If you were to suffer an accident on a premises owned by someone else, you would be protected by the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. This Act says that a visitor to a property is owed a ‘duty of care’.
This “is a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there.” If the owner of the property is in breach of this duty of care, then it’s possible to claim for an injury that occurs as a result.
We represented a client who was injured whilst on a day out to a trade fair with his wife. He was browsing the stands when he spotted a golf cart driving at speed in his direction. He moved to get out of the way and avoid a collision but was not able to get away fully. The rear roof support of the cart struck his arm, spinning him around. The cart then drove over his left foot.
As a result of the impact and the twisting of his back our client sustained lower back injuries, left sided hip pain, damage and bruising to his foot and pain from the arm struck by the cart (which also caused a haematoma). He had written letter after letter to the owners of the site asking for an explanation but did not even receive an acknowledgement. Even worse, he discovered that his accident had not been recorded at all!
Frustrated, he contacted us to pursue a claim against the owner of the fair for their breach of the duty of care. We submitted the claim straight to the insurers of the owners who made investigations to determine liability. They accepted the fault of their insured in allowing the golf carts to freely drive around in pedestrian-heavy areas.
Our client’s claim for compensation was successful and he was able to use some of this to pay for the clothes damaged and the chiropractic sessions needed to get him back to where he was.