By Danielle Graves. Last Updated 17th July 2023. 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.
Jump To A Section:
- A Guide to Claims for Manhole Cover or Drain Accidents
- What Is A Manhole Cover or Drain Accident?
- Types of Injury Caused by Manhole Covers and Drains
- Responsibility for Maintaining Drain and Manhole Covers
- Claim Against A Council If Injured by A Manhole Cover or Drain
- Claim Against an Employer If Injured by A Manhole Cover or Drain
- Claims If Injured by A Manhole Cover or Drain on Private Property
- Claims for Slips or Falls Caused by Drains or Manhole Covers
- How Much Compensation Could I Get For A Manhole Or Drain Accident?
- Dropped Down A Manhole? – Here’s What You’ll Need To Do To Claim
- Why Choose Legal Helpline for Your Claim?
- No Win No Fee Claims If Injured by A Manhole Cover or Drain
- Start A Manhole Cover or Drain Accident Claim
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you successfully claim compensation for injuries suffered due to a broken manhole cover, your settlement may consist of two heads of claim: general and special damages.
General damages compensate for the physical pain and mental suffering you experienced due to your injuries sustained in an accident involving a manhole or drain. Legal professionals can refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for guidance when valuing personal injury claims. This document lists compensation brackets for various injuries.
In our table below, we’ve listed a few figures from the 16th edition of the JCG. As each claim is assessed individually, it is only to be used for guidance and does not represent what your claim could be worth.
Type of Injury How Severe? Level of Compensation Information
Head injury Moderate £43,060 to £219,070 This 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.
Leg injury Moderate (b) (iv) £27,760 to £39,200 This 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.
Back injury Moderate (b) (i) £27,760 to £38,780
This 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 injury Moderate (f) £13,740 to £24,990 This 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.
Hand injury Moderate £5,720 to £13,280 This 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.
Elbow Minor to Moderate (c) Up to £12,590 This 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.
In addition, your settlement may include special damages. This head of a claim reimburses the financial losses caused by your injury. To claim special damages, you should submit evidence of your costs, such as bank statements and receipts.
Here are some examples of costs that could be reimbursed under special damages in a personal injury claim:
- Medical costs, this can include medication expenses as well as any money spent on medical aids, such as wheelchair rental.
- Accommodation adaptions. For example, if you need a wheelchair ramp installed.
- Your loss of earnings for time spent off work to recover from your injuries.
If you need help establishing who is responsible for broken drain covers, and whether you could be eligible to receive compensation for injuries sustained in an accident of this nature, contact an advisor from our team.
As has been discussed already in this guide, responsibility for manholes could belong to the local authority, highway authority, utility companies or even your employer. If there is no cover on a drain, a fall could occur which can result in injuries. However, you will need to establish who had responsibility for the manhole drain cover at the time of your slip, trip and fall injury. For example, some manhole covers may have ‘property of’ signage. A photograph of this could be submitted.
In addition, you need to prove that you were owed a duty of care and a breach in this duty of care resulted in your suffering when you dropped down a manhole. Evidence that could be submitted in personal injury claims might include:
- Medical records. These should detail your injuries as well as the date you sought treatment.
- As stated above, a photograph of the drain cover could prove who was responsible for maintaining it. It can also show that it was damaged. Additionally, if your injuries were visible or caused swelling, you can also submit pictures of them.
- Witness contact information so they can provide statements at a later date.
- Footage of the accident. For example, you can request CCTV or someone may have filmed the accident on a mobile phone or have dashcam footage.
Call our advisors if you would like help gathering the evidence needed to support your claim. All the legal advice we offer is entirely free. Additionally, we can assess your claim’s eligibility. If it looks like it might succeed, we can connect you to a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.
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.
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.
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.
These pages on other sites could be of use:
These other guides could also be useful:
- Claiming for A Slip, Trip or Fall
- Fatal Accident at Work Claims
- How to Claim Against the Local Council
Thanks for reading our manhole cover compensation claims guide.
Guide by MR
Edited by REG