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Safety failures in public places pose fall risk to children

View profile for Kate Sweeney
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Accidents involving slips, trips and falls are all too common these days, and when they involve children they are understandably seen as extremely serious. In public places, such as railway stations, playgrounds and supermarkets, the potential for accidents is all too real.
Building owners and operators, and local authorities, have an obligation to ensure the safety of the public. Making sure staircases, walkways and platforms are safe is a legal requirement covered by the Occupiers Liability Act 1957.
The horrific story involving a six year old boy who fell through a damaged staircase rail in a Newcastle bar resulted in a prosecution for the bar owners. The victim suffered a fractured skull in the incident, which saw him fall two metres onto a ceramic floor.
In 2010, a three year old girl fell through a gap in the boarding steps of a Ryanair jet at Stansted Airport. Thankfully, the resultant injuries weren’t serious, but the implications were serious enough for accident investigators to recommend a safety review.
Claiming compensation for child fall injuries
Parents or guardians of children who have been involved in fall accidents due to the negligence of the company or authority responsible for the premises or land on which it happened should not hesitate in taking advice from a specialist lawyer about mounting a claim for compensation.
Sometimes injuries can be life changing, such as those involving head trauma or spinal damage, and in these cases it’s crucial to pursue a compensation figure that provides adequate finance to cover care and recovery long term, also taking into consideration the fact the parents or guardians may need to take prolonged periods off work, or indeed leave work altogether to become a full time carer.
In accidents involving adults, most claims should be made within three years of the date of the accident, but this rule does not apply to those which involve children. Claims can be made up to the age of 21, or within three years of the victim’s 18th birthday.
If your child has been injured in a fall accident, talk to the personal injury solicitors at Stephensons. We will go through the details of your case, and will provide advice and guidance on what to do next, call us on 0844 245 6601.
By personal injury solicitor, Kate Sweeney