How CCTV footage and witness statements can help win trip & slip cases
Have you had a trip or slip accident in a supermarket or whilst out walking on pavements or roads?
If so, the most important evidence can be either CCTV footage or witness statements – or a combination of both – which will counter documentary evidence provided by the defendants.
Some of you will have read my two blogs on highway cases. The first one dealt with what you should do after having a highway accident whilst the second summarised the law in relation to highway claims under the Highway Act 1980. I wrote another blog dealing with supermarket slipping accidents where claims can be made under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957.
Whilst each type of claim is governed by different pieces of legislation they both have similarities in that the defendant, whether it be the local highway authority or supermarket, is obliged to provide various pieces of disclosure documentation to the claimant, to allow him to consider whether or not his claim has merit.
There is effectively a two stage test for each claim.
Firstly, is there an actionable defect/spillage? Often, this is an easy question to answer. Essentially, is it visible and large enough? On occasions, this is not disputed – the photographs taken after the accident are the proof.
Secondly, is there a regime in place which will absolve the defendant from responsibility? This is a much harder hurdle to overcome.
On many occasions, the defendant rushes to send over the inspection, repair or cleaning records which show an unblemished almost perfect regime which complies with the required standards.
I have had numerous cases where my client has told me that the documents simply do not reflect the reality on the ground, namely, that the highway or supermarket in question is regularly in a bad state and the inspections that the documents so clearly show to have taken place, in fact, haven’t really taken place or certainly haven’t taken place as regularly as the documents suggest.
The only way forward is to provide evidence in the form of either CCTV, photographs or witness statements which show the true reality of the situation. I can think of a number of cases where my client was able to find at least three independent witnesses who were prepared to state that they used a particular supermarket at least three times a week and, over the course of a number of years, never once saw a member of staff walking round the store with the sole job of checking for hazards.
It is this sort of crucial evidence “on the ground” that is required to plant the seed of doubt in the judge’s mind that the inspection documents may not tell the whole story.
If you have had a trip & slip accident that was not your fault, and would like to discuss your personal injury claim on a no-obligation consultation then please get in touch with me. I will be happy to discuss all aspects of your personal injury claim to decide the best way to proceed.
I am a London-based solicitor at Goodge Law and an expert in securing compensation for people who have been injured in accidents that were not their fault. I work on a no win-no fee basis so you will never have to fund any part of your personal injury claim.