Knowledge Base

Public Liability Claims

Public liability claims are a common personal injury claim type in Ireland. Just like most other injury claims, public liability claims must first be submitted to the Injuries Board for assessment.

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2017 Statistics

According to the Injuries Board Annual Report, there were 33,114 applications in 2017, 8,857 of those applications were public liability claims. This means that 27% of all claims submitted to the Injuries Board in 2017 were Public Liability Claims.

What is a Public Liability Claim?

Public liability refers to the duty of care that a government, local or city council, business or property owner has to the public to ensure that the public space they are responsible for is safe for public use.

A public liability claim refers to the type of personal injury claim made against the property owner when a person has been involved in an accident and sustained an injury on property intended for public use.

Types of Public Liability Claims*

Some of the most common public liability claims have been:

  • Footpath Slips, Trips or Falls
  • Supermarket Slips, Trips or Falls
  • Hotel Injury Claim for Slip, Trip or Fall
  • Slip, Trip or Fall in a Bar or Pub
  • Slip Trip or Fall at Work or in the office
  • Personal injuries on a private property
  • Injured at a restaurant/Food poisoning

The most common reasons as to how people are involved in a slip, trip or fall accident in a public place are:

  • Uneven or broken pavements and footpaths leading to personal injury
  • Wet or slippery supermarket or shop floors, due to spillage or cleaning. Where no warning or ‘cleaning in progress’ sign is displayed
  • Tripping on obstacles on the floor, such as cables from electrical units, or boxes left on a floor
  • Trip and fall on stairs due to poor lighting or due to the absence of handrails for balance.
  • Injured on somebody else’s private property due to hazardous conditions.

Public Liability Claim* Time Limits

There are certain time limits in place that tell us if you are eligible to make a claim or not and how long you have to make a claim. If you are outside the legal time limit to make a claim, then you will most likely be unable to make a claim. These time limits are referred to as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for a public liability claim is 2 years less one day from the date of knowledge to bring a claim forward.

What is the Date of Knowledge?

The date of knowledge is the date on which a person became aware they were injured. The date of knowledge can usually be determined when the injured person has knowledge of the following facts:

  • That they had been injured
  • That the injury was significant
  • That the injury was caused by the negligence, nuisance or breach of duty of the party at fault for the accident
  • They know the identity of the party at fault for the accident

In many cases, the date of knowledge will be the date of the accident, however, in cases where a person’s injuries don’t present themselves until sometime after the accident, the date of knowledge may be after the accident happened.

Children and Public Liability Claims*

Where a child has been injured in a public place, they cannot bring a public liability claim forward themselves as they are considered minors. Their time limit of 2 years will begin once they turn 18 years old. However, a parent or guardian may move forward with a public liability claim on the child’s behalf before they reach 18. It is advisable to speak with a solicitor if your child was injured in an accident in a public place.