Public Liability – Accidents in a Public Place

As the summer months loom, many of us will be spending a lot more time out of doors, attending public events and places to enjoy the warmer and drier weather. With these activities comes a certain amount of risk, which can unfortunately result in accident or injury. If you have had an accident in a public place or at a public event, and have been injured due to the negligence of a third party, you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim. These types of situations might include the following. 

Swimming pools 

Public swimming pools are extremely popular during the summer months, but unfortunately public liability accidents are quite common in this setting as a number of accidents are liable to happen. These circumstances could include:

  • Slips, trips and falls, injuries in and around the pool area
  • Injuries in the pool as a result of the depth not being properly signposted or broken tiles
  • Injuries incurred on waterslides that are not up to standard 

Parks and Amusement Parks 

With the good weather, many of us will flock to our local parks to enjoy the Irish summer while we can. Unfortunately it is all too easy for a day at the park to go wrong. Playgrounds in particular can lead to a variety of accidents and injuries on the play equipment or even a trip or fall. Other incidents in parks might be caused by uneven pathways or hazardous objects left out in walking areas. There may also be building or maintenance works which have not been cleared away properly. 

Public Events: Concerts, Music Festivals, Festivals and Sporting Events 

Events like concerts and festivals are extremely popular during the summer months, with more and more new events being organised every year. With so many attendees in one space, overcrowding can be a major issue. Issues can arise as a result of insufficient or a lack of crowd control, poorly installed barriers, lack of security personnel to manage situations, insufficient lighting, or a lack of maintenance and cleaning staff to keep areas free from hazards such as spills or wet floors. 

In many cases there could be a number of parties who could be involved in organising the event, such as the event managers or organisers, security companies, concessionary suppliers or equipment-hire companies. Your solicitor will carry out enquiries to establish the party at fault for your injury. 

What should you do if you have suffered an injury in a public place or at a public event?

If you have had an injury as a result of an accident in a public place or at a public event, the first thing you should do is to seek the appropriate medical attention. 

If the accident occurred in a public space or at an event, it’s important that you note the names of those you have reported the accident to, along with the company they report to. You should also gather as much evidence as soon as possible after the accident, as this will be important if the third party claims contributory negligence – meaning that the plaintiff is responsible for their own injuries. Photographs and videos of the area or hazard will be important for your claim. If there are any third party witnesses, you should also try to get their contact details. You should only gather this information if doing so will not aggravate your injury. 

At Martin A. Harvey & Co. Solicitors, we have been helping people for decades to navigate personal injury* claims. If you have had an accident in a public place or at a public event, and have been injured due to someone else’s wrongdoing, we can help you with the claims process. Contact us on 021-496 3400 or

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

**Please note that the PIAB may allow you to take your claim straight to the courts without an assessment ‘if your injury consists wholly or in part of psychological damage which would be difficult to assess by means of PIAB’s assessment procedures’. (Source)