I Was Injured by A Manhole Cover or Drain, Could I Claim Compensation? – What To Do? – How To Claim?

By Olivia Astra. Last updated 11th March 2021. Welcome to our manhole cover compensation claims guide. This guide is aimed at people who have suffered an accident and been injured by a manhole cover or drain. This could be for many reasons, such as a manhole cover causing a slip, trip or fall. If it can be proven that a third party, such as the local council or highways authority caused the hazard which resulted in an injury, a personal injury claim could be possible. This guide shows you how.

You may need answers to questions that this guide doesn’t cover, as all claims are unique in their circumstances. If you have other questions, we will happily assist you too. Just give our team a call on 0161 696 9685, and one of our friendly advisors will answer your questions and provide any other help they can.

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A Guide to Claims for Manhole Cover or Drain Accidents

If you have been the victim of a manhole cover or drain accident, this guide will help you make a manhole cover compensation claim for your suffering. For example, if you have slipped, tripped or fallen due to a manhole cover that had not been replaced properly, you could be entitled to compensation. We cover many ways these accidents can occur and many establish grounds for personal injury claims when the accident was the responsibility of a third party.

Manhole cover compensation claim

Manhole cover compensation claim

The guide starts with an explanation of what manhole cover accidents are and the reason that you just may be in a position to make a claim due to your injuries. We list some of the more common kinds of accidents involving a drain or manhole cover as well. Claims against your local council and also your employer are covered in some detail, as are accidents that happen on private property. We have also included a section that focuses on slip, trip and fall accidents, one of the most common kinds of accidents of all.

The last part of this manhole cover compensation claims guide is dedicated to looking at some of the financial aspects of making a claim. You will find that we have added a table intended to help you to get a rough idea of the value of your claim. You will also find a list of the different kinds of more frequently received kinds of damages if a claim is a success. We close this guide with an explanation that covers what a No Win, No Fee claim is, how this Agreement works, and the benefits it can provide.

If you have any questions related to this guide, or specific to your own claim, then please give our team a call on 0161 696 9685. One of our advisors will address your questions, provide you with key information such as the personal injury claims time limit that will apply, and also explain how we can help you get your claim started.

What Is A Manhole Cover or Drain Accident?

Manhole covers are everywhere. On our pavements and roads, hidden in our back garden or on our driveways, in the local park and in the car parks of public buildings. Manhole covers are used to cover drains, water pipes, electrical cables, fibre optic telecoms cables, and other utilities. These manhole covers could be the responsibility of the local council, the local water or gas company, the highway authority, or telecoms providers.

When the entity responsible for a manhole cover allows it to fall into disrepair, or a representative fails to secure it properly after accessing it, this can cause an accident. If a member of the public is harmed in such an accident, they could seek to use a personal injury lawyer to pursue a claim on their behalf. That’s something that we can help you with. Legal Helpline aims to put you in touch with the best specialist solicitor to meet your needs. Please call our team to find out how.

Types of Injury Caused by Manhole Covers and Drains

If you have tripped over a drain cover or tripped over a manhole cover, you could be entitled to make a drain cover compensation claim. Some of the most common injuries resulting from these types of accidents include:

  • Sprains and strains of the ankle or wrist.
  • Cuts and lacerations.
  • Head injuries.
  • Fractures or dislocations of the fingers, thumbs, wrist or ankle.

In addition to these, elderly people could suffer more serious injuries, such as a fractured hip or pelvis. No matter what injury you have sustained in a manhole accident, if you can prove that a third party was responsible, we could be able to help you make a manhole cover compensation claim today.

Responsibility for Maintaining Drain and Manhole Covers

Every victim of a drain cover accident or service cover accident will need to prove that a third party was responsible for it. There are a number of different legal entities, some being government bodies, others being privately-owned companies, that could be responsible for a manhole causing an accident. For example:

  • The local council.
  • The local highways authority.
  • An Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  • A telecoms provider.
  • The local water board.
  • The local electricity company.

These are examples of some of the third parties that could be responsible for maintaining a drain or service cover that has caused an accident. If you can prove that the third party was to blame for an accident in which you were harmed, you could make a manhole cover compensation claim for your suffering. If you are unsure who you may need to claim against in your own case, please call our team and they can help you.

Claim Against A Council If Injured by A Manhole Cover or Drain

Your local council is responsible for many of the manhole covers you see in the street, and also places like public playgrounds, parks and car parking facilities. If you have tripped over a drain cover that the local authority is responsible for, and this has resulted in a manhole cover injury, then you could be able to make a compensation claim. However, you are going to need to be able to show that it was a manhole or service cover for which the local council is responsible. We can advise you on how to do this if you give our team a call.

Claim Against an Employer If Injured by A Manhole Cover or Drain

Your employer has a legal duty to provide you with a safe place to work at all times. Therefore, if you have tripped over a service cover and hurt yourself while at work, and the service cover is owned and maintained by your employer, you could have a valid claim.

Your employer is legally obliged to keep you safe at work, so if they have failed to do this, you may be able to make a drain cover compensation claim. Talk to a member of our team of advisors to learn more about how to do this.

Claims If Injured by A Manhole Cover or Drain on Private Property

If you have suffered an accident caused by a manhole or service cover while on private property, then you may be in a position to make a claim for your injuries. Not all manhole covers on private property are the responsibility of the owners of the property. Some are maintained by the local council and utility companies.

However, if the manhole cover that caused an accident is an integral part of the infrastructure of the private property, for example, an underground cabling junction box, then it would be the property owner that would be liable to pay you compensation. If you need to work out who is responsible for a service cover that caused an accident on private property, call our team.

Claims for Slips, Trips or Falls Caused by Drains or Manhole Covers

Slip, trip and fall accidents are a very common form of accident in the UK. These simple accidents can happen anywhere, at any time, and in some cases can result in severe injuries. A broken manhole cover is a natural slip, trip and fall hazard. For example:

  • A manhole or service cover that has not been replaced and not marked as a hazard, could result in a person falling down it.
  • A manhole cover that has not been replaced properly could cause a person to trip over it.
  • A broken or cracked manhole cover could retain water instead of shedding it and cause a person to slip over.

All of these are examples of how a service or manhole cover can cause an accident, which could harm a member of the public. In such cases, if it can be proven that a third party was to blame for the accident, you could be in a position to make a manhole cover compensation claim. To learn more about doing this, please speak to a member of our team.

Compensation Calculator for Manhole Cover or Drain Accidents

You might try to locate some kind of personal injury claims calculator that can give you a general idea of the level of compensation that you may be able to claim. In our experience, they can be a little clunky to use. Instead, we find it more helpful to use a table such as the one below.  You can look up your injury and find the range of compensation that could be awarded to you. The figures in this table are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, a legal publication that sets out compensation awards made by the courts for different injuries.

Type of InjuryHow Sever?Level of CompensationInformation
Arm injuryModerateUp to £11,820This category would include injuries and conditions such as tennis elbow. As well as simple fractures, sort-tissue injuries lacerations, etc. The victim would heal fully in time with no permanent impairment.
Back injuryModerate£26,050 to £36,390This category would include injuries such as a compression or crush fracture that affects the lumbar vertebrae. Spinal fusion may be necessary and there would be an increased risk of osteoporosis or arthritis later in life.
Foot injuryModerate£12,900 to £23,460This category would include injuries such as a serous fracture. Once healed the foot would be permanent deformed and the victim would suffer a change in gait and be unable to wear normal shoes.
Leg injuryModerate£26,050 to £36,790This category would include injuries such as compound or multiple fractures to a single leg. The amount of compensation paid would depend on the level of pain the victim has suffered, as well as whether they had to undergo invasive, traumatic treatment. There could be some permanent impairment and surgery may be needed to correct imperfect union of fractures.
Head injuryModerate£40,410 to £205,580This category would include injuries that caused a loss of cognitive ability, memory problems, a change of personality, etc. Sight, speech and other senses may be affected, and the prospect of employment would be slim.
Hand injuryModerate£5,260 to £12,460This category would include injuries such as crush damage, deep lacerations and penetrating wounds, as well as some soft-tissue injuries. The highest compensation would be paid for prior injuries that have been partially treated by surgery, yet still cause a disability of some kind.

It’s important to note that these figures are just estimates. If you would like to receive a more accurate estimate of the level of damages you could be able to claim, a solicitor will need to value your claim for you. You can call our team for some help with arranging this.

Special Damages Claimable If Injured by A Manhole Cover or Drain

When a personal injury solicitor is successful in processing a claim, the claimant will receive either an out of court settlement, or a settlement awarded in court. This settlement will likely be made up of two heads of claim: general damages, which are designed to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity experienced as a result of the injuries (covered in our compensation calculator section above), and special damages. 

The level of general damages awarded will depend on how traumatic the accident/injuries were, how invasive the treatment was, and whether there will be any long-term effect on the claimant’s life. Other considerations include:

  • Mental stress – caused by the trauma of being involved in an accident, or by having to undergo intrusive, painful treatment.
  • General pain and suffering – during the time that you are recovering from your injuries.
  • Painful recovery – if it will require long and painful treatment to ensure your injuries heal.
  • Long-term or permanent disabilities – if you will never recover from your injuries completely and will be left with a measurable disability that affects your work and private life.
  • Lowered life quality – if your injuries will heal but leave you with a lowered capacity to enjoy and live your life.

The purpose of special damages is to compensate you for any financial losses or expenses incurred, or those that will be incurred in the future. . In order to claim these costs, claimants need to provide documentary evidence such as invoices, bills and receipts. Some specific types of costs you can recover include:

  • Nursing costs – if you had to hire a private nurse to help to take care of you at home during your recovery..
  • Loss of wages/salary – either fully or partially because you took time off work due to your injuries.
  • Lowered earning potential – if a long-term or permanent disability will lower your possibility of working, or even stop you working entirely, you can factor this into the claim. 
  • Out of pocket expenses – for the likes of bus or taxi receipts that were incurred due to needing to visit a healthcare facility or to deal with the claim itself in some way.
  • Private medical fees – if the NHS was unable to provide you with required treatment for free, and you had to pay for this treatment yourself.

A member of our team of advisors will be able to give you a rough idea of the kinds of damages you could be able to claim as part of a manhole cover compensation claim. Give them a call today to find out.

Steps to Take Before Making A Personal Injury Claim

If you have been injured in a drain cover accident, there are some steps you can take that will help to prepare you for making a drain cover compensation claim, which include:

  • Report the accident to the relevant authority if appropriate.
  • Complete the accident book if you had an accident at work.
  • Make sure to get first aid if it is available.
  • Visit the hospital to have your injuries treated.
  • Gather evidence such as photographs of the scene of the accident.
  • Get contact details of any witnesses.
  • Save any receipts, invoices, bills, etc. that relate to the accident and your injuries.

Taking steps such as these will ensure you have fulfilled your legal obligations and also received the help you need at the time of the accident.

Why Choose Legal Helpline for Your Claim?

Our panel of solicitors has over 30 years of expertise in helping claimants get the compensation they are entitled to. Our solicitors will do all they can to ensure that your claim is a success, and you get the most compensation possible. They are always available to keep you updated on the status of your claim, and will do so without legal jargon, just plain and simple English.

No Win, No Fee Claims If Injured by A Manhole Cover or Drain

When you make a No Win, No Fee claim, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), you will gain the legal help you need without putting yourself at financial risk. Your solicitor won’t expect to be paid a fee to start your claim, nor while it is processed. If the claim isn’t a success, your solicitor won’t look to collect their fees from you either.

When the claim is a success, your lawyer could ask you to pay a small contribution toward their fees from the compensation awarded. This is known as a success fee and is legally capped.

Manhole Cover Compensation Claim FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding manhole cover compensation claims.

Start A Manhole Cover or Drain Accident Claim

Have you been injured in an accident that was caused by a badly replaced or broken drain cover? Do you think you may have a valid basis to make a manhole cover compensation claim for the harm you suffered?

If so, please contact our team on 0161 696 9685. One of our advisors will help to get your claim started toaday.


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Thanks for reading our manhole cover compensation claims guide.

Guide by MR

Edited by REG