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A drain/manhole cover accident claim arises when a person is injured in a public place* usually where a council or local authority failed to fix a defective or broken manhole cover or drain cover in a reasonable amount of time or where construction workers fail to section off areas where they have removed manhole covers or failed to put them back when their work was done.Tell Us About Your Case
Most of the time, it is pedestrians who are involved in these accidents but they can also cause damage to vehicles and in some cases, drivers can sustain injuries. It is not uncommon for an employee to injure themselves due to an uncovered manhole or drain where adequate warning signs were not present. If you have sustained an injury following an accident it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible as your medical records will be needed when pursuing legal action.
When making any kind of personal injury claim* it is important to determine who is liable for the cause of the accident. Following an accident in a public place it is likely that the local Council or Authority is responsible for the cause where the accident happened in a public place*. Councils and local authorities may be held liable in cases where it can be proven that they did not adhere to the duty of care expected of them. They should ensure that they are regularly maintained and check for any potential hazards or issues. Failing to do this may be seen as breach in their duty of care.
It is important to note that if you have sustained an injury on privately-owned land, it is the responsibility of the occupier of the property to ensure that there are no potential hazards which could cause an accident to occur. If it is found that the accident happened as a result of negligence on their part then they will be seen as liable for the accident under the Occupiers’ Liability Act.
If you sustained injuries throughout the course of your work it is likely that your employer may be found liable as they are responsible for your health and safety while at work.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995 states that the occupier of premises owes a duty of care towards any visitors. They should show a reasonable duty of care to ensure that they maintain the premises so that health and safety is the number one priority. They should put necessary precautions in place to make sure that nobody sustains an injury on their property. All occupiers are required to carry out regular maintenance within the boundaries of their property so as to reduce the chances of an accident occurring and to ensure that the site is safe and free from defects. This is known as occupiers’ liability. If an occupier has acted in a negligent manner which has led to the cause of the injury then a claim can be made against them.
All landowners are expected to be aware of any potential hazards and dangers. There should also be necessary precautions in place on how to act on any issues that may arise. If an occupier has failed to maintain a safe environment then they are likely to be seen as liable. It is important to note that, in any case, if it is found that the injured person contributed to the cause of their injuries, through contributory negligence, then they may not be eligible to make a claim.
Covers which are incorrectly placed are a common cause of trip and fall accidents. It is important that these covers are checked regularly to reduce the chances of an injury being sustained.
It is important that the correct covers are used to reduce the risk of accidents occurring involving both pedestrians and vehicles. If an unsuitable cover is placed on the drain or manhole it is more likely that an accident will occur as the cover will not do the job intended.
Open drain or manhole covers are the leading cause of this type of accident as people may not be aware of the potential hazard unless they are clearly informed of this. If there are any unmarked or open covers, people should be advised of this. It is important that clear signage is used and that people are given notice of this in good time.
Raised surfaces are a common hazard associated with trip and fall accidents. People are unlikely to see this small step and may trip and fall leading to injuries being sustained.
It is up to either the Local Council or land owner to keep up the maintenance of drain and manhole covers. If they are poorly maintained they are likely to become rusty and become a potential hazard to pedestrians.
Following an accident in a public place*, there are a number of steps you should follow:
Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after a public place accident*, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries and seek the relevant medical attention. If you have sustained a serious injury ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.
For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.
If you have an accident in a public place* it is important to report it to the persons who are in charge of the upkeep of property.
Examples of such are:
If possible, try to collect the contact details of anybody that witnessed the accident. This may be of good use if you do decide to pursue a public place accident claim*. It is also useful to find out if there is any CCTV in the area where the accident happened.
It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:
If you are considering moving forward with a public place accident claim* for any personal injuries sustained it is advisable that you speak with a public place accident claims solicitor* as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. A public place accident solicitor* can help you in preparing your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.
It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.
Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist public place accident* solicitor to help you with this.
When you decide you want to move forward with your public place accident claim* it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:
As a solicitor is aware of the public place accident claim* process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.
One of the most important document in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or Hospital details so he can obtain a report on your injuries. This report will then be used to allow us progress your case.
As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your public place accident claim* will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. You solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move the next steps.
At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:
a. If both you and your employer accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.
b. If either you or your employer reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.
Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.
Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus of your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.
At Tracey’s we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your public place accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email email@example.com to tell us about your case.
We aim to provide clear and independent legal advice and achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.
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If you are to proceed with a public place accident claim* you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.
General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a public place accident*.
Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the public place accident*, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages
The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases* is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident* to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.Learn more about Time Limits
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