Slips, trips, and falls are some of the most common accidents that can happen outside of the comfort of your home. Such accidents might occur due to uneven pavements, potholes, poor lighting, wet surfaces, or defective handrails.
You might slip or trip and continue walking, but sometimes you might not be so lucky. People suffer injuries that vary from minor scrapes, sprains and small cuts to more severe consequences, like broken bones, head and back trauma or lacerations. Some accidents might even be fatal.
Slips and falls could happen anywhere, on the streets and inside buildings, in public places or at work. Businesses, industries and local councils are legally obliged to maintain health and safety standards that are designed to keep employees and the public safe.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury following a slip, trip or fall, you might be able to make a compensation claim. Such compensation helps to compensate you for any physical or mental trauma, expenses related to the accident or loss of earnings.
What is a slip, trip or fall claim?
According to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics, a slip, trip or fall is the leading cause of workplace accidents, despite being preventable. Employers must follow the Health and Safety Executive guidelines and take all the necessary measures to avoid accidents from happening. If they fail to do so and you get hurt, they might be liable for injury compensation.
But trips and falls occur just as often in public places like shops, restaurants, bars, even museums or gyms. Owners, managers and the staff responsible for maintaining these places must also take the necessary actions to assure customer safety.
A slip, trip or fall claim aims to secure financial compensation after such an accident. If the person, business or authority responsible for your incident accepts responsibility, your case is straightforward, and you will most likely receive compensation.
If the responsible party denies liability, you may still be eligible to claim compensation, but it may take a little longer. Your personal injury solicitor will gather the evidence available to help build a strong case and negotiate the compensation you deserve.
If you were partially responsible for your accident, you could still claim, but you might receive reduced compensation. In all cases, it is vital to get in touch with a legal advisor as soon as possible to have your case assessed by a professional. For additional information and to see if you have a valid claim, call 0800 678 1410 to get a free consultation.
Can I make a slip, trip or fall claim?
A compensation claim for a slip, trip or fall will not only cover any financial expenses you’ve incurred but also aims to make up for your pain and suffering. By making a successful claim, you can recover the cost of any necessary treatment and income you might have lost because of the accident. The liable party will also pay for modifications you might need to apply to your home or car after a severe accident.
Whether or not you qualify for a successful slip, trip or fall claim can be determined by an experienced personal injury solicitor. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to be able to prove that your slip or trip accident occurred due to someone else’s negligence.
Like in any personal injury claim, it can help to take photographs of where the accident happened and your wounds. If you required immediate medical attention, get in touch with any witnesses as soon as possible after you have received medical care. If you were injured at work, maybe a coworker took photos or has details about what happened.
Try to get the contact information of any witnesses and keep your medical records and any receipts for expenses related to the incident. Also, you could find out if any cameras might have registered the accident. CCTV evidence can be valuable proof when claiming for slip or trip compensation.
Anybody who has been injured due to someone’s negligence can potentially make a slip or trip compensation claim. If it will be successful or not strictly depends on the circumstances of the accident, the nature of your injuries and the evidence available to support the claim.
Common causes of slips, trips and falls
Slips, trips and falls at work or in a public place mostly happen because local councils, businesses, landlords, or other authorities didn’t respect the necessary maintenance, repair, and safety measures to keep you and other citizens safe.
As a result, employees, customers, contractors and other members of the general public become exposed to this avoidable risk. Most trips and falls are caused by:
- Uneven flooring or steps
- Unsuitable floor coverings
- Wet or slippery floors
- Unmarked changes in levels
- Cracked or uneven pavements
- Trailing cables or other unexpected obstacles
- Poor lighting
- Poor housekeeping
No matter how careful you are, a slip and fall could happen anywhere, anytime. According to HSE statistics, in 2019-2020 there were 693,000 non-fatal injuries at work in Great Britain. Of these cases, 29% were due to slips, trips or falls on the same level, and 8% fell from a height. Furthermore, most fatal injuries in the workplace were due to falling from a height (25%).
Thanks to continuous safety implementations and advancements, non-fatal injuries in the workplace has shown a downward trend over the years. In 1987 there were approximately 620 reported non-fatal workplace injuries per 100,000 employees. This accident rate reduced to 238 per 100,000 employees in 2020.
If you are a victim of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation. To find out how to file an injury claim for a trip or fall, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal advisor, or enter your details to request a callback.
Who was at fault for your slip, trip or fall accident?
Slips, trips and falls can happen in many environments, from streets and parks to shops, restaurants, offices and factories. Depending on the grounds, the responsibility lies with a company, council, business, landlord or another individual.
There are health and safety laws and regulations that compel owners and institutions to follow safety measures like:
- Perform regular safety checks to identify any possible risks
- Carry out routine maintenance
- Ensure the staff gets suitably trained to avoid creating hazards (like wet floors or untidy cables)
- Signpost slip and trip hazards
- Undertake emergency repairs to resolve urgent risks
When there is negligence in this duty of care, you might end up suffering an injury. Most commonly, you might make a slip, trip or fall claim against:
Councils are legally required to ensure that pavements, roads and other common areas are safe for public use. They must identify and fix broken, cracked or dangerously raised surfaces, damaged or missing handrails, inadequate or broken lighting, etc.
The number of workplace accidents in the UK is continuously dropping. Nonetheless, hundreds of thousands of employees experience a work accident every year, some of them resulting in traumatic brain injuries and even death.
Employers must always follow the legislation dictated by the Health and Safety Executive and have qualified staff members conduct routine risk assessments for slips, trips and falls.
All businesses must follow the safety codes set out in The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, so they have a legal responsibility to keep you safe from trips and falls on their premises.
Therefore they must always signpost wet floors, keep walkways or aisles clear, clean up spillages as fast as possible, assure adequate lighting and keep railings, steps and ramps safe. Failing to do so can make them liable for any personal injury you might experience on their premises.
Slips, trips and falls might also happen if you live in rented accommodation. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 has clear guidance about the property owner’s responsibilities, whether that is a private individual or property company, the local council or a housing association.
Landlords must carry out regular maintenance and make immediate repairs if there is a risk of a hazard causing harm or injury. Whether you are a tenant or a visitor, if you trip and fall because of landlord negligence like faulty stairs, trailing cables or loose carpets, you may have the right to make a compensation claim against the owner.
Parents, teachers and students all count on the school’s administration to keep the premises safe. Pupils are especially exposed to the risk of falling due to distractions, rushing, pushing and carrying heavy, bulky items.
Schools must provide proper lighting, keep stairs and corridors in a good state, signpost wet surfaces or other fall hazards, maintain classrooms and hallways as clean as possible and make sure there are no exposed pipes or cables. Failing to do this can result in school accident claims being made against them for negligence.
If you have been injured in the last three years without being at fault in any of these public places, you might have solid grounds to make a slip, trip or fall claim. If you are unsure if you have a case, you can call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal advisor.
Claiming for slips, trips and falls at work
Slips, trips and falls are the most common causes of workplace injuries in the UK, accounting for one of the highest numbers of lost workdays.
Statistics show that most work-related injuries occur in industries with lower average earnings, while the numbers decrease in those with higher incomes. Although some working environments may pose a lower risk than others, it is important to remember that slip, trip and fall accidents can happen anywhere.
Significantly higher accident risk is associated with:
- couriers and messengers
- farming, foresting and fishing
- performing arts, sports and related industries
- construction industry and other trades
- wholesale and retail
Sadly, most of these accidents are easily preventable. But some employers do not prioritise employee safety, creating dangerous situations by:
- Not taking sensible measures to determine possible risks
- Not providing the employees with proper personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Not ensuring the workplace is free of hazards
- Not providing appropriate training
- Not addressing employee negligence
- Not enforcing the required health and safety regulations
- Not ensuring vehicles are loaded properly
There are several health and safety regulations applicable to the workplace, such as:
- The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSW Act)
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- The Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1992
Employers who don’t follow these regulations properly can put you and others at risk of injury.
Do not be afraid to make a slip, trip or fall claim against your employer if you have been injured in a work accident due to their negligence. If the employer tries to fire you or mistreats you following an injury claim for a trip or fall, you may well have a case for unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal.
To find out if you may have a valid claim for injury compensation, contact a legal advisor by calling free on 0800 678 1410.
Most slips and trips at work occur due to common causes such as:
- wet surfaces
- occasional spills of oil or other liquids
- unmarked icy floors and other weather hazards
- loose floor coverings, slabs or tiles
- differences in traction between walking areas
- obstructed view and poor lighting
- cluttered and wrinkled carpeting
- uncovered cables or debris
- bottom drawers left open
- uneven walking surfaces and other pavement defects
There are many simple, practical steps to help prevent slip and trip accidents, such as:
- promptly remove spillages
- mark all wet areas
- mop or sweep any debris from floors
- always keep walkways free of obstacles
- secure loose mats, rugs and carpets
- always close file cabinets or storage drawers
- cover cables that might run through walkways
- make sure there is sufficient lighting
- wear proper slip-resistant footwear
- replace any loose, damaged or worn flooring.
If your employer or business owner fails to maintain the required safety standards or doesn’t provide you with the necessary protective equipment, and you consequently suffer an injury, you could be entitled to compensation.
If the accident happened within the last three years, an injury lawyer could help you make an injury claim against your employer. For a free consultation with a trained legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410 or fill out our online claim form to receive a callback.
Claims against your local council
The last thing you might expect while taking a walk is to end up injured. Slips and trips followed by falls can unfortunately also happen in a public place such as a pavement or a park, leaving you shocked and hurt, sometimes to the point where it affects your whole life.
Under the Highways Act 1980, your local council is the authority responsible for maintaining pavements, pathways, parks and many other public places safe for use. Their responsibilities include:
- keeping roads and pavements free of ice and snow
- fixing potholes and road defects
- ensure the streets are sufficiently illuminated
- remove any debris or discarded rubbish from roads, pavements and footpaths
- signpost any trip or fall hazards
If you have been injured in a public place because the local authorities failed to fulfil their duty of care, you may have valid grounds to make a slip, trip or fall claim against the council. There are several criteria fundamental to the success of your compensation claim:
- The difference in pavement levels (such as potholes or raised paving slabs) must be at least 1 inch (2.5 cm). Anything under that will probably not stand as reasonable grounds for making an injury claim, even if your wounds were severe.
- Local authorities need to inspect roads and pavements regularly and have a system in place to record these inspections. The busier a street or public area is, the more frequent the checks should be. When defects are found, they should be highlighted and repaired within a reasonable timeframe.
- However, these inspections are not carried out in some cases, or reported defects are left unrepaired for weeks or even months. If this subsequently causes an accident and an injury is sustained, the council could be liable to pay compensation.
- You must start your claim within three years after the accident. There are exceptions to this time limit concerning minors and people with mental impairment.
- You must have suffered an injury and received medical attention. If you get hurt in a public place, don’t suffer in silence. Your injuries need to get registered in your medical files for future evidence. If your fall results in a few minor bruises or scratches that heal within the week, it is less likely that an injury lawyer will take on your claim.
If you are unsure whether you have a valid pavement accident claim, your best option is to seek legal advice. You can call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal advisor or enter your details to request a callback.
Slips, trips and falls while shopping
Most people visit businesses like shops or supermarkets on a weekly or even daily basis. Other than being a necessity, it’s also a beloved leisure activity for many people. You would not expect any dangers that would put you at risk of injury.
Supermarkets, retail shops and shopping centres have the responsibility to maintain a safe environment for customers at all times. The business manager and the staff must make sure that:
- spillages get cleaned as soon as possible
- wet surfaces get highlighted with cones or other warning signs
- walkways are kept clear of obstacles and tripping hazards
- there is proper lighting everywhere
- the flooring is even
- the handrails are in good condition
- any level changes get properly indicated
If you slip, trip or fall while shopping, there’s a good chance another customer or an employee saw it happen; make sure to get their contact details. Furthermore, most shops and supermarkets have CCTV surveillance that might have registered the incident. That will be helpful evidence if you decide to make a compensation claim for a slip, trip or fall injury.
To have a successful claim against a business, you must prove the defendant’s negligence caused you harm. The evidence should prove:
- they were or should have been aware of the hazard
- they failed to fix a safety issue or warn the customers about it
- your injury was a result of this negligence
Sometimes you could still get compensation even if there was a warning sign. Maybe it was not fully visible, or a spillage got left on the ground for too long and spread beyond the warning area. A legal advisor will help determine the chances of a successful claim, so make sure to gather all the possible evidence that is available to you.
Slips, trips and falls in pubs and restaurants
When you go out to a bar or restaurant, you hope to have a great time with friends or family. But spilt drinks, poor lighting, damp floors or dropped food may lead to accidents that are sure to ruin a fun event.
Apart from a ruined meal or night out, you may suffer severe injuries like broken bones, brain damage or lacerations that can leave permanent scars. These accidents usually have preventable causes, such as:
- spilt drinks or foods that did not get cleaned up promptly
- wet, unmarked bathroom floors
- poor lighting, especially in pubs and nightclubs
- torn carpets
- cracked or uneven pavements
- missing handrails
- obstructed walking surfaces
Any of these issues could make you eligible for a slip, trip or fall claim if the accident has resulted in you suffering a personal injury. As with other businesses, the owner, management and staff owe you a duty of care. They must continuously identify risks and take action when a hazard presents itself to ensure customer safety.
If you were injured in a trip and fall accident in a pub or restaurant, you might be eligible for compensation if you prove owner negligence. To ensure your rights to compensation in a fall claim, you should follow these guidelines:
- Seek medical attention. If you are seriously hurt, stay put until an ambulance arrives. If your injuries are not so serious, seek medical attention immediately after leaving the restaurant or pub. Medical records play a decisive role in a trip or fall claim.
- Talk to the people in charge. Inform the owner or manager about the incident, and ask them to fill out an accident report. This way, you have indisputable proof the accident happened and that the people in charge were promptly notified.
- Document evidence. Take photos of where the accident took place. Make sure you capture any spilling, grease stains or pavement irregularities that caused your fall. Also, take pictures of yourself after the incident. This way, the owner cannot argue you were wearing unfit clothes or shoes that caused you to trip.
- Gather contact detail from witnesses. Restaurants and bars are busy places, so at least one person likely noticed your trip and fall. It’s beneficial to have their details so you can get in touch with them later to support your claim.
- Contact a personal injury solicitor. Do so as soon as possible after the incident. Make sure your legal advisor gets access to all the evidence you gathered. If you need help making a slip, trip or fall claim, you can call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal advisor. Alternatively, you can enter your details to request a callback.
Claims for slips, trips and falls in rented housing
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 has clear guidance about the property owner’s responsibilities, whether a private individual or property company, the local council or a housing association, including social housing.
If you slip and fall in your rented accommodation, you might think there’s no one to blame but yourself, but the landlord may sometimes be held responsible. The owner should fix any problems in your home as soon as is reasonably possible. Proving the landlord was negligent or otherwise failed in their duty of care might lead to a successful injury claim.
Common reasons for slips and falls in a rented property include:
- broken stairs or handrails
- damaged or uneven flooring inside the property or in the communal areas
- wet or slippery floors you were not made aware of
- poor lighting or broken lights the owner failed to replace
If you were injured in your council house or private rental home and believe the landlord might be responsible, you could make a slip, trip or fall claim against them. Determining a landlord’s liability in rented housing might be complex, but a solicitor can help you better assess the situation.
Common injuries caused by slips, trips and falls
Whether caused by uneven pavements, potholes, slippery surfaces or poor lighting, slips, trips and falls occur all the time. The number one cause is poor housekeeping or failure to take necessary safety measures by landlords, employers or business owners.
Some injuries can be minor and heal quickly, like small cuts, bruises or sprains. In more unfortunate situations, you can suffer extensive trauma such as broken bones, head and neck injuries, whiplash, brain damage, lacerations or spinal damage. If you fall from a considerable height, the accident might even be fatal.
Every week in the UK, one person dies from a slip and fall at the workplace. In addition, someone breaks or fractures a bone every 25 minutes.
The most commonly reported injuries after a slip, trip or fall are:
Sprained ankles and wrists.
It might not seem like a severe injury, but a wounded ankle or wrist can majorly disrupt your daily life. You might not be able to move, cook, type or even eat by yourself.
Cuts and bruises.
Any impact caused by a fall is likely to get you at least some minor cuts or bruises. These also need tending to and disinfecting. Sometimes, you might need a tetanus shot or other medication. If the wounds were deep, you might have permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Soft tissue injuries.
Soft tissue injuries after a fall include ligament and muscle sprains or tears. Although some of them heal unattended or with rest and physiotherapy, sometimes you might need further medical treatment.
It’s common to fall on your shoulder after a slip or trip. The shoulder gets easily dislocated because the ball joint of the upper arm sits in a very shallow socket. You might need immediate surgery and an extended recovery period, often between 12 to 16 weeks.
You will likely end up on your knees, especially after a trip. In the best-case scenario, you end up with some scratches or bruising. But the force of this blow could cause a fracture of the kneecap or knee joint, which is a significant injury. You will possibly need surgery and up to three months of recovery.
Hips, wrists and ankles are most likely to suffer fracturing after falling, and the risk increases with the victim’s age. A severe fracture might require surgery and physical therapy. Some people may experience chronic pain and permanent loss of mobility.
Traumatic brain injury.
You may hit your head on the ground or an object while falling. The repercussions can range from minor concussions to hematomas, skull fractures or even brain damage. Some victims endure permanent physical and cognitive limitations. Sometimes the effects might not manifest directly, so it’s vital to consult a doctor promptly if you hit your head during a fall.
How much compensation is my slip, trip or fall injury worth?
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on several factors. This includes the type and severity of your injuries, the impact these injuries have had on your day-to-day life and any financial losses you have suffered.
There are two types of damages for which you can claim compensation, namely general damages and special damages.
General damages cover pain, suffering and loss of amenity. How much compensation you can receive for general damages is based on guidelines provided by The Judicial College.
You can claim compensation for:
- Physical pain and impairment
- Emotional and psychological trauma
- Lower quality of life due to pain, impairment or anxiety
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of a unique career or difficulty finding another job
- Loss of enjoyment, by missing a holiday or leisure time
- Loss of prospects, by having to cancel an important event, such as a wedding, for example
According to the guidelines established by The Judicial College, you could receive the following compensation amounts:
- £90,320 to £127,530 for a severe leg injury
- £2,070 to £379,100 for a head injury
- £12,900 to £65,420 for an ankle injury
- £11,730 to £85,470 for a back injury causing permanent symptoms
- £3,310 to £56,180 for a wrist injury
- £3,710 to £122,860 for hip or pelvis injuries
- £205,580 to £264,650 for moderate brain damage, including partial paralysis
What if your slip, trip or fall has resulted in multiple injuries? In that case, you may receive maximum compensation for the most severe injury and a reduced percentage of the value of your more minor injuries.
You can also make a compensation claim for special damages. These can be more easily summed up and include economic losses and expenses such as:
- Medical examination and treatment
- Hospitalisation, physiotherapy and other rehabilitation
- Transportation costs
- Loss of income if you had to take time off work
- Loss of earning capacity
- Adaptations to your home or car after the accident
In summary, a slip, trip or fall compensation award depends on:
- The severity of your physical and psychological trauma
- Treatment and rehabilitation costs
- Transportation costs related to medical appointments
- Loss of income
- Loss of life quality
Can I make my slip, trip or fall claim on a No Win No Fee basis?
It only takes a few seconds to get injured in a slip or trip accident, but it may have lifelong repercussions. You will need a medical examination even for minor injuries, and the psychological distress might be hard to overcome.
Serious injuries may require hospitalisation, physiotherapy and even surgery. There’s a risk for permanent disfigurement, disability and chronic pain. You may need to take time off work and might never be able to go back to work if your injuries are severe.
You deserve compensation for your pain and suffering and might consider making an injury claim. But spending a lot of money on a personal injury solicitor without the certainty you will win the case may be a concern.
Fortunately, this is where the no win no fee agreement (also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement) can help. With a no win no fee claim, there are no upfront fees to worry about.
A solicitor will first examine your case and decide if you have a good chance of making a successful compensation claim. If they feel you have a strong case for compensation, they will offer you a no win no fee service.
If your slip, trip or fall claim is successful, your injury lawyer will charge you a success fee of up to 25% of the compensation awarded. If your claim fails, you won’t have to pay a penny.
If you have been injured in the last three years without being at fault, you should be eligible to make a No Win No Fee claim. To find more about making a claim, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal advisor.
What evidence do I need to support my compensation claim?
You deserve to be compensated if you were injured in a slip, trip or fall accident and someone else was even partially responsible. But to help secure a successful claim, you should aim to gather all the possible evidence to support your case.
If you have slipped, tripped or fallen at work or in a public place, you should:
- Write down the time, date, and location of your accident and if it happened outside, make a note of the weather conditions.
- Take photos of the accident location and what caused you to slip or trip: wet surfaces, spilt liquids, missing handrails, pavement defects, etc. Photograph the surroundings to show there were no warning signs or proper lighting.
- Take photos of your injuries and your healing process.
- Get the contact details of any witnesses that might give statements to support your case.
- Get the details of the ones responsible for maintaining the area.
- Keep any receipts related to your medical expenses.
- Obtain your medical records from your doctor or the hospital
- Try to get hold of any CCTV footage of the incident when available.
In slip and fall compensation claims, it might be more troublesome to prove negligence. Providing as much evidence and details as possible is a real help in supporting your case.
Sometimes, you may think there is insufficient evidence, but a solicitor may succeed in assembling the proof you need. If you need assistance, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser. Alternatively, you can enter your details to receive a callback.
Is there a time limit for claiming slips, trips and falls compensation?
Under the Limitation Act 1980, you have up to three years from your accident to make a compensation claim.
If symptoms do not appear immediately for any injury or illness related to the incident, the three-year period might begin from the date they were first discovered.
If you’re claiming for a child, you can do so until they turn 18 years old. After this point when the child becomes an adult, they have another three years to make a slip, trip or fall claim in their name.
There are no time limits to claim on behalf of someone who is not mentally capable of doing it on their own. If they regain their mental ability, they can claim compensation at any point.
If a loved one was the victim of a fatal accident, you have three years from the date they died to make a slip or trip compensation claim.
Nevertheless, the recommendation is to start the legal proceedings as soon as possible. This way, all the details are still fresh, and witnesses are more likely to help support your claim. If you cannot remember the circumstances of the incident correctly, this may cast doubt upon the facts, and your case may have less chance of success.
Can I make a slip, trip and fall claim on behalf of someone else?
If a loved one tragically suffered a trip or fall accident and cannot make a claim, you can speak on their behalf. While not legally qualified, you can get designated as a litigation friend to represent someone else’s interests.
The litigation friend has a moral duty to act in the best interests of the claimant. For this, you will need to be appointed by a court. Some of the responsibilities include talking to a solicitor, exchanging information and making critical decisions regarding the case.
Most often, a litigation friend will act on behalf of:
Children under the age of 18.
To claim on behalf of a child, you need to be over 18, preferably one of the parents. The litigation friend could also be a guardian, friend, social worker or close family member. If no one can be suitably appointed, the Official Solicitor can take on the role.
Someone with a pre-existing condition.
A medical or mental health condition might impair the victim’s ability to make a slip, trip or fall claim themselves. Some illnesses that entitle a litigation friend to get appointed are dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and learning disabilities. You can also claim on behalf of someone who suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injuries and individuals with mental health conditions like bipolar disorder or clinical depression.
A deceased person.
You can claim compensation for fatal negligence if you are a dependent of the deceased, including:
- A spouse
- An unmarried partner who lived with the deceased for at least two years
- A direct descendant included adopted children and legal step-children
- Another close relative
- Anyone who was treated as a parent or a child by the deceased
- The victim’s executors or personal representatives
Although claiming on behalf of a deceased loved one will be difficult and not the first thing you would consider, a compensation claim may help ease at least the financial pressures you might be facing due to the accident.
Someone with a language barrier.
You can make a slip or trip claim on behalf of someone whose first language is not English and might have trouble representing themselves. The legal advisor will need their permission before discussing the case with a litigation friend.