If you’re injured on a business’s property through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to claim compensation for a personal injury on a business property. That’s because business owners have a legal duty of care to try and make their property as safe as possible for any visitors. This article on how to file an injury claim against a business will explain the process you should follow and what any settlement might cover.
To help you understand your options, you can take advantage of a free initial consultation. An advisor will discuss how your accident occurred, review any relevant proof and advise you about what to do next. If the claim appears to have a fair chance of success, it might be taken on by a personal injury lawyer from our panel. If that happens, you won’t need to pay legal fees upfront as you’ll be represented on a No Win, No Fee basis.
To see if you can claim for a personal injury on business property, please contact us on 0800 652 1345 today. Alternatively, you can find out more about the claims process throughout the rest of this article.
The law regarding business property
The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 is an important piece of legislation when claiming compensation for a personal injury on business property. That’s because it explains the occupier’s duty of care towards visitors.
Section 2 (2) states that: “the common duty of care” is to see that visitors will be “reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes of which [they] are invited or permitted by the occupier”.
Essentially, that means if you are given permission to be on a business property, or where permission is not needed (for shops, gyms and other public places for example), the business must do all it can to ensure that you’re as safe as possible.
If you decide to claim compensation following an accident on business property, you won’t need to become an expert in the relevant legislation as that will be handled by your solicitor. However, you can help improve the chances of being compensated by providing proof to show how the accident happened. We’ll consider this in more detail later on.
Types of business properties
When we refer to business property in relation to personal injury claims, we mean anywhere a member of the public can access without permission or somewhere that you are allowed to visit as a member or because you work there. Examples of the types of business property where you could claim for a personal injury include:
- Gyms, soft play areas and leisure centres.
- Shops, supermarkets and shopping centres.
- Train and bus stations.
- Council buildings including town halls.
- Amusement parks.
- Doctors surgeries and hospitals.
- Banks and post offices.
- Cinemas, bowling alleys and arcades.
It’s important to note that the business property can include the car park, waiting areas and lobby.
Can I claim compensation for a personal injury on a business property?
To assess how you were injured at a business and whether a claim is feasible, we’ll check whether:
- The business property owner or occupier breached their duty of care towards you; and
- An accident resulted from that negligence; and
- You sustained a personal injury or were made ill.
As you can’t make a personal injury claim simply because you had an accident on a business’s property, you must show, for example, that they could’ve foreseen the accident but failed to put in measures to prevent it (i.e. they were negligent).
Common accidents on business property
In this section, we’ll look at some common types of accidents on business property and explain the forms of negligence that might allow you to claim compensation.
Slips, trips and falls
You could claim if you injure yourself on business property in a slip and fall caused by:
- Leaks or spillages that were not cleared up properly.
- Torn, raised or damaged carpets.
- Broken handrails on staircases.
- Wet floors due to recent cleaning without any warning signs.
- Potholes, raised tarmac or missing kerbstones in the company’s car park.
It might be possible to claim for injuries caused by:
- A collapsing chair.
- Damaged tables with jagged edges.
- Broken glass in windows or show cubicles.
Being struck by falling objects
If you were hit by a falling object on business premises you could make a personal injury claim if the accident happened because:
- Items were stacked unsafely or too high.
- The item fell from damaged or insecure shelving.
- The item was dropped by a member of staff who didn’t look beneath them.
Burns and scalds
You may be entitled to compensation for burns or scalds caused by:
- Staff carrying too much food or drink.
- A faulty thermostat on a hotel shower for example.
- Damaged equipment including hair dryers or electric heaters.
These are just some examples of the reasons why you may be entitled to claim compensation for a personal injury on business property. Please feel free to call and discuss your accident even if it’s not listed here.
Common personal injuries on business properties
Before reviewing the types of negligence and accidents on business properties that might lead to personal injury claims, let’s look at some common injuries compensation is claimed for. They include:
If you’ve been injured on business property and would like to seek damages for your suffering, please let us know and we’ll consider your options for free.
What to do after a personal injury on business property
It’s fair to say that at the time you are injured, you probably won’t give much thought to making a personal injury claim. However, if you take the following actions, you could secure the evidence needed to help you win compensation for your injuries:
- Report the incident.It is important to file a written report of the incident with the manager of the premises. This is most important so there is a record of the incident, which makes it difficult for the business owner to later deny that it ever took place. Keep a copy of the report. You will need it when you are filing your claim.
- Get photographs of the scene. Photographs of the scene will act as visual proof of what caused you to get injured, whether it was a wet floor, uneven surface or broken furniture.
- Get contact details of witnesses to the accident. Witnesses can help corroborate your story and strengthen your case. Getting contact details of all others around who witnessed the incident is a good idea just in case you need them to provide a statement during the litigation.
- Seek medical help. It is always advisable to seek medical attention after an accident so that you can receive timely treatment for your injuries. If necessary, your solicitor will use your medical records to prove the extent of your suffering.
- Keep a record of all medical and other expenses. Keeping a record of all expenses related to the injury and treatment such as travel bills and other miscellaneous expenditures is advisable as these could be included in a compensation payout.
- Request CCTV footage. Even though you’re claiming against them, the business owner may supply you with a copy of any relevant CCTV footage of the accident if a) the area was covered by security cameras and b) the data has not been deleted (so act quickly here).
- Seek legal advice. If you decide to claim compensation for a personal injury on business property, we believe you’ll have a higher chance of winning compensation if you take on legal representation. Therefore, please feel free to contact our advice centre with any questions.
How much compensation for injury on a business property?
Personal injury claims for accidents on business property are designed to cover any suffering you’ve endured (general damages) and any financial losses (special damages).
The amount you’ll claim will depend on your level of suffering but, in principle, successful claims could include compensation to cover:
- Physical pain when the accident happened and any suffering during your recovery.
- Psychological trauma (anxiety, distress etc).
- Loss of earnings as well as future losses.
- Medical expenses such as the cost of physiotherapy.
- Loss of enjoyment of your normal activities and hobbies.
- Care costs.
- Travel expenses.
- Replacement costs for property damaged during your accident.
- Adaptations to your home to make things easier if you’re left with any form of disability.
To try and ensure that you are compensated fully for your suffering, your solicitor will try to get a full understanding of the impact of your injuries before sending the claim to the defendant.
How will a solicitor know how I’ve suffered?
So that your solicitor knows how you’ve suffered and how much compensation to claim, an independent medical assessment will usually be arranged for you. This will help to identify how seriously you’ve been injured, and how else you’ve been affected. Our solicitors always try to reduce your travelling times by making local appointments.
During your meeting, a medical expert will review any medical records, speak with you about your injuries and examine them. After they’ve finished, they’ll prepare a report for your solicitor to explain how you’ve suffered. This report can be used as a basis for the amount of compensation you’ll claim.
Claiming compensation for a child injured on business property
Legally, your child cannot make a personal injury claim until their 18th birthday. However, as they might require compensation to help them recover before that date, a parent or guardian could become their litigation friend and process the claim on their behalf.
A litigation friend can liaise with solicitors and make decisions once approved by the courts. If the claim is won and compensation is agreed upon, the court will check that the amount paid is fair. They will retain the funds in a court account until the child is 18 but funds may be released before them if they directly benefit the child.
Personal injury claims time limits
If you decide to sue a company after being injured on its property, you’ll have 3 years to do so. On most occasions, this period will begin from the date of your accident (except for child personal injury claims).
If you do proceed with a claim, it’s best not to wait until the last minute. That’s because you and your solicitor will need time to collect proof and to attend medical assessments.
No Win, No Fee claims
Our solicitors operate on a No Win, No Fee basis for any personal injury claim they accept. That means no legal fees are requested upfront and you don’t pay any if you aren’t awarded compensation.
During your claim, your solicitor will handle as much of the workload as possible. This means that their main priorities will be to:
- Secure the proof needed to support your claim.
- Communicate with the defendant on your behalf.
- Attempt to counter any objections raised by the defendant’s insurers.
- Try to negotiate the maximum compensation possible in your case.
If your claim is won, a success fee of up to 25 per cent of your compensation will be deducted. So that you know how much you’ll pay, your success fee (which is capped by law) will be listed in the agreement.
Start a claim for a personal injury on business property today
If you have decided that it’s time to take the next step, please give us a call on 0800 652 1345 to begin your claim. There’s no obligation to proceed but we’ll give you free legal advice and review your options for whatever you decide to do next.
If you work with one of our solicitors, they’ll manage your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis so you’ll know that you don’t need to pay any legal fees if the claim fails.
For any immediate questions on filing an injury claim against a business, please make use of our free live chat service.