Employers’ Liability Claims vs Public Liability Claims Explained
14 November 2017
Employers’ liability claims and public liability claims are both types of personal injury claim, however there’s a big difference between them:
- Employers’ Liability Claims are for employees who are either injured in accidents at work (or whose health has deteriorated as a consequence of poor working practices)
- Public Liability Claims are for people injured in accidents in a public place (such as falls or trips at premises at which members of the public are expected to be).
At Co-op Legal Services most employers’ liability claims and public liability accident claims can be dealt with on a No Win No Fee basis.
It is part of the Co-op’s ethos and values to provide help and support in enforcing legal rights so as to prevent injustice, and we will always strive to secure the best possible compensation and rehabilitation support for our clients.
Employers’ Liability Claims
An employers’ liability claim is sometimes also known as a work accident claim, but can include claims for injuries suffered when poor working practices are allowed to continue. Work accidents can happen when an employee is injured as a result of their employers’ negligence, or the negligence of another person; resulting in the injured worker claiming compensation for personal injuries and lost earnings.
Employers’ liability claims often occur when an employer breaches their ‘duty of care’. All employers owe their staff a duty of care, which means they have a legal obligation to create a safe working environment. This can be achieved in a number of ways, including:
- Implementing health and safety regulations
- Providing the correct training
- Providing the correct protective equipment and clothing
- Monitoring and supervising employees
- Ensuring machinery and equipment is safe
- Carrying out risk assessments
- Taking action if an employee is negligent.
When an employer fails to “take reasonable steps” to ensure a safe working environment and an employee is injured as a result, that employee has a legal right to make a claim for compensation.
In almost all cases the compensation is paid out by the employers’ liability insurance company and not by the employer.
Key figures* from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that 1.3 million working people were suffering from a work-related illness, and 621,000 injuries occurred at work in 2015/16.
Some of the most common types of accidents at work involve:
- Handling and lifting heavy objects
- Falls or other accidents when working at height
- Slips, trips and falls
- Electric shocks
- Accidents on construction sites
- Chemical injuries
- Industrial diseases
- The actions of a co-worker.
If you have been injured in an accident at work or by a failure of the employer to ensure a safe working environment, our Personal Injury Solicitors can tell you if can make an employers’ liability claim, and if your claim can be dealt with on a No Win No Fee basis.
Public Liability Claims
A public liability claim is a claim against either a person, a company, a local authority or other body for an injury caused to a member of the public, usually when that person is in a public place, or when they are a lawful visitor to a shop or other public premises. These claims happen when someone is injured in a public place (such as a restaurant, shop, train station, gymnasium etc) because those responsible for the area have failed to ensure its safety. Usually such claims involve slips, trips and other falls.
Any place that is going to be used by members of the general public must be maintained to a safe standard. The question of who is responsible for this depends on the place. For example, Local Authorities are generally responsible for maintaining highways, pavements and parks. Businesses are responsible for the safety of any visitors to their premises.
It doesn’t really matter where you are. If you are permitted to be there as a member of the public the business, organisation or public body that oversees that area has a duty of care towards you. This means reasonable steps should be taken to safeguard your health.
If someone does suffer injury in an accident in a public place because a reasonable level of safety has not been achieved, there could be grounds for a public liability claim. Public liability claims can be made as a result of:
- Slips, trips and falls
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals or materials
- Accidents in playgrounds or at school
- Falling objects
- Horse-riding accidents
- Faulty equipment
- Burns or scalds
If you have been injured in an accident in a public place, our Personal Injury Solicitors can tell you if can make a public liability claim, and if your claim can be dealt with on a No Win No Fee basis.