Slip and Trip Claims
Slip and trip claims in the UK relate to legal actions taken by individuals who have suffered injuries due to slipping or tripping on someone else’s property, such as a public place, workplace, or private property. These claims typically fall under the broader category of personal injury claims, and they are governed by specific laws and regulations in the United Kingdom.
There is not a regular source of information that consistently publishes annual figures for specific slip and trip claims, but we do know claims are very costly.
AXA UK state: ‘Slips alone are the costliest type of health and safety claims, totalling £80m a year. For comparison, manual handling injuries amount to £30m in claims.
Aviva quote ‘There are over 100,000 serious slip accidents every year, so managing the slip risk is vital, both in terms of safety and claims defensibility.’
Here are some key points to consider regarding slip and trip claims in the UK:
Duty of Care: Property owners and occupiers have a legal duty of care to ensure that their premises are safe for visitors and employees. This duty includes taking reasonable steps to prevent slips and trips.
Common Causes: Slip and trip accidents can be caused by various factors, such as wet or slippery floors, uneven surfaces, poorly maintained walkways, inadequate lighting, and obstacles in pathways.
Liability: To make a successful slip and trip claim, the injured party generally needs to establish that the property owner or occupier was negligent in maintaining the premises. This means proving that they failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the accident. Have you considered what reasonable measures look like and are you comfortable you could prove this should a slip and trip claim be brought against you?
Evidence: Gathering evidence is crucial for a successful claim. This may include photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, medical records, and any other relevant documentation. Documentation of your slip testing records over time and the actions you have taken to improve or maintain an acceptable risk of slip are key bits of evidence to help you demonstrate reasonable measures have been taken and defend a slip and trip claim.
Time Limits: In the UK, there are time limits for filing personal injury claims. Typically, you have three years from the date of the accident to initiate legal proceedings. It’s essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you intend to make a claim and get further advice on these time frames.
Compensation: If the claim is successful, the injured party may be entitled to compensation for various losses, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other related costs.
Legal Assistance: It’s advisable to consult with a personal injury solicitor or lawyer who specialises in slip and trip claims. They can assess the merits of your case, guide you through the legal process, and represent your interests in negotiations or court if necessary.
Insurance: Property owners often have liability insurance in place to cover such accidents. It is usually the insurance company that pays the compensation if a claim is successful. But there are other costs associated with a slip and trip claim on your premises such as, Time spent investigating, Brand Reputation, Increased insurance premiums, Loss of productivity, Clerical and administration time, Decreased employee morale.
Public Liability and Employer’s Liability: Slip and trip claims can fall under public liability (for accidents in public places) or employer’s liability (for workplace accidents). The specific laws and regulations governing these claims may differ.
Prevention: Property owners and businesses are encouraged to take proactive steps to prevent slip and trip accidents, including regular maintenance, signage, employee training on safety measures and a regular Slip Testing regime. One of the key messages we share with any customers and potential customers is ‘Ignorance is not a defence’.
It’s important to note that each slip and trip claim is unique, and the outcome depends on the specific circumstances and evidence involved.