This guide will look at when you could potentially claim for an accident in a garden. You may be able to make a personal injury claim if you can show that you were harmed by negligence. In this guide, we will focus on claims made after accidents in gardens that the public can access.
This guide will give you information about how personal injury claims work and what criteria you’d need to meet in order to make one. We will also assess the duty of care that’s owed to you in public places.
In order to claim for a public accident, you would need to prove that your injury was caused by a party breaching the duty of care they owed you. This should be supported through the use of evidence, which will be discussed in this guide.
You might be wondering how much compensation you could be awarded if your claim is a success. While we can’t provide an answer to this question, we will take a look at how settlements are valued to give you a clearer idea.
Get In Touch
You can talk to our advisors to learn more about a claim for an accident in a garden. One of our advisors can discuss the eligibility criteria to see if you have a valid claim; if they do, they may connect you with a solicitor from our panel. You can:
Select A Section
- Could I Make A Public Liability Claim For An Accident In A Garden?
- Places Where Garden Accidents Could Happen
- Proving Liability For A Garden Accident
- How Much Could I Claim For An Accident In A Garden?
- Talk To Us About No Win No Fee Public Liability Claims
- Learn More About Personal Injury Claims
In order to have a valid claim for an accident in a garden, you must satisfy the eligibility criteria to make a personal injury claim. These are as follows:
- Firstly, a third party that owed you a duty of care
- Secondly, they breached this duty
- Thirdly, the breach caused your injury
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 (OLA ’57) is the piece of legislation that sets this duty of care out. It states that the party in control of the space has a responsibility to ensure the reasonable safety of those that use it for the intended purpose.
For example, the party in control of a space might need to:
- Ensure that walking surfaces are suitable, for example, by repairing cracks to prevent trips on pavement
- Making sure that all equipment is in a good state of repair (for example, benches and waste bins)
- Displaying warning signs for hazards that cannot be removed (for example, a pond with deep water)
How Long After An Accident In A Garden Could I Make A Claim?
A claim must be submitted within the claim time limit. It doesn’t matter how long the claim takes to conclude, it just needs to begin within this timeframe. In general, this time limit is three years from the date of the accident, as set out in the Limitation Act 1980.
Under certain circumstances, exceptions to this time limit could apply:
- If a claimant is mentally incapable of pursuing their own claim, their time limit would be suspended and begin from the date of regained capacity.
- Children are unable to claim; as such, their time limit is paused until their 18th birthday at which point they have 3 years to claim.
A litigation friend can be appointed to act on behalf of the claimants while they are unable to do so. Because only one claim can be made per incident, if a litigation friend claims on someone’s behalf, they cannot then claim themselves if they regain capacity.
Gardens can be located in many public places, such as:
As part of setting out the general duty of care owed in public, the OLA ’57 states that those in control of spaces that the public can access should take into account the fact that children will be less careful than adults and act accordingly.
Below are some examples of how an injury in a garden could occur:
- A slip or fall on a loose paving stone causes someone to fall and fracture their cheekbone and sustain a knee injury.
- Someone attempts to sit on a bench that had not been signposted as out of use despite it being faulty. As a result, it collapses underneath them and they sustain a head injury and torn cartilage as they fall.
If you would like to know whether your accident circumstances could entitle you to claim, speak with a member of our team today.
A claim for injuries sustained in an accident in a garden will benefit from evidence. You can use evidence to show both that it was caused by a breach of duty of care and the extent to which it caused you harm.
Some examples of evidence could include the following:
- CCTV footage of the accident.
- A diary of your treatment and symptoms.
- Medical records, including the results of an independent medical assessment.
- Contact details of eyewitnesses who could potentially make a statement at a later date.
One of the services a solicitor could provide would be to help you collect evidence to support your case. In addition to this, they could arrange for you to arrange a medical assessment in your area. You can contact one of our advisors using the number at the top of the screen; they may be able to connect you with a lawyer if your case is valid.
In a successful claim, there are two heads that compensation payouts could consist of. The first of these, general damages, will account for the pain and suffering caused by your injuries, both psychological injuries and physical ones. These figures will be taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a tool used to help solicitors value claims.
Injury Value Notes
Severe Neck Injuries (i) In the region of £148,330 Incomplete paraplegia or injury resulting in permanent spastic quadriparesis despite wearing a collar constantly for years.
Leg Injuries Short of Amputation £96,250 to £135,920 Injuries so severe that damages similar to amputation will be awarded despite the leg having not been lost.
Severe Knee Injury (i) £69,730 to £96,210 Serious injury where the joint has been disrupted and there has been extensive damage to the ligament.
Very Severe Ankle Injuries £50,060 to £69,700 Transmalleolar fracture of the ankle with extensive soft-tissue damage.
Wrist Injuries (a) £47,620 to £59,860 Injuries resulting in complete loss of function.
Severe Injuries to Hip/Pelvis (iii) £39,170 to £52,500 Fracture of the acetabulum leading to degenerative progression of the condition.
Less Severe Leg Injury £19,200 to £39,170 There have been significant disabilities that have had a substantial degree of recovery.
Injuries to the Elbow (b) £15,650 to £32,010 Injuries causing impaired function but no major surgery necessary.
Less Serious Hand Injuries £14,450 to £29,000 Severe crush injuries causing significantly impaired function.
Less Serious Leg Injuries (ii) £9,110 to £14,080 Simple fractures to the femur that don't cause damage to articular surface.
Please note these figures are guidelines. If you want a more accurate assessment of how much your claim is worth, you can contact one of our advisors.
Estimating What Special Damages You May Claim
The other head of claim is special damages, compensating for the financial losses inflicted due to your injury. Examples of special damages can include:
- Travel costs.
- Medication and medical care.
- Loss of income.
- Future loss of income.
In order to support your claim for special damages, you should try and provide evidence, for example, receipts or payslips.
You may find that the claims process is easier with the guidance and support of a solicitor. Furthermore, if you work with a No Win No Fee solicitor with a Conditional Fee Agreement in place, there will generally be no upfront or ongoing legal fees to pay for their services.
In the event of a successful claim, you will make a payment to your solicitor in the form of a success fee. The success fee is a small percentage of your compensation, legally capped by the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013. In the event that you’re not awarded compensation, you won’t need to pay this success fee.
You can talk to us for free using the contact details provided below if you have any questions about making a public liability claim following an accident in a garden or public liability claim. One of our advisors could forward you to a solicitor from our panel.
To learn more about making a public liability claim, we have included some links below:
- Our guide on claiming shoulder injury compensation.
- Learn how to claim for an arm injury.
- Information on claiming if you have slipped on a wet floor.
Here are some external resources:
- NHS – How to get your medical records.
- HSE – Management of the risk of fallen trees or branches.
- GOV.UK – Request CCTV of yourself.
If you have any questions about claiming following an accident in a garden, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Written by MWH
Edited by FS