In July 2013, the way in which accident claims for trips and falls, as well as any other kind of accident that is not an accident at work or road traffic accident, are brought changed.

If you have been injured in accident that was not your fault, whether you fell on private or public land, or were involved in some other form of accident where you suffered an injury, this is considered a “Public Liability Claim” and as such must be notified to the party responsible through a secure web portal.

If you have had a fall in a public place as a result of defective paving you may have a claim against the local authority (Highways Act 1980).

In addition, private land owners (or the people and organisations occupying private land) have a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of most people who find their way on to their property (Occupiers Liability Act 1957).

A classic example is when you visit the local supermarket to do your weekly shop. If you suffer an injury because of something the supermarket should have reasonably done to ensure your safety but did not – for example, failing to mop up a spillage sufficiently quickly or failing to place warning signs over a wet floor – then you could have the right to make a claim for compensation due to the personal injury you suffer.

But it doesn’t just stop there. An occupier has to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety in all aspects of your visit to those premises.