How Much Compensation Can I Get For Claims Against A Council?

By Danielle Graves. Last Updated 9th April 2024. 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 authority 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.

A close up shot of someone sitting on a bench holding their knee in pain.

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 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.

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Compensation For Claims Against The Council

If you make a successful personal injury claim against the council, your compensation could consist of two parts: general and special damages.

General damages compensate for the physical pain and mental suffering caused by the council accident. The guideline compensation brackets found in a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) may be referred to by those evaluating your claim for council compensation.  These brackets are used to help value personal injury claims. They are listed next to different injuries in varying severities.

In our table below, we look at a few of these brackets that could be relevant for council compensation payouts. Additionally, we’ve provided an extra row that looks at how compensation could be awarded for multiple serious injuries and incurred costs. This figure is not taken from the JCG. 

It should be noted that all council accident claims are different, with different injuries sustained. As such, the table is only provided for guidance.

Potential Council Compensation Payouts – General Damages Table

Injury TypeSeverityDescriptionAmount
Multiple Serious Injuries and Special DamagesVery SeriousSettlements may include compensation for multiple severe injuries and incurred costs, including lost wages and healthcare expenses.Up to £500,000+
Back InjurySevere (i)Damage to the nerve roots or spinal cord which result in severe consequences. £111,150 to £196,450
Foot InjurySevereBoth feet or heels have been fractures, which causes permanent pain and a significant restriction on mobility.£51,220 to £85,460
Ankle InjuryVery SevereA 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.£61,090 to £85,070
Wrist InjuryComplete Loss of FunctionThe wrist completely looses its function, e.g. due to an arthrodesis being performed.£58,110 to £73,050
Shoulder InjurySevereThis injury often involves damage to the brachial plexus and could cause serious arm and neck symptoms.£23,430 to £58,610
Injury to the Pelvis and/or HipsModerate (i)Significant hip or pelvis injury that does not create any major permanent disability. £32,450 to £47,810
Neck InjuryModerate (i)Dislocations and fractures that cause immediate symptoms that are severe in nature. £30,500 to £46,970
Neck InjuryModerate (iii)Injuries that have exacerbated a pre-existing condition by less than five years. £16,770 to £30,500

If you don’t see the injuries you sustained on our table or have any questions about how general damages will be valued and awarded in a successful claim, please speak to a member of our advisory team.

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.

Eligibility Criteria For Compensation Claims Against A Council

When you are in public spaces, including council property, the controller of the space or the occupier owes you a duty of care. 

This means that in council-controlled spaces, they should ensure your reasonable safety while you are on their property per the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. Council-controlled spaces could include parks, roads, libraries, and other public spaces.

However, compensation claims against the council must satisfy specific eligibility criteria. This means that in order to bring forward a personal injury claim against the council, you must be able to prove that:

  • The council owed you a duty of care.
  • There was a breach of this duty.
  • Your injuries were caused by a breach of this duty. These injuries could be physical, mental or both.

If you would like to discuss the incident that resulted in your injuries and find out if you are eligible to make a claim against the council, get in touch with a member of our advisory team.

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What Evidence Do You Need To Make Compensation Claims Against The Council?

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 as part of the claims process.

Evidence that could be helpful in compensation claims against local councils includes:

  • Witness contact details. If anyone saw the accident on council property, you could note their contact details so they can provide a statement later in the council compensation claims 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 claims process or would like advice about what evidence could support your council compensation claim, call our advisors. In addition to helping you with gathering evidence, they can discuss other stages of the claims process with you.

Someone sat on the ground holding their leg in pain.

Claims Against Local Authorities – Time Limits

In order to claim any kind of council compensation payouts in the UK, it’s important that you start your claim within the relevant time limit. Generally, when you’re making a personal injury claim, you will need to start proceedings within three years of the accident. This is set out in the Limitation Act 1980. 

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you were injured while under the age of eighteen, you’ll have three years from your eighteenth birthday to make a claim. This is because minors cannot claim for themselves. However, a litigation friend can claim on your behalf at any time up until you turn 18.

For those that lack the mental capacity to make their own claim, the time limit is suspended. A litigation friend can make a claim on their behalf at any time during this suspension. If the person recovers the needed capacity, then the three-year time limit is reinstated on the date of their recovery. 

To find out if you are within the right time limit, contact our team of helpful advisors today. Or, read on to find out more about making a compensation claim.

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Suing The Council With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

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 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 about suing the council for negligence with the support of one of the No Win No Fee solicitors from our panel. In addition to free legal advice, a member of our advisory team can discuss the injuries caused by your local council failing to ensure your reasonable safety.

A client asking a solicitor about compensation claims against a council.

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 for council compensation.

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