Accidents can happen anywhere, and public streets are no exception. If you’ve been injured in an accident that occurred in a public street, you may be entitled to compensation. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to claim compensation for an accident in a public street, ensuring you understand your rights and have the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.

Understanding “Accident In A Public Street”

Before we delve into the details of how to claim compensation, it’s important to understand what constitutes an “accident in a public street.” An accident in a public street refers to any unfortunate incident that occurs in a place that is open to the public, such as sidewalks, roadways, pedestrian crossings, and public parks.

These accidents can take various forms, including slip and fall accidents, car accidents, bicycle accidents, and accidents involving public transportation. It’s crucial to recognise that accidents can be the result of various factors, including negligence, unsafe conditions, and human error.

Key Steps Following an Accident In A Public Street

Seek Medical Attention

The first and most critical step to take after an accident in a public street is to seek immediate medical attention. Your health should be your top priority, and getting prompt medical care ensures that any injuries are properly diagnosed and treated. It also provides essential documentation of your injuries for your compensation claim.

Report the Accident

If the accident involves a motor vehicle, notify the police and file a report. This documentation will be valuable in your claim. In cases of slip and fall accidents or other incidents, report the incident to the property owner or relevant authorities. It’s essential to have an official record of the accident.

Gather Witness Information

If there were any witnesses to the accident, obtain their contact information. Witnesses can provide crucial testimony to support your claim later on.

Document the Scene

Take photographs of the accident scene, highlighting any hazardous conditions, if applicable. A picture is worth a thousand words, and visual evidence can be powerful in your claim.

Preserve Evidence

If there were any objects or conditions that contributed to the accident, try to preserve them or document their state. For instance, if you slipped on a wet floor, take a picture of the area and its condition.

How To Claim Compensation For An Accident In A Public Street
How To Claim Compensation For An Accident In A Public Street

Gathering Evidence

Building a strong case for your compensation claim requires solid evidence. Here’s what you should collect:

Medical Records

Gather all medical records related to your injuries, including doctor’s notes, hospital records, and bills. These documents will demonstrate the extent of your injuries and the treatment you received.

Witness Statements

Contact any witnesses and request written or recorded statements detailing what they saw during the accident. Witness testimony can play a crucial role in establishing liability.

Accident Reports

Obtain a copy of the official accident report filed by the police or relevant authorities. This report provides a detailed account of the incident, which can be valuable in your claim.


Any pictures you took at the accident scene should be preserved. These images can help illustrate the conditions that led to the accident.

Video Footage

If there is any video footage of the accident, secure copies of it. Surveillance cameras or dashcams may have captured the incident.

Expert Opinions

If necessary, consult with experts such as accident reconstruction specialists or medical professionals to provide opinions on liability and the extent of your injuries.

Initiating the Claim Process

With your evidence in hand, it’s time to initiate the claim process. Here are the key steps to follow:

Contact the Responsible Party

In many cases, you will need to notify the responsible party or their insurance company that you intend to file a claim. For example, if you were involved in a car accident, you would typically contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Consult an Attorney

It’s advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney, especially if your case is complex or if you’ve sustained severe injuries. An attorney can guide you through the process, help you understand your rights, and ensure you’re taking the right steps.

Determine Liability

The next crucial step is to establish liability. This involves demonstrating that the accident was the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. Your attorney will help you gather evidence to prove liability.

Calculate Damages

To determine the compensation you’re entitled to, you’ll need to calculate your damages. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. A qualified attorney can assist in this process.

Documenting Expenses After Your Accident In A Public Street

One of the most critical aspects of your compensation claim is documenting your expenses. To secure fair compensation, you need to provide evidence of the financial impact the accident has had on your life. Here’s how to do it:

Medical Expenses

Keep detailed records of all medical expenses, including doctor’s visits, hospital bills, prescription costs, and rehabilitation fees. Ensure you retain copies of invoices and receipts.

Lost Wages

If you missed work due to your injuries, document your lost wages. Provide evidence such as pay stubs, employment records, and a letter from your employer indicating the time you had to take off work.

Property Damage

If your accident involved damage to your property, such as a vehicle or personal belongings, take pictures of the damage and gather repair estimates or receipts for replacement.

Pain and Suffering

Document the physical and emotional impact of your injuries. Maintain a journal detailing your pain, suffering, and the ways in which your life has been affected.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Include any other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident, such as transportation costs for medical appointments or the cost of hiring help for household tasks you can no longer perform due to your injuries.

Negotiating Compensation

Once you’ve gathered your evidence and calculated your damages, it’s time to engage in negotiations for compensation. Here’s how to approach this process:

Start with a Demand Letter

Your attorney can help you craft a demand letter, which outlines the details of your claim, the evidence supporting it, and the compensation you are seeking. This letter is sent to the responsible party or their insurance company.

Negotiate with the Insurance Company

Expect negotiations with the insurance company to follow. They may offer a settlement, but it’s important not to accept an offer without thoroughly reviewing it with your attorney. Insurance companies often attempt to settle for less than your claim is worth.


If negotiations do not lead to a satisfactory resolution, mediation may be the next step. A mediator will help both parties reach a settlement. This is a less adversarial approach compared to going to court.

Court Proceedings

If all else fails, you may need to file a lawsuit to pursue your claim. Your attorney will represent you in court and present your case to a judge and jury.

Common Injuries Resulting from Accidents In A Public Street

Accidents in public streets can lead to a wide range of injuries, depending on the nature and severity of the incident. Common injuries include:

Slip and Fall Injuries

Slip and fall accidents can result in injuries such as broken bones, sprained joints, head injuries, and soft tissue damage. These injuries often occur due to wet or uneven surfaces, inadequate lighting, or other hazardous conditions.

Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents can lead to a variety of injuries, including whiplash, fractures, concussions, and spinal cord injuries. The severity of these injuries can range from minor to life-changing, with long-term consequences.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Accidents involving bicycles and pedestrians can result in serious injuries like traumatic brain injuries, fractures, internal organ damage, and road rash. These accidents are often caused by collisions with vehicles.

Public Transportation Injuries

Accidents on public transportation, such as buses or trams, can lead to injuries like broken bones, contusions, and head injuries. Passengers can be injured due to sudden stops, collisions, or slip and fall incidents.

It’s essential to consult with a medical professional to fully understand the extent of your injuries and the treatment required. This information will be crucial when seeking compensation for your accident in a public street.

Legal Considerations for Your Accident In A Public Street Claim

When pursuing compensation for an accident in a public street, there are several legal considerations to keep in mind:

Statute of Limitations

Every jurisdiction has a statute of limitations, which is the time limit for filing a personal injury claim. It’s crucial to be aware of this deadline and take action within the specified timeframe to avoid losing your right to compensation.

Comparative Negligence

In some cases, multiple parties may share fault for the accident. Understanding the concept of comparative negligence is crucial, as it can impact the amount of compensation you receive. Your compensation may be reduced if you are found partially responsible for the accident.


Certain entities, such as government agencies, may have immunity from certain types of claims. It’s important to be aware of any potential immunity issues, which can affect your ability to pursue compensation.


Properly documenting your injuries, expenses, and evidence is vital for a successful claim. Inaccurate or incomplete documentation can weaken your case.

Settlement Agreements

Before accepting any settlement, review it carefully with your attorney. Settlement agreements often include a clause that prevents you from pursuing further legal action related to the accident, so ensure it’s in your best interest.

Working With an Attorney for Your Accident In A Public Street Case

Hiring a qualified personal injury attorney is often the most prudent decision when pursuing compensation for an accident in a public street. Here are the advantages of working with an attorney:

Legal Expertise

Personal injury attorneys are well-versed in the intricacies of the law. They can navigate the legal system, ensuring you follow the correct procedures and meet all deadlines.

Case Evaluation

An attorney can assess the strength of your case and provide an estimate of the compensation you may be entitled to. They will help you determine whether it’s worth pursuing a claim.

Negotiation Skills

Experienced attorneys are skilled negotiators who can advocate on your behalf, seeking the maximum compensation possible.

Court Representation

If your case goes to court, your attorney will represent you and present your case to a judge and jury. They have the legal knowledge and experience to argue your case effectively.

Contingency Fees

Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. This arrangement can be cost-effective and provide peace of mind during a challenging time.

Settling Your Compensation Claim for the Accident In A Public Street

Reaching a settlement is the ultimate goal when pursuing compensation for an accident in a public street. A settlement is an agreement between the parties involved, where the responsible party or their insurance company agrees to pay a certain amount in exchange for the injured party’s release from further legal action.

Here’s what you need to know about settling your compensation claim:


As mentioned earlier, the negotiation process plays a crucial role in reaching a settlement. Your attorney will engage in negotiations with the responsible party or their insurance company to arrive at a fair and just settlement amount.

Release of Claims

Once a settlement is reached, you will be required to sign a release of claims. This document states that you are relinquishing your right to pursue further legal action in exchange for the agreed-upon compensation. Review this document carefully with your attorney to ensure it’s fair and comprehensive.


Once the release of claims is signed, the responsible party or their insurance company will provide the agreed-upon compensation. This compensation can cover your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering, depending on the terms of the settlement.


Reaching a settlement brings closure to your compensation claim. You can use the compensation to cover your expenses and move forward with your life. It’s important to follow your attorney’s advice and instructions throughout this process to ensure a successful resolution.


Claiming compensation for an accident in a public street can be a complex and challenging process. However, with the right knowledge and the assistance of a skilled attorney, you can navigate the legal system and secure the compensation you deserve. Remember to prioritize your health and safety by seeking medical attention immediately after an accident, and then follow the key steps outlined in this guide, including gathering evidence, documenting expenses, and negotiating for a fair settlement.

In summary, understanding the nature of accidents in public streets, gathering strong evidence, initiating the claim process, documenting expenses, and negotiating with the responsible party or their insurance company are essential components of a successful compensation claim. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of common injuries that can result from such accidents, legal considerations that may affect your claim, and the benefits of working with a personal injury attorney. By following these steps and seeking professional guidance, you can work towards a favorable resolution for your accident in a public street claim.

How To Claim Compensation For An Accident In A Public Street
How To Claim Compensation For An Accident In A Public Street


1. What is the statute of limitations for filing a compensation claim for an accident in a public street?

The statute of limitations varies by jurisdiction, but it typically ranges from one to three years. It’s crucial to be aware of the deadline in your area and take action within the specified timeframe to preserve your right to compensation.

2. How can I prove liability in my compensation claim for an accident in a public street?

Proving liability involves providing evidence that the accident was the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. This evidence can include witness statements, accident reports, photographs, and expert opinions. An experienced attorney can help you gather and present this evidence effectively.

3. What is comparative negligence, and how can it affect my compensation claim?

Comparative negligence is a legal concept that assigns a degree of fault to all parties involved in an accident. If you are found partially responsible for the accident, your compensation may be reduced proportionally. It’s essential to work with your attorney to ensure that your degree of fault is accurately determined.

4. Can I still file a compensation claim if the responsible party has insurance?

Yes, you can file a compensation claim even if the responsible party has insurance. In most cases, the responsible party’s insurance company will handle the negotiations and payout of compensation. Your attorney will work with the insurance company to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

5. How long does it typically take to settle a compensation claim for an accident in a public street?

The duration of a settlement process can vary widely depending on the complexity of the case and the willingness of the responsible party or their insurance company to reach an agreement. Simple cases may be settled in a few months, while more complex cases can take years. Your attorney can provide a more accurate estimate based on the specific circumstances of your case.

6. Do I need an attorney to pursue a compensation claim for an accident in a public street?

While it’s not legally required to have an attorney, it is highly recommended. Personal injury attorneys have the expertise and experience to navigate the legal system, negotiate on your behalf, and present your case effectively if it goes to court. Many attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay if you win your case, making their services accessible to those seeking compensation.

7. Can I claim compensation for emotional distress resulting from the accident in a public street?

Yes, you can include emotional distress as part of your compensation claim. Pain and suffering, which encompasses emotional distress, is a legitimate element of compensation in personal injury claims. It’s essential to document and provide evidence of the emotional impact of your injuries.

Remember, the information provided in this article is for general guidance and informational purposes. Consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific situation.