop or Bar
- Television News reports
- False accusations in the workplace environment
- Former employer providing malicious reference
In order to succeed with a defamatory action you must be able to prove to a court that the publicised accusation made is false or malicious and has damaged your good name. A key aspect to a defamation case is that the accusation has been publicised whereby another person has heard the false accusation and understood the accusation to be true.