What are occupiers’ liability claims?
Occupiers’ liability claims arise from accidents that happen on private property or land and typically arise from slipping, tripping or generally hurting ones self on something that is not safe and that is the responsibility of the occupier.
An Example of a common occupiers’ liability claim
An example of this might be slipping on a wet step or flooring in a pub, school or other privately owned establishment. Generally speaking, if the property or land owner has not shown diligence in keeping their environment safe to those using it then there is liability and an occupiers’ liability claim can be made.
Under the occupiers’ liability act 1957, lawful visitors of a premises should expect to be safe when visiting such a site. This law was then extended in 1984 to include unlawful visitors (or trespassers).
How we can help
If you have been injured on someone else’s premises and you believe that they may be liable then please get in touch with one of our friendly claims assistants to determine whether you have a claim. There is no charge for this initial assessment and if you do decide to pursue the claim with us it will more than likely be on a No Win No Fee basis.
Factors to take into consideration when assessing a claims
- Was the occupier aware of the danger
- Have steps been taken by the occupier to negate the possibility of injury
- What was the purpose of the visitor being on the premises
- Were there any signs or notices warning of the danger. How visible were they?
- What was the condition of lighting in the area of danger?
- Were there any barriers or fencing to stop people accessing the area of danger?
- How old was the person that was injured?
Interestingly, the Occupiers’ Liability Act acknowledges that “…an occupier must be prepared for children to be less careful than adults…”
When it comes to occupier’s liability claims, children are treated slightly differently in the assessment stages, as they are obviously less aware of their surroundings and more likely to find themselves in danger if measures have not been taken to prevent such accidents from happening.
How to prevent occupiers’ liability claims from being made against you
As an occupier, there are many things you can do to mitigate the risk of a claim being made against you. Below are some examples:
- If working in a shop or supermarket for example, ensure there is a staff rota for checking the floor for spillages so as to mitigate risks against slip and trip claims. Have all staff trained so that if they spot a spillage they can take immediate action, put a warning sign in the area and clean the spillage up.
- Write a policy and keep records showing that these checks have taken place.
- If a school teacher notices a structural hazard in a classroom, the danger should be flagged immediately and the children removed from the area until the area is repaired and safe again.
- When builders are working on a construction site on a busy street, the owner and contractor have to ensure that any waste or rubble does not fall on people or provide a trip hazard to passers bye.
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