A slip and trip claim can be more complex to deal with than appears at first glance. The first issue any potential claimant has to overcome is identifying who was at fault for the accident. The chances are that it can be any one of three: an employer (if the accident was on their premises), the owner of the property or even the local authority. In the latter case, this will usually apply to public areas such as a pathway into a park maintained by the local council.

Finding who is responsible for maintaining the area with the trip hazard can be confusing. This is why it’s recommended to seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor when starting out with a slip and trip claim. The area of the law used to deal with the claim will differ depending on who is responsible so it’s important to get this right.

We recently dealt with a client whose slip and trip claim she initially thought would be taken on as an accident at work. She worked at a medical clinic and had descended the steps outside. On the last step, the concrete was cracked and unstable; stepping on to this caused her to trip and suffer a fracture to her ankle.

We submitted the claim to her employers who eventually came back with the news that the area wasn’t theirs to maintain. We discovered that the actual defendants were the owners of the clinic building itself. This shows that it’s often far from clear who is actually liable for a slip and trip accident at first glance – instead of an employers’ liability claim, this was an occupiers’ liability claim which is governed by separate laws.

This claim was eventually settled against the clinic’s insurers and our client received over £4,600 compensation for her fractured ankle injury.