To say being involved in an accident is shocking and frustrating is an understatement. When such an unexpected event occurs, it is normal to feel confused, as it is a scary experience to go through. However, as much as these incidents are avoided and precautions are taken to avoid them, the truth is accidents may still happen, and it is out of a person’s control. Apart from private places, such as restaurants or at the workplace, where this can still occur as much as employers take security measures, it is possible to be involved in a public place as well.
So, in this case, what do you do? Given there is no employer or chain of command where you can go, you may ask yourself if you are eligible to claim compensation. Simply put, yes. If you are injured in a public place, to no fault of your own, because of an unmarked slippery floor, for instance, you have the right to claim compensation for a personal injury.
This being said, there are various steps you need to take before you can file a claim in order to strengthen your case and ensure you receive the proper treatment and fair compensation.
Seek medical attention immediately
No matter the severity of the accident and how minor the injuries seem to be, it is of the utmost importance you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if the injury is insignificant, it is better to rule out any long-term complications than to have your medical situation worsen over time due to unattended injuries. For instance, broken bones need to be treated right away.
In some cases, an external wound that appears minor can be a sign of internal bleeding. This doesn’t mean that any bruise is a sign of something more complicated. But because you are not a medical professional, it isn’t recommended to self-diagnose if the injury doesn’t seem severe. Therefore, if you are involved in a public accident of any kind, call an ambulance and seek medical attention immediately.
Report the accident to the person in charge
It is understandable that you are unsure of who is in charge when it comes to an accident that occurs in a public place. The person responsible for the cause of the accident depends on the location where it happened. So, even if you don’t know where to report the accident as soon as it happens, you can easily find out who is in charge and where to report it.
So, suppose the accident occurred in a location open to the public but which is owned by a private party, such as supermarkets, shopping centers, or cinemas. In that case, you can contact the person in command, a manager, to report the accident. In these places, accidents like slips and falls due to dangerous unmarked areas are one example. On the other hand, you can be involved in an accident to no fault of your own in a public area that a private person does not own. Such an unfortunate event can happen on a public road or near a building in construction without scaffolding. In this case, the local authority is responsible, and that is where you need to report the accident.
Gather evidence to support your case
Before you file for a compensation claim, it would help your case a great deal if you gather some evidence when the accident happens and as soon as you are cleared medically and a medical professional has attended to your injuries. Any type of evidence gathered will strengthen and support your case for compensation. The following are examples of proof you can get yourself from the accident scene:
- Take photographs or videos of the area where the accident happens to showcase no sign or warning was signaling a potential risk;
- Take witness statements from people around who may have seen how the events unfolded and can generate a helpful point of you; Plus, don’t forget to ask for contact details as you may need them later;
- After you report the accident, make sure you have a copy of it so you can present it to the police or use it in your compensation claim.
These steps can build your case and ensure you will receive compensation for personal injury and even emotional distress due to being involved in an accident to no fault of your own.
Prepare a detailed document with relevant information
All the evidence mentioned above should be gathered and documented together to make sure you have as many facts as possible. This will help you organize them and present the events in chronological order, backed up by witnesses at the scene, who corroborate your own statement. It is crucial you do all these steps to ensure your case is sold and you have a chance at getting the compensation you deserve. In the event of you not being able to gather information right after the accident, you may consider asking a friend to help you out.
When you are ready to file a compensation claim, this detailed document containing all the necessary relevant information, from your accident report to the witness statements, can increase your chances of getting compensation. Moreover, experts from Compensation Calculator UK point out that “individuals who are involved in a public place accident to no fault of their own, and suffer a personal injury, as a result, are entitled to claim compensation for physical damage and emotional distress.”
Contact a professional personal injury lawyer
As important and helpful as these steps are in building your case and filing for a compensation claim, you should consider contacting a professional specializing in personal injury matters. Such lawyers are well-trained in helping individuals get the financial help they deserve after being involved in an accident due to the negligence or irresponsibility of a business or institution.
What’s more, while you can gather extremely helpful evidence to help your case, personal injury lawyers can provide professional advice related to what kind of evidence or documentation you need in a situation like this. They even have information such as whether any other previous claims have been made. If there is a precedent, this will undoubtedly support your case even more.