Any attempts to make a claim for an injury suffered on public transport must follow a set process under UK personal injury law. The most important part of the process is for you to be able to show a court that you were entitled to expect that you would not be injured, and that someone else failed to observe your entitlement.
The compensation claim process can be quite complicated, but it involves demonstrating two things:
First, you must be able to show to a court that, in using public transport you were entitled to be able to expect that nothing would be done to put you in harms way. This is known as establishing the existence of a ‘duty of care’. The difficulty of establishing a duty of care will depend on the circumstances. However, people responsible for public transport e.g. bus drivers, taxi drivers, train operators etc. are generally under an obligation to perform their duties with the care and skill that would be expected of someone in their position, i.e. not to do anything that could cause their passengers to suffer injury. They are not expected to drive with the same level of skill expected by an F1 driver or a Fighter Pilot –only that expected of a bus, taxi or train driver.
The second, and arguably more difficult stage in the process, involves demonstrating that the duty of care that you have shown to be owed, was breached: in other words you must establish negligence on the part of the person that your claim is against. No court will make an easy finding of negligence unless there is convincing evidence of this. It is important to understand that it is your responsibility as the person claiming financial compensation to prove negligence. This is why the evidence that you are able to bring before a court is so important. If you are able to give a detailed factual account of your injury then this will make it easier for a court to find negligence. Evidence can include:
- The circumstances surrounding the accident;
- Photographs of the accident and any injuries you suffered;
- Statements of other people that witnessed your accident; and
- Details of the significance of your injury.
Have you suffered an Injury?