By Danielle Graves. Last Updated 10th October 2023. Welcome to our guide on making compensation claims against the council.
Making a personal injury claim against the council in any circumstance can be complicated and often proves to be very stressful for those involved. This is notably true for those who are still suffering from their injury, be it physically, emotionally or even financially. Making a claim against your local council for accident compensation can feel particularly daunting as they are such a large organisation and it can sometimes be too overwhelming or intimidating for some people to cope with, especially if they have no experience of personal injury claims at all.
Seeking help from a specialist personal injury solicitor from a reputable Claims Management Company can be very beneficial when pursuing compensation claims against the council. Legal Helpline can make the claim on your behalf so that you can concentrate on your recovery. Our legal team are highly experienced and know what needs to be done to give your case the best possible chance of a successful outcome to get you the compensation you deserve.
If would like advice on how to go about suing your local council or authority for an injury you have sustained that wasn’t your fault, have a read through this guide and feel free to call us at Legal Helpline on 0161 696 9685 for further guidance.
Jump to a Section
- Compensation Claims Against Local Councils
- Council Compensation Claims – When Could I Claim?
- How To Sue The Council
- Can You Make A Claim Against The Council Or Local Authority As An Employee?
- Claims Against Local Authorities – Time Limits
- Suing The Council With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- Contact Legal Helpline today for free advice
- Useful Links
In this section, we are going to look at council compensation payouts in the UK. If your personal injury claim is successful, your settlement could consist of two parts: general and special damages.
General damages compensate for any physical pain and mental suffering that has been caused by the injury. If you are suing the council, legal professionals may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) from Judiciary UK to help them assign value to your injuries. This text contains a list of guideline compensation brackets for various types of injuries.
In our table below, we list a few figures from the 16th edition of the JCG. As every personal injury claim is different, it is only provided for guidance.
|Back Injury||Severe (i)||Damage to the nerve roots or spinal cord which result in severe consequences.||£91,090 to £160,980|
|Foot Injury||Severe||Both feet or heels have been fractures, which causes permanent pain and a significant restriction on mobility.||£41,970 to £70,030|
|Ankle Injury||Very Severe||A transmalleolar fracture of the ankle with soft-tissue damage that is extensive. This results in a deformity and may require the leg to be amputated in the future.||£50,060 to £69,700|
|Wrist Injury||(a)||The wrist completely looses its function, e.g. due to an arthrodesis being performed.||£47,620 to £59,860|
|Shoulder Injury||Severe||This injury often involves damage to the brachial plexus and could cause serious arm and neck symptoms.||£19,200 to £48,030|
|Injury to the Pelvis and/or Hips||Moderate (i)||Significant hip or pelvis injury that does not create any major permanent disability.||£26,590 to £39,170|
|Injury to the Pelvis and/or Hips||Lesser Injuries (ii)||Soft tissue injuries that are minor that lead to a complete recovery.||Up to £3,950|
|Neck Injury||Moderate (i)||Dislocations and fractures that cause immediate symptoms that are severe in nature.||£24,990 to £38,490
|Neck Injury||Moderate (iii)||Injuries that have exacerbated a pre-existing condition by less than five years.||£7,890 to £13,740
|Chest Injury||(g)||Soft tissue injuries or the ribs have been fractures, resulting in pain and a serious disability over a few weeks.||Up to £3,950|
If you would like to discuss, ‘Can I sue the council for emotional distress in the UK?’ speak with one of our advisors. They can also provide you a personalised claim valuation that considers emotional distress and special damages.
Suing The Council – Can I Claim Special Damages?
In addition to general damages, your council compensation award may also consist of special damages. This head of a claim compensates you for the financial losses caused by your injuries. For example:
- Your loss of earnings could be recovered. This could include past and future losses.
- Medical expenses, such as the costs of prescriptions or therapy.
- You could be reimbursed for travel expenses, such as the cost of taxis to medical appointments.
- The costs of adaptations made to your home could also be reimbursed if you needed these to cope with your injuries. For example, installing a wheelchair ramp.
When suing the council for special damages, you should save evidence of your expenses, such as bank statements, invoices, receipts, and wage slips.
If you have any questions about what you could claim when you sue the council for negligence, please get in touch with one of our advisors.
For council compensation claims to be successful, a claimant must be able to prove that the council breached their duty of care and were harmed as a result. Per the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957, any party in control of a public space must do all they can to keep that place safe for its intended use. This duty of care extends to local councils as they are in control of various public places, such as parks and leisure centres.
There are various instances in which your council’s negligence could have resulted in an accident. For example:
- You may consider suing the council for uneven pavement. If you tripped over a raised paving tile, causing you to suffer a foot injury, you may be able to make a claim. However, the council must have been aware of this issue without fixing it within a reasonable time.
- The weather report predicted icy conditions, and your local council did not grit any of the main roads. This causes you to slip on your way to work and suffer from a wrist injury.
- Lack of maintenance checks on public equipment. For example, you sit on a bench at a public park, and it breaks, causing you to suffer a hip injury.
Contact our advisors today for more information about starting a claim against your local council and compensation payouts for successful claims.
As stated above, the local council owes a duty of care to members of the public. Should they fail to adhere to the legislation in place and you are injured as a result, you might be able to make a personal injury claim.
You may be wondering how to sue the council and asking yourself “can I sue the council for emotional distress in the UK, and if so what proof will I need to provide?” You will need to submit evidence that proves a breach in the duty of care caused your injuries, including any psychological injuries you’d like to claim for.
Evidence that could be helpful in compensation claims against local councils includes:
- Witness contact information. If anyone saw what happened, you could note their contact details so they can provide a statement later in the claiming process.
- Medical records. In addition to your medical records, you might be invited to an independent medical assessment. This will help establish injury severity and what impact it is expected to have on your life.
- Accident footage. For example, from CCTV.
- Photographs from the accident scene. For example, if broken pavement caused you to suffer an injury in a slip, trip or fall accident, you could photograph this.
If you need any help with any stage of the claiming process or would like free advice about what evidence could support your claim, call our advisors.
If you are an employee of the council and you have been injured whilst at work, making compensation claims against the council will differ slightly as you will be making an ‘accident at work’ claim rather than a general compensation claim that a private individual would make against the council. However, you would still need to prove, just as in other claims cases, that the council were negligent in some way and so to blame for your accident causing you to be injured.
An example of a claim an employee may make which in actual fact would be illegitimate would be if the employee were to make a claim for back pain due to falling off of their chair because they had lent too far back. In doing so, they were going against their employer’s advice and guidelines, and so therefore their claim may well be dismissed as it was they themselves that acted in a negligent manner to the health and safety procedures in place.
As an example of a legitimate claim, however, if a gardener employed by the council were to be injured by another council employee whilst taking care of the public gardens, they might be able to make a compensation claim. Depending on the circumstances, it may be that the gardener was injured due to insufficient training given to the other employee regarding using gardening equipment and tools. Therefore, the council could be found liable for negligence due to their failure to provide adequate relevant and correct health and safety procedure training.
Another example of a possible claim that could in turn be legitimate or illegitimate depending on the circumstances, is if a council employee were to trip and sustain an ankle injury due to an uneven council pavement, they could start a council or local authority claim.
If the council have failed to either initially lay the pavement evenly and correctly, or have failed to maintain the correct safe condition on the pavement, then they would be seen as negligent in their duty of care and therefore liable and the claim would be legitimate. However, if the council had installed and maintained the pavement to the correct health and safety standards, then they would not necessarily be liable and so the case may be illegitimate.
The council and claimant relationship in these circumstances are very similar in most cases to that of a claimant and an employer in the private sector as many of the factors that apply are the same.
If your child suffered injuries due to the council failing to uphold its duty of care, you may wish to know if a claim is possible. In this section, we explain the time limits when starting a personal injury claim and what exceptions may apply.
For claims against the local authorities, the time limit is typically three years to start a claim as set by the Limitation Act 1980. This is usually three years from the date of the incident. However, there are circumstances where the injured party cannot start a claim for themselves. These suspend the time limit. They include:
- Children under the age of 18 at the time of the incident cannot start a claim. A litigation friend could be appointed at any time to start suing the council on their behalf. However, if a claim was not started, the injured party would have three years after their 18th birthday to start a claim.
- Additionally, the time limit is suspended indefinitely for those who lack the mental capacity to start their own claim. As with children, a litigation friend can act on their behalf and start a claim at any time. If the injured party were to regain their capacity, they will have three years from the date it was determined that capacity had been regained to start a claim.
Our advisors can help you get started with suing the council for negligence right away. Call them on the number at the top of the screen for a free claim assessment. If your claim seems like it could successfully recover compensation, you could be put in touch with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.
Taking legal action against a local council can seem daunting, but a solicitor can help explain the process to you. One of the solicitors on our panel could help you with your case as they have experience with claims against local authorities. Additionally, if you have a valid claim, they may offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
When working with a solicitor under this arrangement, you will not have to pay them any upfront or ongoing fees for their services. Furthermore, if your claim fails, you won’t have to pay them anything for the work they provided on your case.
If your claim succeeds, your solicitor will take a success fee from your compensation award. The percentage your solicitor can take as a success fee is legally capped.
Our advisors are on hand to answer any questions you may have about council compensation payouts and working with a solicitor. Get in touch today to learn more.
By contacting Legal Helpline today, you are taking your first positive step to a successful compensation claim against the council. Just call us on 0161 696 9685 and we will do our very best to help and advise you on the best possible route of making your claim.
Are you a council or local authority employee and have been injured while at work? The link below details the process of making a work accident claim.
The council may be responsible for your safety in a public park.
Find out how claims involving an injured child can differ.
Visit the NHS website for any medical advice.
See this government guide on claiming compensation following an accident.
If the council is responsible for your injuries by way of not ensuring their roads are properly maintained, you may be able to claim against them for anxiety and other psychological impacts.
This article shows an example case study of just one possible instance regarding how much a claim against the council could be worth.
Thanks for reading our guide on making compensation claims against the council.