An accident on private property is an incident that occurs on property or land that is privately owned. As a busy personal injury solicitors firm Mooneerams also gets asked to handle personal injury claims resulting from Accidents in Public Places.
On the one hand, the two types of accidents seem to be the exact opposite of each other; one happens in public places, the other on privately owned land. However, the types of injuries and the kinds of accidents that cause them are often the same in both cases, with trip, slip and fall accidents a common occurrence whether it leads to an injury on private property or an injury on public property.
When you are a visitor on private land, the owner, often through an agent, is responsible for your safety whilst you are on his land or property. We say the owner owes you a ‘duty of care’ to keep you safe.
However, his duty is to do all that can be reasonably expected to ensure you come to no harm whilst you are on his property. It doesn’t mean that owners of private property owe you an absolute duty of care, howsoever you suffer a personal injury on private property. You have to prove the accident was the owner’s fault and that he failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent it.
Many accidents on private land are caused by a failure to keep the land or property safe by identifying possible or very real hazards and taking action to eliminate them.
If you have been injured on private property in an accident and the circumstances suggest it might not have been your fault (but you aren’t sure), you should call a specialist personal injury solicitor like those at the award-winning personal injury firm of Mooneerams Solicitors.
You’ll get free, no-obligation initial advice on whether you can claim compensation. Mooneerams are on 029 2048 3615 if you want to call now and speak with someone from our friendly personal injury team. See if you have a valid claim.
If you have reasonable prospects of making a successful personal injury compensation claim, Mooneerams will be delighted to handle the claim for you. However, who you choose to deal with your claim is entirely your choice. Mooneerams won’t put any pressure on you.
Can you give some examples of different types of accidents on private property you can help with?
The key is that it’s an accident on land or property owned by a company, a partnership, or a private individual. Some examples of where you might get injured on private property and have a claim for personal injury compensation against the owners of private property or land include, where:
- You are scalded by a waiter in a restaurant who spills hot coffee over you
- You fall down the stairway in a privately owned block of flats because the stairs are in a dangerous condition
- You trip over a faulty flagstone or damaged flooring on a privately owned outdoor space
- You suffer a slip, trip, or fall on someone’s driveway
However, some other types of accidents on private land that you might not readily think of as giving rise to a claim include the following:
- getting injured in an attack by an animal on private land
- an injury caused by faulty equipment on private land
- suffering injury in an accident at the house of someone you are visiting
Is the property owner always the person liable
The truth is that private liability accidents can take place on any type of premises that are privately owned. If fault for the accident can be proved to lie with the property owner, then it will be possible to claim compensation for the injury caused.
So, is the property owner always responsible for an accident on his land or property?
No, for two reasons:
- Not every accident where someone is injured on private land (or anywhere else for that matter) is the fault of someone other than the injured person. It’s important to remember that people do suffer injury as a result of accidents that were entirely their own fault. For example, if you fall downstairs at a private property because you were clumsy or drunk, you probably wouldn’t be able to claim because no -one else was to blame other than you.
(However, even if you were clumsy or drunk, if the staircase was defective and it can be proved the defect played a part in the accident, it doesn’t mean just because you’d drunk too much or were a bit clumsy, that you don’t have a claim – you may well do. Don’t just assume the accident was your fault; call Mooneerams on 029 2048 3615 and talk to one of our experienced personal injury solicitors to get some initial free legal advice.)
- The other reason why the property owner might not always be legally responsible for an accident on his property is when the property is let to another business or organisation. Much will depend on the nature of the agreement between the business owner and the landlord (property owner) regarding who is responsible for maintenance and repairs. Likewise, the nature of the accident will have a bearing on where the responsibility for the accident lies.
For instance, if you slip and fall due to spilt coffee on the floor in a coffee shop, whose owners rent the property from a landlord/owner, the fault for not mopping up the spillage straightaway will almost always rest with the café owner.
What should I do if I suffer personal injury in an accident that wasn’t my fault whilst on private property?
- Your first priority is to get treatment for your injuries. So do whatever you need to do to get prompt treatment for the injury you suffer. This may entail going (or being taken) to A&E, or getting treatment from a qualified first aider at the company that owns or runs the business where you were injured. It might be you may need to make an appointment with your GP at the first opportunity. Make sure you treat your injury as the most important matter to attend to after the accident.
- Report the incident and your injuries. Who you report it to depends on where the accident took place. if you are visiting someone’s house, it will be the house owner, but if it happens whilst at a shop, café, theme park, farm shop or other business, you will want to report it to the highest level of management you can.
- Take photos of the scene of the accident as soon after the incident occurs as possible.
- Write down the name and contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident.
- If you decide to bring a personal injury claim, get in touch with Mooneerams solicitors on 029 2048 3615 or contact us online, and we’ll get back to you when it suits you best for us to do so.
The general rule is that adults have three years to start a personal injury claim, but for the exceptions to the rule, see our accident advice centre, which answers many of the general questions you may have about making a personal injury claim.
At Mooneerams, we handle most accidents on private property injury claims on a No Win No Fee basis.
For more on the law relating to accidents on private property, see The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and in respect of health and safety legislation, see the HSE website