What Is The Pavement Trip Hazard Height In The UK And When Could You Claim?

In this guide, we will look at the pavement trip hazard height in the UK. If you experience a slip, trip or fall on the pavement, you could experience a wide range of injuries. If you can show that your accident was caused by the negligence of someone else, then you could be owed compensation.

When you’re in public, you’re owed a duty of care. This means that the person in control of the space needs to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety. In the case of trips on pavement, this could be a council. We will examine what a duty of care is later on in this guide.

If you can show that your injury was the result of negligence, then you may be able to claim. One of our advisors could assess your claim and offer you free legal advice, as well as value your claim for you.

From there, they could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel to work on your case. If you’d like to speak with someone today, you can:

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A Guide About The Pavement Trip Hazard Height In The UK For Highway Tripping Claims

In this guide, we will assess what could form the basis for a valid compensation claim. In order to claim compensation, you need to show that:

  • The third-party owed you a duty of care;
  • There was a breach of this duty of care;
  • As a result, an accident took place that left you injured.

This guide will examine the height that a trip hazard needs to meet before you can make a personal injury claim. We’ll also look at the causes of trip accidents on pavements and how they can be prevented.

You will need to provide evidence of your accident on the pavement and subsequent injuries. We’ll cover the kind of evidence that could support your claim, as well as how compensation is calculated and how much you could receive.

You should also be aware that the general personal injury claims time limit is 3 years. This means that you have up to 3 years after the accident to start a claim.

However, some exceptions do apply to this time limit. To find out how much longer you have to begin a claim, speak with an advisor today. Otherwise, read on to find out more about pavement trip hazard heights in the UK.

What Are Accidents Caused By Falling On Uneven Pavements?

If a pavement is uneven or poorly maintained, this could result in an accident. For example, someone could suffer a slip, trip or fall because of a trip hazard on a pavement.

This could happen if the paving stones that make up the pavement move or degrade over time. This could result in a trip hazard as one paving stone is lower or higher than all the rest.

A trip hazard could also occur because of damage to the pavement. For example, there could be a crack or pothole in a paving stone that creates a trip hazard.

There are a number of injuries that you could sustain if you experienced a trip on the pavement. These include:

Some of these injuries can be relatively minor. However, you could also experience a serious injury as a result of a pavement trip.

The list we’ve included above is not extensive by any means. If you’ve experienced an injury that we have not mentioned above, you may still be able to claim.

Speak with an advisor today to find out more about pursuing a claim. Otherwise, you can read on for more information on how to claim for a pavement trip.

Pavement Trip Hazard Height In The UK And Councils Duty Of Care

The pavement trip hazard height in the UK is not outlined in the law. However, a council will usually not consider a claim for a trip hazard that is less than one inch.

The council has a duty of care towards you as outlined in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. This states that the party in control of a public place (the occupier) needs to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of those who use it.

Local authorities often act as the occupiers in control of pavements, footpaths and roads meaning that they have a responsibility to maintain the pavement. They should do this even if the actions that led to the deterioration were an example of improper conduct.

An example of this can be seen in the case of Rider vs Rider: CA 1973. In this case, the council were held responsible for failing to repair a drop on the side of the road.  They argued that it was inappropriate for a driver to travel so close to the side of the road. However, the Court of Appeal stated that the council should anticipate and allow for the fact that not every driver is perfect.

Pavement Trip Hazard Height In The UK And Claims Against The Council

In many cases, a claim for a trip on a pavement will be made against the council. This is because local authorities have a responsibility to maintain the pavement as outlined in the Highways Act 1980.

However, a local council is not the only body that might be responsible for maintaining a pavement. There are situations in which another organisation could be responsible for maintaining pavements and walkways.

For example, there could be a pavement or paved area in an outdoor shopping centre. If this is the case, then this area may be the responsibility of the occupier of this space. They would have a duty of care to members of the public who walked on the path.

If you’re unsure who was responsible for your accident, speak with our team of advisors today; they may be able to help. If your claim is valid, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

Defences Against Your Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claim

If you have tripped on a pavement and injured yourself, it may not be a result of the council’s negligence. They could say they have done everything expected of them and defend the claim based on Section 58 of the Highways Act.

This section states that the council can defend against a claim for compensation for injury caused by a highway defect. They can do this by claiming that they have taken sufficient care to secure the part of the highway that the accident happened on, and an accident happened anyway.

There’s no official, one-size-fits-all schedule for checking and maintaining a highway. The frequency with which a highway is expected to be checked and maintained will depend on things like how frequently it is used, and the traffic that uses it. For example, a quiet country path that only sees a few pedestrians travel down it every day may require less maintenance and fewer checks than a busy piece of pavement at the entrance of a shopping centre.

In addition to this, the council might argue that they could not be expected to know that part of the highway was damaged, posing a danger to those using it. Furthermore, they may say that they were aware and put notices up to warn of the hazard, but that they could not be expected to repair it in the time between being made aware and the accident happening.

For more information on the pavement trip hazard height in the UK, you can get in touch with our friendly team of advisors. You could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel to work on your claim.

Accidents Caused By A Lack Of Maintenance

There is a code of practice that should be followed when maintaining highways. This sets out the kinds of things that should be looked at when roads or highways are being maintained.

There are 6 main types of maintenance on public highways. These are:

  • Reactive- This is where maintenance is done in response to something, for example an inspection or a complaint
  • Routine- This is maintenance that is performed regularly; for example, cutting grass or replacing streetlight bulbs
  • Programmed- This kind of maintenance is planned flexibly. It’s focused on things like structural renewal and reconditioning
  • Regulatory- these involve inspecting and regulating the activities of others
  • Winter service
  • Resilience and emergencies

Maintenance failings in any of these areas could cause a trip hazard on the pavement to be left unfixed. For example, it may be that the council had been told about a trip hazard but did not do anything about it. This would be an example of a failure to carry out reactive maintenance.

If you can prove that your accident came about because the council failed to carry out the required maintenance, you could be entitled to claim. Speak with our team of advisors today for more information and guidance.

What Pavement Trip Evidence Do I Need To Collect?

Evidence is a really important part of the personal injury claims process. You need to be able to prove that the accident happened because of negligence and that you suffered injury as a result.

Examples of the evidence you could provide might include:

  • Photographs of the accident scene with tape measurements of the kerb height;
  • The details of any witnesses who saw the accident happen;
  • Any available CCTV footage;
  • Medical records to show the injuries you sustained.

Once you begin your claim, an independent medical assessment will be arranged for you. Here, an independent expert will confirm the extent of your injuries and that they are consistent with a trip accident. The report from this meeting will be used to value your claim.

Calculating Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claims

When you make a claim for compensation, your payout could be made up of two different heads of claim. These are referred to as general and special damages.

General damages are the part of your claim that compensates you for the pain and suffering that your injuries have caused you. These injuries could be physical or psychological.

Below, we have included a table to illustrate the amount you could receive in general damages. These come from guidelines from the Judicial College.

Leg Injury- Moderate £26,050 to £36,790Complex multiple fractures requiring extensive rehabilitation & some lasting damage
Knee Injury- Severe (iii) £24,580 to £40,770A knee injury bringing about some form of permanent effects, for example limited movement or instability
Le Fort Fractures of Facial Bones £22,350 to £34,480Fractures to the frontal bones of the face
Multiple Facial Bone Fractures£13,970 to £22,470Includes fractures that will leave the injured person with some deformity
Nasal Fracture (i) £9,990 to £21,700Serious fracture needing several operations & with permanent airway damage
Cheekbone Fracture (i) £9,570 to £14,810A fracture requiring surgical treatment & with some permanent damage.
Teeth Damage £8,200 to £10,710Includes losing or suffering serious damage to several front teeth
Toe Injury- Moderate Up to £9,010A straightforward toe injury such as a fracture or laceration. Could include the exacerbation of a pre-existing condition.
Jaw Fracture (iii) £6,060 to £8,200A basic fracture needing immobilization but with a full recovery.
Brain Or Head Injury- Minor £2,070 to £11,980If any brain damage does occur, it will be minimal.

Please be aware that these are not guarantees; instead, they’re just guideline brackets based on past awards that have been made for certain injuries. For a more accurate assessment of your claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of advisors today.

What Else Could My Highway Tripping Claim Include?

As well as general damages, you might also receive special damages as part of your compensation award. This is the part of your settlement that covers you for any financial losses or costs you have incurred because of your injuries.

Special damages can cover things like:

  • Loss of earnings 
  • Costs of treatment and medication
  • Transport costs to and from hospital appointments
  • The cost of care
  • Home or vehicle adaptations
  • The cost of a nurse or carer.

It’s really important that you provide evidence to support the special damages head of your claim. For example, you might have an invoice to show the cost of adapting your vehicle or payslips to show that you missed out on working.

What Steps Should I Take When Making A Highway Tripping Claim?

After you’ve determined that the hazard you’ve tripped on meets the pavement trip hazard height in the UK, you might be wondering what the next best steps are to take.

Initially, you should ensure that you get the medical attention you need for your injuries. You might need treatment that, if not administered, could make your condition worse. For example, if you’ve fractured your leg and you don’t get treatment for this, it could worsen over time. In addition to this, medical records could be used to help prove your claim.

You should also collect evidence of the accident itself. For example, you should take a photograph of the hazard with something to show how high it is. You could also provide details of any witnesses who saw it take place.

No Win No Fee Claims For Injuries Due To Pavement Trip Hazard Heights In The UK

You may wish to speak to a personal injury solicitor about taking legal action. This isn’t a legal requirement, but having a solicitor who is aware of the pavement trip hazard height in the UK and who has experience making these kinds of claims could help.

However, you might be worried about the cost that this could incur. If so, you may be interested in finding out more about No Win No Fee agreements.

This kind of agreement sets out the conditions that your solicitor needs to meet before asking you to pay them. It means you won’t be asked to pay them anything upfront, during the claims process or if your claim is not a success.

If your claim is successful, a small “success fee” will be deducted from your compensation award. This is legally capped, ensuring that you always get the majority of the compensation you’re awarded.

Please chat with us if you need to know more about working with a No Win No Fee solicitor. You could be connected with a solicitor from our panel to represent you on this basis.

Contact Legal Helpline Today

We hope that this guide on the pavement trip hazard height in the UK has helped. If you have any more questions or would like to have a free assessment of your claim, just get in touch.

Remember that you don’t have to make a claim just because you speak to us. However, you can do this if you wish, and we’re accessible all day and every day to speak. To get in touch, you can:

Learn More

We hope you now have great knowledge about making a pavement trip hazard height UK claim. However, if you do need more information, why not check out these links below?

Claims Against The Council- Learn about the process of claiming compensation against a council or local authority.

Claiming for Concussion or a Minor Head Injury– You could sustain a minor head injury in a pavement accident. Read our guide for information on how to claim.

Claiming As a Pedestrian Hit By a Car– This guide contains information on the process of claiming after being hit by a car.

Broken arm- NHS guidance on a broken arm or wrist.

Report a problem with a pavement– This page on the government website allows you to report an issue with a pavement.

Highways England– Use this page to find out if a road is managed by Highways England


Below we’ve answered some questions we’re frequently asked.

What responsibility do councils and the Highways Authority have?

Amongst other things, they have a responsibility to maintain public roads and pathways. This is outlined in the Highways Act 1980.

What injuries could you suffer for tripping over?

It’s possible to suffer bruises, fractures, disfigurements, muscle tears, sprains, strains, twists and even unconsciousness as a result of tripping on the pavement. In some cases, a pavement trip could put you in the path of traffic on the road.

Thank you for reading our guide on the pavement trip hazard height in the UK. 

Written by MA

Edited by FS