If you are one of the many people who has suffered a painful injury as a result of tripping on a broken pavement, raised flagstone, pothole or other unsafe area of footpath or road surface, you may well be considering putting in a claim for compensation.
Claims for personal injury compensation that are made as a result of injuries sustained in a tripping accident are one of the most well-known types of accident compensation claim even though they are not the largest individual claim type. Common injuries associated with claims for tripping accident compensation include bone fractures to wrists and ankles, soft tissue damage to the knees and facial injuries. Many people who suffer the worst injuries from tripping accidents tend to be pensioners as they fall hard and struggle to recover fully as a result of the huge effect that their injuries have on them.
At Direct2Compensation we are well experienced in handling public liability personal injury compensation claims after tripping accidents, falls in potholes and other similar incidents. At first glance, someone who trips over on a pothole or dodgy curb may not appear to be injured. Such accidents often seem innocuous, but we can say from experience that people who do trip on a pothole or fall in the street often suffer serious injuries. With this in mind, making a claim for personal injury compensation is a reasonable course of action to take.
Most claims for personal injury compensation that arise from public liability related tripping accidents happen on public footpaths or roads, in shopping or residential areas. The majority of these claims will be made against the highways department of a local authority and their insurers. However, to make a successful claim for personal injury compensation for tripping accident claims, a claimant will need to present a strong claim that proves the liability for their injuries rests with the local authority or landowner.
The key thing is to prove liability and it can be a difficult thing to do. The courts have decided that case law dictates that a local authority highways department should have a reasonable period of time to inspect and repair the footpaths, pavements and road surfaces in their area. This is reasonable and understandable. With this in mind, a claimant has to prove that the local authority have failed to uphold their statutory duties and left a pavement in a dangerous condition for a long period of time.
To know if you can claim after tripping on a pavement, the general rule of thumb to win compensation is that the hazard that caused the claimant to trip, stumble or roll their ankle and fall, has a vertical tripping edge in excess of 25mm (thats 1 inch in old money). That’s a fairly easy thing for a claimant to identify when they look at whats caused their fall. The more complex issue is proving how long the raised flagstone, pothole or uneven pavement surface has been in situ. The courts have stated that a claimant needs to demonstrate that the hazard that caused their accident has been in situ for a minimum of 6 months, often 12 months. So how do you do this?
To greatly increase the strength of your tripping accident compensation claim, you can obtain witness evidence from local shop keepers, residents or other regular users of a footpath or pavement regarding the condition of the pavement. These people will not have witnessed the claimants accident, but instead can be a witness to a hazard being present. They can state where the hazard is, what it is, the rough dimensions of the hazard and how long it has been in situ. If an independent person can state that they have seen the hazard in situ for a minimum of 6 months and sign a statement to that effect, it helps to show that the local authority have either failed to inspect the area or carry out adequate repairs.
If you have been injured after a fall on the pavement, by the shops or near where you live you may be unsure as to whether or not you have a viable tripping accident claim. Don’t let this worry you, our advice is that you should contact us without delay. We know your rights, can give you advice and help about understanding the strengths or otherwise of your claim. Often a simple photograph emailed to us will help us identify whether or not you should make a claim for compensation. Most of us carry camera phones that can email images these days and starting your claim is easy.