By Max Malkovich. Last Updated 28th June 2022. On this page, we present a case study that demonstrates how a pavement trip claim against the council resulted in a £15,000 out of court compensation settlement. The purpose of this case study is to show you how in similar circumstances, as long as you are within the personal injury claims time limit, a personal injury lawyer could be able to process a claim for you.
This case study may raise questions about the way to claim proceeded, and how it relates to your own circumstances. If you do have questions you need to be answered, please talk to our team on 0161 696 9685. They will provide you with the answers and help you need.
Jump To A Section:
- Pavement Trip Accidents And Injuries Caused By A Council
- What Injuries Were Sustained By This Claimant?
- Types Of Pavement Accident
- Case Study: £11 Million Compensation Payout For Pavement Trip Claim Against A Council
- What Could You Receive From Council Compensation Payouts?
- No Win No Fee Pavement Trip Accident Claims
- How To Claim Compensation From A Council For A Pavement Trip
- Contact Legal Helpline About Your Claim
- Supporting Information
Pavement Trip Accidents And Injuries Caused By A Council
The local authority is responsible for maintaining public roads and footpaths in good order. Therefore, in certain circumstances, it can be possible to make a claim for a slip, trip or fall against the council. Additionally, the local highway authority shares responsibility for certain aspects of road maintenance. And similarly, if it is responsible for a member of the public slipping, tripping or falling, it can be sued, as the highway authority has a duty of care towards all road users.
In some cases, such as potholes causing an accident, the pothole must have been reported to a highway authority contact before the accident in order for a claim to be valid. Although this can differ deepening on the actual circumstances of the accident. Most local authorities have a website where the public can report a problem with the pavement.
What Injuries Were Sustained By This Claimant?
The victim was walking along a public pavement, when they got their foot stuck in a pothole. This caused them to fall over. The victim landed on their right knee and shoulder and wrenched his ankle due to the foot still being stuck in a pothole.
The ankle injury was so bad, that the victim had to undergo surgery to try and repair some of the ligaments and tendons that had been damaged. After surgery, the claimant had to wear a cast for almost a year before they could begin to learn to walk again.
Types Of Pavement Accident
There are many kinds of accidents that can happen on a public pavement, and some of these include:
- A trip on a council pavement due to an uneven paving slab, pothole or another damaged surface.
- Falling down an uncovered manhole that has been left open and not signposted as a hazard on a public road.
- A hazard such as a road sign that has fallen over, causing a member of the public to trip.
All of these accidents show how a third party can be responsible for an incident involving a member of the public. If a person were to be injured in such an accident (and others), they may have a valid reason to make a compensation claim for the harm they have suffered. If you have been injured in an accident on a public thoroughfare, speak to our team today for some free legal advice on how to start your claim.
Case Study: £11 Million Compensation Payout For Pavement Trip Claim Against A Council
In this case study, a gentleman was walking along a public pavement, when they got their foot trapped in a pothole. They subsequently fell over injuring their knee, ankle and shoulder. Because of the harm they had suffered, they decided to use a personal injury solicitor to help them to make a pothole accident claim.
As a result of the accident, the victim suffered a severe soft tissue injury in the form of a tendon injury to their ankle and general cuts and bruises to their shoulder and knee. It was for these injuries and the subsequent effect that they had on the victim’s life that it was possible to make a personal injury claim for a pavement trip.
Upon diagnosis, it was found that the most serious of the injuries, the ankle injury, was going to take corrective surgery to try to fix the damaged tendons and ligaments. Afterwards, the victim would need to be in a plaster cast for up to 12 months, while they waited for the injury to heal sufficiently so that they could begin physiotherapy and complete their recovery.
The victim contacted a legal team, that was willing to take on his claim under a No Win No Fee agreement. The legal team advised the claimant to take out an After the Event (ATE) insurance policy, to cover legal costs if his case went to court and he lost. A claim was subsequently filed against the local authority that was responsible for the maintenance of the pavement where the accident took place.
The basis of the claim was section 41 of the Highways Act 1980. Which states that pavements must be kept in good repair. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the local authority to clearly mark any known pavement defects with a hazard sign, etc. which had not been done in this case. The council acknowledged receipt of the claim letter and indicated that they would begin investigating the situation immediately.
It took the council a total of 3 months to carry out this investigation. This included a period of 14 days at the end of the investigation when the claimant’s legal team informed the council that if they did not get a result within those 14 days, they would deem liability to have been denied. The council responded in their own letter, refuting liability, stating that the local authority is not obliged to make sure that pavement surfaces are maintained perfectly all the time. The local council stated that during the last inspection two months previously, the pavement was not damaged. Had it been, then repairs would have been made. The council provided maintenance records to back this up.
The claimant’s solicitor informed them that they would now need to prove that the defect was deemed legally dangerous and that the council had failed to repair it within an adequate timeframe, directly resulting in the accident the claimant suffered. Photographs of the scene of the accident were used to facilitate this.
The solicitor used these photographs to make two points. Firstly, that the damage was over 40mm deep, and this would take far longer than 9 weeks to develop, which was the time of the last inspection. Secondly, that the inspection should have been made on foot, when in fact it was made in a vehicle.
The council finally admitted liability and offered to pay compensation once the severity of the victim’s injuries was fully known. The legal team sent a medical report detailing the injuries to the local authority. As a result of this, the claimant was offered an out of court settlement by the council of £10,000. The claimant was unhappy with this and stated they wanted £17,000 in compensation. The council made a further offer of £12,000. Further negotiations followed, and the claimant finally settled on an offer of compensation for £15,000, without taking the claim to court.
This £15,000 was paid to the claimant to compensate them for the injury and the pain and suffering they went through, and the very long recuperation period until they were back on their feet again. Compensation was paid to cover the loss of earnings that was included in the claim.
What Could You Receive From Council Compensation Payouts?
You may want to use an online compensation payout calculator to give you a better idea of what you could receive. However, these tools are not always accurate as some struggle to accommodate for all of the complexities of a personal injury case.
You would only be able to receive compensation from council compensation claims if you can prove that your injury or injuries were caused by council negligence. Factors that could determine your general damages compensation amount include the severity of the injury and how badly the injury has negatively impacted your life.
The Judicial College Guidelines can give you a better idea as to what you could receive. Information about previous successful court claims from Wales and England have been used to build compensation brackets. The figures shown have been taken from the latest guidelines, published in 2022.
Injury Severity Compensation Information
Injured foot Amputation £83,960 to £201,490 Total loss of one or both of the feet.
Injured foot Very severe £83,960 to £109,650 All severe foot injuries that will fall short of actual loss of a foot, but have the same effect as amputation on the life of the victim. Full paralysis or loss of use of the foot, loss of mobility and a serious life-changing disability. Chronic pain and arthritis in the medium term.
Injured foot Severe £41,970 to £70,030 All foot injuries that will leave the victim with a recognisable disability, and potentially a significant loss of mobility. There may be chronic pain and further complications such as osteoarthritis later in life.
Injured foot Serious £24,990 to £39,200 All foot injuries that will eventually heal, but will leave the victim with an impairment and possibly a minor disability. The risk of developing arthritis at a later stage would be high.
Injured foot Moderate £13,740 to £24,990 All foot injuries that will heal rapidly, and leave the victim with no permanent impairment or disability. However, there may be a risk of arthritis in the future.
Please remember that these figures should only be used as guidance as every claim is different. If you have further queries about receiving council compensation payouts in the UK, please contact us for free using the details above.
How long does it take for compensation to pay out?
The time it takes for compensation to be paid can depend on the specific circumstances of the claim. For instance, if the defendant admits liability and offers a settlement before the claim goes to court, you may receive compensation sooner. However, if the defendant doesn’t admit liability and the claim proceeds to court, the time it takes for you to receive compensation may be longer.
For more information on the council compensation claims, call our team on the number above.
No Win No Fee Pavement Trip Accident Claims
You may be hesitant to pursue personal injury claims payouts due to the cost of legal assistance. If so, we may have just the solution for you. All of the personal injury solicitors on our panel work with their clients on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that if you have a valid claim, they can work with you under the same agreement.
What this means is that following the successful reception of council compensation payouts, you are required to pay your lawyer in the form of a small percentage that is capped by law. If your No Win No Fee claim is not successful, then you are not required to award them this percentage at all.
It is legally permitted to make a claim for compensation without the help of a legal professional. However, having one by your side can make the process easier to understand. They can offer helpful guidance and advice throughout.
Making a claim under this kind of arrangement can reduce the personal financial risk posed to you. If you’d like to find out if you could make a claim in this way, get in touch today.
How To Claim Compensation From A Council For A Pavement Trip
We have come up with a very simple three-step process to help you to get the legal advice you need.
- Call our claims team on the number below.
- Talk to an advisor to have your claim evaluated.
- Learn about how a lawyer can help you by processing your claim for you.
Contact Legal Helpline About Your Claim
Do you need more information about the process of making personal injury claims? Perhaps you have questions that pertain to the circumstances of your own claim? No matter what help you need, our team is ready and waiting to help you. You can contact us on 0161 696 9685 for some free legal advice and answers to your questions.
It’s important not to delay. Claims for council compensation payouts can sometimes be affected if you wait too long. There is generally a 3-year time limit in which you must begin your claim. This is stated in the Limitation Act 1980. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Ask us about them when you speak to us.
In this section, we have provided some answers to frequently asked questions.
Can I Sue The Council For Emotional Distress in the UK?
If the council has been negligent, and the negligence has caused you psychological trauma, you may be able to claim. Pain and suffering due to emotional distress are covered in the general damages head of your claim in addition to the impact on your quality of life any physical injuries have caused you.
Call our team to find out more about whether you’re eligible to sue the council for emotional distress in the UK.
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