Public Liability

What evidence is needed to make a public liability claim?

MKF Lawyers

What evidence is needed to make a public liability claim?



What evidence is needed to make a public liability claim?

Public Liability


What evidence is needed to make a public liability claim?

If an injury has been sustained as a result of a hazard on someone else’s property, a public liability (also known as occupier’s liability) compensation claim may be made. Some evidence needed for a public liability claim can be specific to the circumstances of the accident.  In all matters, evidence in relation to liability (or legal responsibility) of the occupier of the property, the injuries suffered, and the losses flowing from the injuries suffered is required.

The Nature of Evidence

The evidence needed can include:

  • claim forms/reports.
  • video or audio recordings.
  • witness statements.
  • investigation and medical reports.
  • written communications (including emails and letters).
  • SMS messages.
  • photographs.
  • diagrams.

Evidence can also be in the form of oral evidence (someone’s evidence spoken to a Court) or physical evidence (such as the tripping hazard itself).

It is important to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after suffering an injury in a public place to find out whether a claim can be made and what evidence is needed.

Liability Evidence

The available evidence needed in a public liability claim typically depends on the circumstances of the claim. This may include oral evidence from the injured person, and potentially other people who saw the incident, regarding what happened and documentary evidence including:

  • Incident report(s);
  • Notes about the incident;
  • CCTV footage;
  • Other video footage of the incident itself, such as footage recorded using a smartphone, or the area surrounding the incident;
  • Statements from witnesses;
  • Records in relation to the hazard itself (such as cleaning records in relation to a slipping hazard or records relating to the construction of a potential tripping hazard);
  • Records of prior complaints regarding the potential hazard; and/or
  • A ticket, invoice or receipt that shows that the injured person was an entrant onto the premises at the date and time of the alleged incident.
  • Physical evidence including the alleged hazard itself.

In public liability claims it is best to take action to preserve the evidence as quickly as possible. That action may involve:

  • making an incident report;
  • making a Court application to obtain, protect or preserve evidence; and/or
  • photographing the site of the incident.

If you have suffered an injury as an entrant onto someone else’s property, we recommend you contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss obtaining and preserving the available evidence.

It may be that evidence from an expert is also required to assist in proving that the occupier of the property has breached their duty of care (i.e. that the hazard is indeed a hazard or defect on the property, and that the action or inaction taken was negligent).

Medical Evidence

Evidence that proves the injuries sustained were caused by the subject incident will also be required.

That will typically be in the form of records and reports from treatment providers and/or a medico-legal report from an independent expert doctor.

Evidence of Loss and Damage

Evidence proving the injured person’s loss and damage is also required. That evidence may include:

  • Tax/income records;
  • Evidence about the injured person’s employment including any change in work capacity, efficiency or effectiveness;
  • A report from an accountant explaining the financial loss suffered by the injured person;
  • Statements from the injured person’s family and/or friends regarding their change in behaviour and/or ability to care for himself or herself; and/or
  • An activities of daily living assessment report from an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist.

If you have been injured in a public place and would like to investigate whether a public liability compensation claim can be made, contact the team at MKF Lawyers on 08 7093 2998 or by email at