A public liability claim can arise where a person has sustained a personal injury on public property, where the cause of that injury is the negligence of another. This area of law covers a very wide range of accidents that occur in public places. Where negligence occurs a claim can be pursued against the owner or the party who had control over the particular area.
Common types of public place accident claims
Food poisoning claims
Food poisoning can occur when customers are exposed to contaminated food due to poor hygiene or improper meal preparation in restaurants and it results in vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea and cramps. If you have these symptoms you should attend a doctor. It will be important to show you ate at the particular restaurant and a receipt for the suspect food would be useful. It would then be necessary to show the food poisoning occurred as a result of the negligence of the restaurant. This can be done by contacting the HSE who can then test the restaurant premises for contaminants. Due diligence type searches online may also prove useful to see if any other customers complained online about similar issues with the restaurant.
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.
Dog bite claim
A personal injury can occur due to the negligence of the owner of the dog. In this situation if personal injury arises we can take a claim for personal injury for the negligence of the owner in not controlling their animal. Generally such a claim can be taken against the offending party’s house insurance.
Nightclub/bar injury or security claims
The owners of a nightclub have a duty of care to customers and clientele in order to provide a safe place to congregate and socialise. Such owners should have sufficient number of staff who are trained appropriately and there should be adequate processes for staff to follow in the running of the nightclub or bar. These processes should cover cleaning up broken glass and spillages, preventing fights and horseplay and how to remove clientele from the premises etc. Where injury occurs due to one of these instances being handled negligently there may be a liability on the owners of the nightclub or bar.
Proprietors and owners must ensure that lifts are operating properly and are well maintained in order to avoid visitors to the property getting trapped or injured. This can result in psychological injury.
Trip and fall claims
Claims can be taken against the local authority for trip and falls on public footpaths. Claims can also be taken against the owners of private premises such as nightclubs, supermarkets etc that are open to the public due to the failure of the owner to provide a safe place for members of the public to use.
Making a claim for a public place accident
- Firstly attend your doctor to have injuries suffered assessed;
- Contact a solicitor and describe how the accident occurred in detail;
- Obtain a medical legal report from the GP/consultant;
- It may be necessary to obtain medical records to help link the injury to the alleged cause;
- Submit an application to the Injuries Board together with the medical legal report of the GP or consultant;
- Assessment – the Injuries Board will liaise with the defendants and allow them time to consider whether the Injuries Board should proceed with an assessment or not;
- An authorisation will issue to allow us to pursue court proceedings in the Circuit Court or High Court;
- Liability is usually disputed in public place accident claims. An engineer may need to be engaged in order to inspect the premises and draft a report in this matter; and
- A loss of earnings report may also be required from an accountant. It may be necessary to ascertain whether there are grounds for a loss of earnings opportunity claim and engage the services of an actuary if there is likely to be a future loss.
At HOMS Assist we have over fifty years’ experience in public place personal injury claims. You can contact one of our experienced advisors who will be happy to assist you.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement
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