Usually claims for slips and trips are based on skewed kerbs, loose paving stones and other solid aspects of the environment, so you might think that getting tripped by a plastic carrier bag wasn’t something you could take action about. In reality, the situation is more complicated. Landowners, both public and private, have a responsibility to maintain areas open to the public in good condition. That means keeping them free of litter, especially if that litter could be dangerous. If they’ve neglected that duty, you could claim compensation for injuries suffered as a result.
What to do
A claim of this sort will stand a better chance of success if it can be shown that there was an ongoing problem with litter in the area where the accident happened. If you know people who live near the area, ask them if they’ve noticed a lot of litter there before and if they would be willing to make statements about it. Don’t try to collect statements yourself—just get their details and a solicitor will be able to take care of that for you.
If you can, take photographs of the area to show the litter problem. It’s also a good idea to get photographs of your injuries and you should see a doctor so that you have formal confirmation. In some cases an independent medical assessment is also needed but this can be arranged for you by a solicitor.
Is it worth claiming?
The amount you are likely to get from a claim will depend on the severity of your injuries and your emotional suffering. You can use the claims calculator on the Accident Advice Helpline site to get a rough idea of what you might be entitled to, and when you call our helpline our staff will be able to clarify that for you. Our lines are open 24/7 so you can call whenever it’s practical for you. Our highly trained advisors are used to handling accident claims so they understand that the process can be stressful. They’ll be sympathetic and will never put any pressure on you—if you decide you don’t want to go ahead, that’s fine, and you won’t be charged any money.
Making a claim
If you do want to claim, it’s much easier than you might think. Just let us know and we’ll put you in touch with a solicitor who has experience of handling this type of case. As getting tripped by a plastic carrier bag is an unusual case, it’s important to have that experience on your side—a local solicitor dealing with more general issues might not have the skills to approach it successfully. The other big plus point in claiming with us is that we won’t charge you a penny unless you win, and when that happens our fees usually end up being paid by the other side. This makes claiming safe, simple, and certainly worth looking into.
Date Published: October 3, 2013
Author: David Brown