Trip Slip Fall Solicitors - Injury Compensation Claim Lawyers

LAWYER HELPLINE: 1800 339 958

Trips, slips and falls in the workplace are extremely common and account for several thousand reported cases of moderately severe injury (including some fatalities) in Australia every year. Trip slip or fall work accident compensation claims fall into several broad categories, the major three being defective premises, tripping and falling over a hazard on the floor including debris with slipping and falling on liquid spilled on the floor causing almost as many injuries. Tripping and slipping accident compensation claims for personal injury are not just restricted to industrial locations and are just as likely to occur in the relatively clean environment of an office. Typical injuries include sprains, fractures, concussion and other head injuries together with cuts, bruises and grazes. If you need advice from a trip slip fall accident solicitor just call the helpline.

If you are injured on somebody else’s premises in a tripping or slipping accident, the occupier of the property may be liable to pay you compensation for your accident. This area of law is known as public liability or occupier’s liability. Our personal injury solicitors can assist you in making a public liability claim, and in most cases, on a No Win No Fee basis. Speak with one of our trip slip fall solicitors today for obligation-free legal advice about your legal rights. Call our legal helpline or complete the Contact Form for legal assistance.

An individual has a duty to take reasonable care when walking however owners and occupiers of property have a duty of care to ensure that their premises are of obstruction, clean and safe to use in a normal manner by those who are invited onto the premises. If the owner or occupier has breached their duty of care to the public and you have been injured as a result then your lawyer will be able to make a slip trip fall accident claim.

Duty of Care

Employers have a legal duty to take care of the health and safety of employees whilst at work. There are regulations about the working environment which must be properly lit, have unobstructed access and egress with no obstructions or debris on the floors which must be level and in good condition with no holes, cracks or ruts. Staircases must have a substantial handrail and there should be an adequate cleaning regime to take care of debris and spills. If the employer fails in these duties which are legal requirements, then a trip slip or fall accident solicitor can take legal action in a compensation claim for personal injury based on negligence is likely to succeed.

Contributory Negligence

The amount of personal injury compensation that you will be entitled to will depend on the extent of your injuries and disabilities and the degree of responsibility or blame that can be attributed to the potential defendant. Your lawyer will advise you on contributory negligence.

    If the accident was entirely the fault of another person, you will be awarded the full amount of compensation for your injuries.

    If the accident was partially your fault, you may still be entitled to some compensation (a reduced amount) for your injuries.

    If the accident was entirely your own fault, you will not have a claim for compensation for personal injury.

Public Liability Law

Occupier’s liability or public liability law is concerned with the liability to compensate persons injured on premises because of the premises' dangerous condition. Public liability law is governed by both legislation and the common law. It is a sub-set of the law of negligence.

An occupier is the person who has occupation or control of the premises. The entrant is the person who enters the property. Under the law of negligence, occupier’s have a duty of care to take care of entrants. The law requires that the occupier must take reasonable care to all entrants of the premises both in respect of the static condition of the premises and activities carried out on the premises. They must protect the entrant from risks of injury which can be foreseen and avoided including tripping and slipping accidents that result in falls.

The factors which the common law takes into account in determining whether an occupier has discharged their duty of care include :-

  • the nature of the land or premises entered
  • the nature and extent of the danger

The standard of care required will take into account factors such as age, sobriety, the knowledge or familiarity of the danger and/or premises on the part of the occupier and the entrant and the possibility of inadvertent or negligent conduct on the part of entrants.

Legislation in some States lists matters which are relevant in determining whether an occupier has discharged the duty of care. The relevant matters vary but include the circumstances of the entry, the gravity and likelihood of the probable injury, the nature of the premises, the burden on the occupier of eliminating the danger, the age of the entrant and their ability to appreciate the danger. In some jurisdictions, legislative provisions remove liability for harm suffered as a result of an inherent risk, or an obvious risk of a dangerous recreational activity.

Compensation Claims

To establish a case for compensation, the plaintiff (the injured person) must prove negligence on the part of the defendant (the occupier). This means proving that the occupier owed a duty of care to the entrant; that the occupier breached their duty of care; and as a result the plaintiff has suffered damage.

The amount of compensation that you would be entitled to claim would depend on the severity of your injuries and resulting disabilities. If negligence is proven in a trip, slip, fall claim, you may be able to recover compensation for :-

  • medical expenses such a doctor’s fees
  • cost of surgery
  • cost of medication
  • physiotherapy
  • equipment aids
  • nursing and attendant care
  • cost of domestic assistance
  • loss of income
  • loss of earning capacity
  • pain and suffering
  • loss of enjoyment of life

Most public liability claims settle out of court through alternative dispute resolution (such as settlement conferences, mediation or arbitration) without the need to resort to costly litigation.

Evidence

Evidence a slip trip fall accident Solicitor needs to substantiate a compensation claim :-

  • Take photographs of the site of your downfall. Ensure that all photographs are dated. Photos can be useful in proving attempted repairs by highway authorities.
  • Take photographs of any warning signs.
  • Take the name, address and telephone number of any potential witnesses.
  • Keep the shoes that you were wearing and place them inside a plastic bag.
  • If you slipped on a substance, bag it and ze it.
  • Make a handwritten record of the event. The sooner the better as memories fade with the passage of time.
  • Visit your doctor or a hospital to document any injuries and take photographs of any visible injury.
  • Keep a diary of your symptoms from time to time, and the places you attend for medical treatment, examination.
  • Record all expenses related to your injuries and property damage and if possible retain any receipts.

Trip Slip Fall Solicitors

Not all trip slip or fall work accident compensation claims will succeed, especially if the claimant was totally to blame for their own injuries however if the incident was either wholly or partly the fault of the employer then damages should be payable. If you have been injured as a result of negligence by an employer or a co-worker, our trip slip fall accident solicitors are able to make a personal injury compensation claim on a no win no fee basis. If you would like advice at no cost just complete the contact form or email our offices or call the helpline and a lawyer will telephone to give information on how to protect your legal right to claim compensation with no further obligation.

Public liability law is a specialist area of personal injury law. A solicitor who specialises in public liability claims is the best person to advise you of your rights to compensation following a tripping or slipping accident. Public liability law is a difficult area, governed by common law and legislation. A specialist solicitor will obtain and review all the necessary evidence in your case and advise you of the likelihood of winning your case and the amount of compensation that you could be awarded.

Before seeing a solicitor you should of course seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible, and advise your treating doctor how you were injured. Keep records and receipts of all of your medical bills and related expenses, and the dates of each of your medical appointments. Take photos of your injuries and of the premises where you were injured (if possible). Gathering this evidence is important whilst it is still available. You may also wish to keep a diary noting any time off work and any assistance you have received with domestic duties (housekeeping, cleaning, gardening) that you are unable to carry out due to your injuries.

Speak with a lawyer as soon as you can after a trip, slip or fall that results in personal injury. Time limits apply in making compensation claims so it is important that get competent legal advice in a timely manner. Failure to do so may mean that you lose your rights to making a compensation claim. It costs you nothing to have a chat with one of our solicitors. If after speaking with one of our public liability solicitors you decide to pursue a compensation claim, you may be eligible for legal representation on a No Win No Fee basis. Contact us today to find out more.

Our public liability solicitors have extensive experience in obtaining compensation for clients who have been injured in trip, slip, fall and other accidents on private and public property including :-
  • shopping centres
  • supermarkets
  • sports grounds, courts, arenas and ovals
  • playgrounds, parks and gardens
  • school yards
  • theatres and cinemas
  • skating rink
  • railway stations
  • airports
  • hotels
  • restaurants
  • hospitals
  • planes
  • boats
  • trains
  • buses
  • gyms
  • residential accidents
  • construction sites

Types of Accidents

Potential hazards on premises that could result in personal injury from trips. slipsd or falls include :-

  • slip and trip hazards (e.g. food or liquid spillages, untidy floors & slippery surfaces)
  • falling tree limbs or branches
  • exposed wires, electric cables and risk of electrocution
  • faulty automatic doors
  • poor lighting or no lighting
  • uneven or damaged surfaces (e.g. uneven footpaths and paving, torn carpet)
  • inadequate signage in car parks
  • protruding/sunken drains
  • damaged or unstable seating
  • overloaded, broken or unstable displays
  • shopping trolleys with damaged wheels, handles or wire frames
  • stairs (broken steps, slippery surface, lack of handrails)
  • escalators with faulty step gaps, comb plates and handrails
  • faulty lifts; doors not working properly
  • unsafe track and playground equipment
  • dog attacks

Types of Injuries

A slip, trip, fall accident can result in a range of physical injuries including :-

  • brain injury
  • skull fracture
  • spinal injury
  • bone fractures
  • dislocations
  • bruising
  • wounds
  • strains and sprains
  • lacerations
  • internal bleeding
  • organ damage

Other types of injuries relating to public liability claims include :-

  • burns from electrocution
  • wounds from dog attacks
  • back injury and other injuries from faulty gym equipment (in this case a product liability claim may be appropriate)

Injuries may be short term or result in long-lasting effects and permanent disabilities. Some people will also suffer from psychological trauma such as depression or anxiety. In severe cases a person may need ongoing medical treatment, nursing care and psychological support. Their ability to work may be affected and they may therefore suffer from loss of income or earning capacity.

Common Injuries caused by Trips, Slips, and Falls

It is the responsibility of stores, corporations and public buildings like schools to make sure that the floors aren’t slippery, that there is proper snow removal and protection against ice and that the physical outlay of the building is such that patrons don’t trip over anything and hurt themselves. If a patron falls and injures themselves while at their facility, the owners of the facility can be held liable for the injury and must pay for the medical bills and other monetary and non-monetary losses the patron incurred as a result of the slip, trip or fall.

There are several common injuries that can happen in a trip, slip or fall. The patron may fall forward and strike their face. This can lead to a nasal bone fracture, fractures of the nasal septum and fractures of the face itself. Facial fractures are generally severe and may involve maxillofacial surgery. Facial fractures and nasal fractures can change the shape of the face on a permanent basis unless treated with a maximum amount of attention by skilled doctors and surgeons.

The patron may slip and fall back, hitting their head. This can involve a frontal hit or a rear hit, depending on how the patient falls. Such a person might lose consciousness for a minute or so and will sustain a concussion. A concussion is a self-limited brain injury that causes headaches, memory loss, dizziness and loss of balance. These symptoms often last for several days, with some symptoms lasting a long time after the trauma.

A head injury in a fall can be more severe than a simple concussion. Loss of consciousness can be more prolonged and the patron may develop an epidural haematoma or subdural haematoma. Both of these represent bleeding on the brain but an epidural haematoma is usually an arterial bleed that bleeds briskly, while the subdural haematoma is usually a venous bleed that bleeds more slowly. Both increase the amount of pressure on the brain causing a contusion to the brain and increased pressure. The increased pressure can cause death due to herniation of the brain into the base of the skull. Emergency surgery can circumvent major complications. Even with evacuation of the haematoma, there can be residual brain injury that may be long lasting.

The individual can fracture their skull and can get a brain contusion or bruise on the brain. The fractured skull usually heals without difficulty although surgery may be recommended. The brain contusion represents permanent brain injury that can require long term treatment and physical therapy.

A common injury in a trip, slip or fall is a wrist fracture. The fracture can be a simple break in the radius and ulna but often the fracture is angulated, with the distal part of the wrist tipped up above the proximal part. This is called a Colles’ fracture and requires surgery or closed reduction of the fracture so that the wrist is straight again. A cast for six weeks or so is recommended. Long term complications include pain and arthritis in the affected wrist.

Hip fractures are especially prevalent in trips, slips and falls, particularly in women or in the elderly population. Hip fractures can happen in falls when the bone density of the patron is especially low, as is seen in osteoporosis. Hip fractures show up as extreme pain in the hip and inability to walk. They are almost always treated surgically with open reduction and internal fixation of the fractured hip. Therapy is necessary for at least six weeks so that the patient can learn how to walk normally. Many need cans for a long period of time, if not indefinitely.

Fractures of the pelvis are possible with a trip, slip, or fall. The pelvis is normally a series of strong bones that form the seat or base of the intestinal cavity. In those with osteoporosis, though, the pelvis can fracture in one or more places and can be associated with a hip fracture. Pelvic fractures cause pain and disability but only sometimes do they need surgical intervention.

A slip, trip or fall with a twisting of the lower extremity can lead to a sprained or fractured ankle. This usually involves a fracture of the distal fibula although the distal tibia can be involved in serious cases. When the tibia is involved, the weight bearing part of the leg is disrupted and surgery may be indicated along with prolonged use of a cast or cast boot. These are painful fractures that usually result in normal ability to walk at the end of the treatment time.

If the individual falls on an outstretched hand and the wrist does not break, the force is drawn upward so that elbow fractures, forearm fractures and shoulder fractures are possible. If the person falls on the shoulder, a dislocation of the shoulder without a fracture can occur. These are very painful and require urgent relocation in an emergency room. Some dislocated shoulders are extremely difficult to reduce while the patient is awake. In such cases, the person will receive general anaesthesia and the shoulder will reduce much easier.

Slips, trips and falls can also result in spasms of the back or neck. Many of these people have normal x-rays and have connective tissue and muscle disease. Their pain can be as severe as a fracture and there is often sever muscle spasm in the upper or lower back. These people respond best to physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, anti-spasmodic medication and/or chiropractic treatment.

LAWYER HELPLINE: 1800 339 958