What is Occupiers’ Liability?

If you suffer an accident or injury on privately owned premises in the United Kingdom, you may be entitled to compensation.

Anyone who occupies a property carries a duty of care to anyone that visits it. Occupiers’ liability refers to this duty and it applies to any owned or rented space that welcomes guests.

If an injury is suffered on premises that are deemed dangerous or unsafe, a claim can be made on the grounds of an occupier’s negligence.

Ross Aldridge Solicitors are based in Cheltenham and offer helpful guidance and vast experience on the matter of occupiers’ liability.

Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957

The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 was put in place to provide all lawful entrants on privately owned premises with the same common duty of care. This duty does not fall exclusively on the owner of the property, but on the person who could have prevented the harm.

Laws were updated in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984 when the House of Lords decided a similar duty was owed to trespassers.

Common Accidents that Fall Under Occupiers’ Liability

Accidents that fall under occupiers’ liability can occur in shops, restaurants, supermarkets, car parks and any privately owned premises. Some common injuries can arise from:

  • Slips brought about by spills or wet surfaces.

  • Trips due to obstacles or uneven floors in walking spaces.

  • Structural damage such as a crumbling wall in disrepair.

  • Unfit machinery such as malfunctioning elevators and electronic doors.

Because these accidents are highly preventable, there is a responsibility on the occupier to minimise the risk of their occurrence.

Children and Occupiers’ Liability

Owners must take extra care when children visit their property as they tend not to act with as much caution as an adult in public. Many accidents that fall under occupiers’ liability involve children.

If a child suffers an accident or injury on private premises, a parent or guardian can make a claim for them.

I was Injured on Private Property, Am I Entitled to Compensation?

If an occupier’s negligence caused you to suffer an accident or injury on private premises, you may be entitled to compensation.

Accidents may result in medical expenses and, if the injured party is forced to miss workdays involuntarily, a loss of earnings.

It is important to act quickly in the aftermath of an accident that is not your fault in order to give yourself the best chance of making a successful claim. There are several immediate steps that are worth taking:

  1. Seek medical attention – the claimant’s health must take priority. Assess the injury and seek appropriate care from a medical professional. If the injury is serious, contact an ambulance immediately. In the event of a minor injury, it is still recommended you go to A&E or to your local GP for an evaluation.
  2. Report the accident to the occupier – obtain the contact details of the owner or occupier of the premises. Source as much information as possible, including potential details of their public liability insurance.
  3. Sign the accident report – find out if the premises’ occupiers keep an accident book and, if they do, document the incident. At the very least, ensure the incident is recorded and some form of accident report is retained. Obtain a copy of the accident report if possible.
  4. Find witnesses – obtain the contact details of anyone that observed your injury. Witness testimony can be very helpful in the filing a successful claim.
  5. Document the incident – find out if any CCTV footage of your accident exists. If possible, take photographs of the area in which the injury occurred. Document your injuries with photographs of its initial state and its development over the following days.
  6. Record loss of earnings – keep track of any events in the aftermath of your accident. Record any expenses you incur as well as any lost earnings from time spent out of work.
  7. Seek legal guidance – make contact with an experienced solicitor’s office. Ross Aldridge Solicitors are based in Cheltenham and offer expert legal guidance on making a claim. Email us on enquiries@ra-sol.com or phone 0800 0270 370.

How do I Make an Occupiers’ Liability Claim in the United Kingdom?

If you were a visitor on private premises and suffered an accident or injury that was not your fault, Ross Aldridge Solicitors can help in assessing your basis for a successful claim.

We provide vast experience on issues involving occupiers’ liability. The sooner you make contact following an accident, the better chance you have of receiving compensation.

Ross Aldridge Solicitors are based in Cheltenham and operate on a no win, no fee basis. Email enquiries@ra-sol.com or phone 0800 0270 370 for further help.

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