As their name suggests, automatic doors open automatically – without the need to manually push/pull them using an attached implement such as a bar, knob, or handle – when a person triggers their motion sensor or pushes the appropriate button. These are often found in commercial and industrial establishments, and are meant to make entering and exiting more convenient. Despite their obvious advantage over traditional designs, though, automatic doors have been involved in numerous injury-causing accidents, and have thus been the subject of many complaints and personal injury compensation claims.
What is Negligence? For individuals who suffered physical harm as a result of walking into closed automatic doors, the term “negligence” is very important. Establishing which of the two parties involved in the incident – that is, the individual(s) who experienced the accident and the company/owner of the establishment where the door is located – committed negligence and is thus to blame is a crucial part of both the claims and settlement process. That said, in UK law negligence occurs when one’s carelessness results in harm done to another person. There is no intent to cause harm; however, one’s inability to foresee the negative consequences of an action has resulted in it.
Who is at Fault? The answer to this question is difficult to ascertain – that’s why solicitors are often hired both by the complainant and the defendant to take care of this part. Basically, though, the company or owners of the establishment where the door is placed are liable if they overlooked informing the public of any glitches or issues that resulted in the door being defective and failing to open at the right time. On the other hand, the complainant is at fault if the other party successfully proves the following: they exhausted all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of the people entering and exiting their premises, and the injury the complainant sustained resulted from his own carelessness.
When Can a Claim for Personal Injury Compensation be Made? No personal injury compensation claim can be made if the complainant does not have proof of any physical or psychological injury caused by the accident involving automatic doors. “Proof” in this sense may include wounds, scars, and medical records that indicate treatment after the accident for injuries sustained. If the complainant is an employee of the owners of the establishment, the company’s Accident Report Book can likewise be used to support a personal injury compensation claim.
Is a Court Appearance Necessary? Although the solicitor hired by both parties involved will likely prepare all documents needed should the case reach the UK courts, only a small percentage of similar cases end up with a judge delivering a verdict. More often than not the complainant or plaintiff and the defendant settle out-of-court, in which case a court appearance is unnecessary. Here, negotiations are done with a 3rd party insurer – that is, the insurance company of the defendant – who will be responsible for paying compensation to the victim of the accident. On a related note, the amount that will be received by any individual who has made a successful personal injury claim will largely depend on case circumstances and how much he or she hopes to receive as compensation.
See also: http://www.uksupermarketaccidents.co.uk/