How to prove council liability in tripping accident compensation claims

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Succeeding with claims for personal injury compensation isn’t always easy and some types of claim prove much harder to succeed with than others.  One such type is public liability compensation claims, often involving slip and trip accidents. Many of these claims are made against the local council after a fall or trip on a damaged section of pavement, curb or pothole.

Although council liability can be a hard thing to prove, it can be done and below we’ll guide you through what to do after tripping and injuring yourself.

What the law says about proving council liability

Claiming personal injury compensation from the council after a tripping accident isn’t easy due to precedents set by the courts, which has made defending such claims fairly easy for local authorities.

The courts have found that to prove liability in tripping accident compensation claims, claimants must show that a local authority or landowner responsible for the site of their accident had known that a hazard was present before the client was injured. Furthermore, they must demonstrate that the local authority had reasonable time to inspect that area of pavement/highway and should have repaired the hazard and removed the risk of injury.

When a claim is made against a council, they will often fall back on what’s known as the ‘Section 58 defence’. This essentially means they can provide documentation showing a reasonable system of maintenance, that there has been no previous accidents or complaints, and that repairs were made promptly.

However, if the council has failed to uphold its statutory duties and left a pavement in a dangerous condition for too long, they can be held liable for your injuries. For the council to accept liability, you need to prove two things about the hazard which caused your trip:

  • Firstly, that the hazard sticks up or goes down by more than 25mm (1 inch).
  • Secondly, that the hazard has been in place for at least 6 months.

Council road and pavement maintenance requirements

Precedent states that any local authority highways departments should (in most cases) inspect every section of their roads and footpaths once every 6 months.  An inspector should record the roads and pavements that they have inspected and the local authority should hold a record of the inspections that they have carried out.  If when defending a claim for slip and trip personal injury compensation, a highways department can provide a report that shows that they inspected the area where a claimant was injured within the last 6 months and no defect was found, it is most likely that the claimant will not succeed with their claim.  Whilst this will see a claimant not win any compensation, they will not face any costs.

However, just because a council provide an inspection report, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be held liable.  In some cases, courts have found that the inspection regime of a local authority was inadequate.  For example, in one instance a court Judge hearing a claim for compensation against a local authority was of the opinion that the inspection was inadequate and although they had checked the pavements, they hadn’t done so thoroughly and were therefore liable for the claim that they faced.  This was because the inspection was a simple drive by inspection of the streets and estates, rather than an on foot walk through.  On some streets, a drive by inspection may be adequate, but on others a hazardous section of footpath could be obstructed from view if it was not walked.  Of course, the local authority welcome reports of dangerous and broken footpaths and can act on such reports.  Although it has been reported that there is a backlog of pothole repairs, the onus to repair a defect quickly is still there.

In summary, councils have the following duties when it comes to roads and pavements:

  • To have a system to regularly inspect roads and footpaths for accident risks
  • To check busier routes more regularly than less used ones
  • To repair any defects within a reasonable time
  • To act on any public reports of dangerous surfaces within a reasonable time
  • To signpost any hazards or dangers to the public

Failing to uphold these responsibilities could leave a council open to having to pay compensation to anyone injured as a result of their negligence.

Recording and gathering evidence

In order to win compensation, claimants must gather as much evidence as possible to help their solicitor force the defending insurers to admit liability. If you haven’t had medical treatment, it is likely that your injuries will not be seen as sufficiently serious to warrant a claim for compensation.  This is because medical evidence is needed to support your claim.  If you have been suffering in silence and haven’t seen the GP, you still can.  If the GP is happy to note that your injuries are consistent with those suffered as a result of a slip or trip, you can then prove your injuries and pursue a claim.

Even if your injuries are severe, the hazard must still have a vertical tripping edge in excess of 25mm for you to have a valid claim. That’s a fairly easy thing for a claimant to identify when they look at what’s caused their fall, and photographs of the hazard can be taken for proof.

The more complex issue is proving how long the raised flagstone, pothole or uneven pavement surface has been in situ.  The 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?

Local witnesses

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 claimant’s 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.

For example, if a pothole has been on a footpath by a row of houses, it is likely that the residents of those houses will know how long it has been there for.  Also, one of them may have reported it to the council already.  As an injured claimant, you should approach these residents and ask if they know about the pothole and how long it has been there.  If one of them does, you could ask them if they would be willing to act as a hazard witness.

Most people are angry about broken pavements and are more than willing to act as a witness to support a claimant as they know that a successful claim will help to make sure that the local authority speed up their inspection and repair regime.

Reporting your accident to the council

If you’ve tripped on a public footpath, you must report to the relevant department of the local authority responsible for the area in which you fell.  You should describe the hazard location, what the hazard is and what injuries you’ve had and what medical treatment you have received. If you have tripped on private land, such as in a car park of a shop, business premises or restaurant, you must make every effort to ensure that the party responsible for running the premises is informed.

As with all accidents, it is important to report and record your accident correctly.  Don’t worry if you don’t know how to do this as we can advise you how to make sure that you do report the details to the right people quickly.  When you report a tripping accident and injuries to a local authority, they should give you a report log number and may well send you an incident report form.

In normal circumstances, reporting an accident and a hazard to a potential defendant is really important.  However, in cases of tripping accidents on a public footpath, make sure that you have photographs of the accident site showing the depth or height of the tripping hazard with clear measurements before you report your accident.

Before sending all this in, our best advice is to hire a specialist personal injury solicitor to run your claim, as this will give you the best chance of succeeding.

Claiming against the council for your injuries

If you can prove council liability and your injuries are severe enough, you will be eligible to claim compensation for them. Our solicitors claim for the following on your behalf:

  • The pain and distress caused to you by the injuries sustained (the value of the injury element of the claim will be determined by medical evidence and a review of your medical records)
  • Associated costs and losses (special damages) – such as lost income if you are unable to work as a result of the injury or damage to personal items – such as your spectacles or mobile phone and property
  • Restrictions on your ability to fulfil your usual activities and social life
  • Whether or not you have required any post accident care

We understand that it is hard to know if you whether you have a valid claim for tripping accident compensation and with this in mind, why not contact us to discuss your situation or leave a question below?  We have years of experience in working on such claims and expert solicitors with a fantastic track record.

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Questions & Advice On Claiming

  • Darren

    In August 2021, I tripped over a rainwater gulley where the cover was missing. This caused a fracture to the wrist of which I still have a large amount of pain and recently received a steroid injection to help subdue the pain in the wrist. Through a specialist claim handler, I submitted a claim to the local authority in December via the small claims portal, which then dropped out of the portal due to no response. A further 3 months later, the local authority replied claiming a section 58 denial of liability, along with records of an inspection that took place a few weeks before my trip. Having looked at the records provided, it is pretty clear that the inspection did not cover the area of the trip, but noted that the broken drain was repaired as soon as they had received the claim. Reviewing images of this area on Google Earth images, it can be seen that said drain cover has been missing for a number of years. Over the past 9 months I have lost out on income I would normally have earned for overtime. I’ve also been diagnosed with anxiety because of the fall, and have now been informed that if I was to obtain compensation from a third party under my contract of employment, that any sick pay given during that period is treated as a loan to be repaid on receipt of any compensation payment. The claims solicitor handling the claim is seeking advice from a senior partner and states they may have to take advice of a barrister in how to proceed. I just wondered whether you might have an insight into the process based on your past experience, especially with the amounts due to loss being in excess of the fast track claims amount.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      With regards to the payment issue and any amount being recovered by the employer, don’t worry – if you do succeed with your claim and any lost income/overtime pay is recovered, you should not be left out of pocket if you succeed with your claim.

      The section 58 defence is raised in almost all claims arising from ‘tripping accidents’ or pavement disrepair matters. Sadly, it is all too easy for a local authority highways department to squirm out of admitting liability in such cases. However, it would appear that you have some useful evidence that could be used to demonstrate that the local authority inspection referenced in their defence was inadequate and that they had failed to undertake proper inspections or act on the fact that the drain cover was missing for many years – as shown in your google maps research. One would anticipate that a Barrister may see this as reasonable and viable route against which to contest the defence and continue pursuit of your claim for personal injury compensation.

      Reply
  • Kelly

    I live in a 1 level flat with about 18 stairs to my flat. The concrete stairs were badly cracked and a stair gave way when I walked down them (I already have a bad back). I contacted council and told them about this and they said they would send someone out as an emergency to repair the problem. The repairs took 2 weeks to fix with cement.

    I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s which the council know about. Once again the stairs have collapsed and I fell. This was reported and they came the next day patched up the damage. However, there are still cracks in the stairs & I’m too worried to walk down stairs now.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Given that the council know of the issue with the stairs, you appear to be in a position to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation for any exacerbation of your pre-existing back pain along with any new injuries sustained in the falls that you have had on the stairs due to the cracks.

      Our specialist Solicitors can assist you on a No Win No Fee basis and can help you if you call 01225430285 or you can provide further details on the form on our website so that we can call you.

      Reply
  • Nicola McGhee

    Hi
    I claimed to the council about the fall I had on the 20/03/2022 in the afternoon what happened was I was walking my dog and he was on the pavement and I was on the road a bit but there was no cars at the time if there was I usually go onto the pavement quick I didn’t see the pothole that was there and it’s getting big now not been fixed by the looks of it and I tripped over that pothole and landed on the pavement where I sprained my foot and fractured my elbow the top bit of my elbow and it’s been sore since it happened I find it hard to lift things like carry messages find it hard to out clothes on aswell it’s been nearly round 6/7 weeks this has happened and the council said that they aren’t giving me anything as compensation as they did the potholes up from where I fell but I can tell you this the pothole is still there and it’s getting big

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Do you have any photographs of the pothole? If so, please send them with your contact number and name to: justice@direct2compensation.co.uk We can then review this matter and advise you regarding any potential to pursue your claim against the local authority.

      Reply
  • Beverly

    I have just been notified by the council that they have declined my claim saying they were not at fault. Can I still put forward a claim with yourselves?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      We can certainly review this for you and consider whether there is any merit in further pursuit of this claim. If you have photographs of the cause of your accident, please forward them to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk so that we can advise you further.

      Reply
  • Carol

    I was taking my granddaughter, 11, to my daughters at roughly 10pm on 10.04.22 . In the process I tripped on a risen pavement slab resulting in a undisplaced, transverse fracture in the right patella. This means I will be unable to mobilise independently for 6 weeks+. I am also wearing an extension splint daily to keep my knee in place.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Can you get some initial photographs of the raised slab that caused you to fall? If so, please email them to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk along with your name and contact number. We will then review the accident site and call you to further discuss your situation and any potential to claim personal injury compensation for the pain caused by your injury and the obvious impact that such an injury will have on your mobility and independence for the coming months.

      If you can obtain photographs, please try and get a few close up images – ideally showing a measurement of the height of the edge of the slab, along with a couple of images from further back showing the area in general.

      Reply
  • Samantha

    I badly twisted and sprained my ankle in a hole in the pavement. I thought I could initially walk off the pain but it was swelling so I iced and elevated. Had an x ray at A&E as in extreme pain later in eve and couldn’t walk. It was a bad sprain. Spent 2.5 weeks struggling to get movement back, resting, icing. Filled in an online claim and heard back from council. They not seen photos of my injuries and saying they investigating and I won’t hear for 3 months! My partner took photo of hole in pavement later that night and a week later when it was repaired!
    How go they investigate if they don’t speak to me? Should I get legal help?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It won’t surprise you to hear that we would always recommend that you are represented by a specialist personal injury Solicitor when making a claim for compensation – especially in matters such as tripping accident claims. Local authorities are notoriously difficult to engage with in such claims and they are likely to claim that the defect was not in situ for very long or that it wasn’t identified by their inspector as in need of repair when they last inspected the area.

      Did the photographs that were obtained of the accident site, did they include a measurement of the depth of the hole? If so, please email them to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk and we will then advise you further regarding the potential of your claim.

      Reply
  • Jenny

    My 75 year old mum was walking through a busy town centre market. She tripped over a ladder sticking out of a stall’s merchandise, which was placed flat horizontally on the floor, and broke her nose/black eyes/severe bruising etc. She was treated in A&E as advised by shopping centre first aider and is recovering at home. The market supervisor attended and was aware of the situation, no photo was taken as they immediately moved the ladder. He said ‘it is a grey area, the ladder was within the spread of the stall but people always walk through that part’ or words to that effect. I am now waiting to speak to the Markets Manager next week. In my view it was an accident waiting to happen and has been awful for my mum, and no apology or explanation has been given so I am furious. Is it something which is worth pursuing to hold them to account so this doesn’t happen again? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you JH.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It would not appear to be a grey area – the ladder was allowed to protrude in to a pedestrian/shopping walkway within a market area and we would argue that this was negligent and a clear and obvious risk of causing an accident.

      The key issue is to make sure that you get the details of the fall and the position of the ladder recorded in writing with the relevant market manager. If an accident book or incident log wasn’t completed at the time of the fall, we suggest drawing a diagram of the accident site showing the position of the ladder and sending the same to the markets manager with a written report stating what happened, where and when in order to ensure that a report is made.

      Should your Mother wish to take this further, we would like our Solicitors to assess this matter in detail for her. You can get further help from us by providing additional information via our website to see if your Mother can make a claim for compensation or by calling us on 01225430285.

      Reply
  • Matthew

    My wife tripped on a path that is on a new estate and lost her footing falling into another damaged part. Now almost 24hrs after the fall, she has had to go to the Hospital (due to being in pain all night) for x-rays and to see what injuries she has suffered. Can you help her?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      We can certainly help! As this is a tripping claim enquiry, it is important that we see some photographs of the tripping accident site in order to ascertain whether or not it is likely to be possible to establish that the landowner had been negligent in the way that they have left the surface in question. Ideally, we need some close up images of the exact cause of her tripping accident (hopefully with a visible tape measure to show the height or depth of the hazard) and a few images from further back showing the general area. Please forward such photographs to us via email to: justice@direct2compensation.co.uk along with your contact number and we can then advice further regarding this matter.

      Reply
  • Tracy

    I tripped on a pothole and caused several injuries, however I did not get medical attention as there was a 6 hour wait at A&E due to ambulance shortages. Council are not admitting liability, and said inspection was done on road August 2021. I have a witness to my fall as I was with a friend.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Our specialist Solicitors can review this matter for you and advise as to whether the council’s denial of liability is robust or obstructive. As you have a witness, you do have some support – we do need to see some photographs of the pothole that caused you to fall. Please can you forward these to us with your contact details to: justice@direct2compensation.co.uk

      Reply
  • Andrea

    I tripped on a small raised kerb and fractured 2 wrists . The kerb was unseen due to a very large tree casting a shadow that made the road I was crossing onto the pavement look like there was no pavement at all !! I sent all details with detailed photographs medical reports etc to my local council . These were passed from tree and vegetation department then onto lighting where I was advised it been fixed. I am aware that council are not liable for lighting but I was trying to make them aware that it was the shadow from the tree causing my accident . I have just been informed that my compensation claim is unsuccessful due to council not liable for lighting . I was claiming for accident caused by tree and not lighting .. my emails to them re this have been completely misunderstood . Can I appeal against their decision on a no win no fee basis ?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Your frustration is completely understandable, but sadly, the shadow caused by the tree is somewhat of a red-herring in this matter and would not enable you to succeed with a claim for compensation. In such circumstances, you would only be able to succeed with a claim if there was disrepair or damage to the curb that caused you to trip and fall. As you have simply not seen the raised edge due to the shadow of the tree and not because of pavement damage, it is sadly the case that there is no negligent party against whom you can make a claim.

      Reply
  • Karen

    I fell down a hole on 30.5.21 on a grass area adjacent to a road. The council maintain this grass area. The hole was 10″ deep and 12″ wide and was covered by long grass. I broke a bone in my ankle and tore ligaments. I’m still attending hospital and if not any better soon i may have to have an operation to correct this. After reporting this to this council and getting the hole filled in the council put me in touch with their solicitors. This week I have received an email saying that the council are denying liability as i was the first person to report the hazard and as such will make no offer of compensation. What is your advice please

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Local authorities rely on two methods of identifying hazards or areas of disrepair which include their highways officers undertaking inspections of footpaths and roads and on reports from members of the public or utility companies as to an area that looks like attention is needed.

      In your case, a highways officer would not be expected to inspect a grassed area as they would be monitoring the highways and footpaths. As such, if the local authority can demonstrate that they have not been previously made aware of the hole that caused your injury, the courts would be very unlikely to find against them as they have not been negligent.

      Reply
  • Peter

    My wife tripped /slipped on a pathway to her sisters house ,she tried to make a claim due to the state of the path (which was repaired very quickly after the incident)
    But the council have turned it down due to the fact the state of the path was not reported before the incident.
    She ended up with a broken wrist that required a operation and a plate put in.
    Has she a claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Local authorities rely on annual inspections of their pathways and roads by highways inspectors and also on reports of defects by members of the public. With this in mind, if no person has reported a disrepair or area of danger in the period since the previous highways inspection (if the highways inspection found no area in need of repair), the local authority will not admit liability and the courts will be unlikely to find against them.

      In the case of your wife, we need to consider whether the area in question had been in disrepair for more than a year prior to her accident and whether we can therefore argue that if they did carry out an inspection, it was inadequate.

      If you have photographs of the accident site, please email them to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk along with the name of the accident site (road name and house number is helpful) and a contact number. We can then review this and advise whether there is any prospect of pursuing the matter further.

      Reply
  • Gayle Williams

    I have fallen down a pothole in my road, cut my knee, badly sprained my ankle (I heard it crack and and grazed my fingers when I fell into the pothole. The pothole is large and spreading across the road. I have complained about the number and depth of the potholes to the local Councillor and reported them to the Council via their website on several occasions (approximately 3 to 4 times) over the past 3 to 4 years. The road has not been repaired or even inspected in the past 4 years despite the road going past my road being repaired twice in the past two years. The matter has been highlighted at the local Council meeting in the last 12 months, but nothing has been done to repair the road.
    There are over 20 potholes in the road, the one I fell down was at least 6 to 10 inches deep. The potholes are so big and wide we have to drive our cars through them as it is impossible to avoid them.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You appear to have a valid claim for tripping accident compensation. As you have reported the areas of disrepair over a period of 3 or 4 years, the local authority cannot claim that they had not received reports of issues from the public.

      We now need to see some photographs of the potholes, particularly the one that has caused you to suffer injury in order to confirm that they (as they appear to do) meet the required criteria needed to pursue a claim for tripping accident compensation. Please forward such images to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk along with your contact number and we’ll then be able to advise you further.

      Reply
  • Amy coxhill

    There is a lump of concrete that is sticking up and I fell as my foot caught the sticking up concrete. I have pictures the council have declined the liability but also agrees that the pavement is not great. I work part time and I am a single mum.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Did you have any specialist legal representation when you discussed your accident with the local authority? If not, contact us as having a specialist in place to ensure that your rights are upheld and that the local authority would have to provide evidence to support any denial of liability may see you succeed with a claim.

      The best course of action would be for you to send the photographs of the concrete lump to us along with a brief description of the accident and your contact number to: justice@direct2compensation.co.uk so that we can review this and advise you further.

      Reply
  • Lawrence Berg

    My wife tripped up over a very uneven flagstone in ( more than 25mm depth) she sustained a blooded and cut lip, bruising to her arms and hands and took herself off to the local A&E for treatment. I took up the claim with the council responsible( Barnet) and they consequently repaired the flagstone . Their insurers deny all responsibility as they state that the pavement was examined on 23rd March this year and no significant defect was found, they also sent me a copy of the report of that date, my wifes fall was on July 28th, from the photographs of the flagstone it is quiet plain to see that it had been uneven for some considerable time and that there engineers have missed this flagstone.. To be brief do you think I have any redress with the council for my wife’s injuries ? Thanks in anticipation of your kind assistance

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      As the defendants are claiming that they inspected the site 4 months prior to the incident in which your wife was injured and found no defect, the courts would find in their favour – unless we can obtain evidence to demonstrate that the defect was in situ and their inspection was inadequate (or did not happen). There are ways of doing this and we may well be able to assist.

      Have you tried looking at the site on ‘streetview’ online? If you locate the area, you can often go back to an older page image and see if the defect was present in the year or years prior to the incident. Our Solicitors have successfully overturned denials using this method. You may also wish to speak to local residents or shop keepers in the area around the accident site. If any of those individuals are willing to state that they had been aware of the hazard in question (or ideally reported it) in the months before your wife’s accident, it may also help to overturn the defence raised.

      Reply
  • Allison

    My mum tripped on the path which leads from her front door to public footpath, the council owns this part of the path and it has started to crumble.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Please forward photographs of the disrepaired and hazardous path to us by email (justice@direct2compensation.co.uk) so that we can review this and advise further as to a potential No Win No Fee claim for compensation.

      Please include a contact number, your name and a description of the injuries sustained.

      Reply
  • Neil

    My claim for a trip causing a broken foot is currently with the council insurers and the council have now repaired the pavement that caused my injury. This pavement has been uneven for a considerable time. Can this repair be seen as an admission of liability by the council?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      A repair or remedial activity where a disrepaired pavement surface had been in situ will not be seen as an admission of liability, but it does indicate that the council have agreed that the area needed attention.

      If you have not already got representation by a specialist personal injury Solicitor, please contact us for further help as it is unlikely that the local authority will admit to liability without considerable pressure.

      Reply
  • Rebecca

    My grandfather has fallen on an alleyway. The council are saying it does not belong to them. The iron grate he tripped over is owned by a water company who also say they cannot accept liability as this is the first they are hearing about the hazard. Who’s fault is it?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Do you have a Solicitor acting in this matter? If so, they should be able to establish the landowner and therefore the responsible party. The water company will not be expected to inspect and check their access covers or grates and will instead rely on reports from local authority highways inspectors or members of the public. Therefore, if the local authority have not reported any repair need and the public haven’t either, the water board will argue that they are not liable.

      Reply
  • Gail

    My mum slipped on water and ended up in a lot of pain . Hospital gave her tablets to help . The water was in a council building . The water had come from a leak in roof that the council knew about . According to some stall holders . They had complained to council but nothing had been done . My mum asked the stall holders if they would give a statement saying it had been reported many times, but they wouldnt for fear of losing there business. Council have said they didnt know but stall hders said they knew months ago and had been reported many times . Is there anything she can do

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Were there any hazard warning signs on display? It would certainly seem reasonable to pursue a claim given the anecdotal information your Mother has obtained about the leak being known of and previously reported.

      If no previous Solicitor has been involved, please head to the start your claim page of our website to make a formal enquiry and we’ll gladly investigate this for your Mother.

      Reply
  • Victoria

    Hi, I tripped on a hole of over 6cm in depth and approximately 20cm wide on a tarmac covered pavement in April 2021. I suffered a fractured toe and badly sprained ankle. I submitted a claim to the council along with the required photos. I knew of the defect in the pavement from at least March 2020, although it was not repaired. There was ongoing building work by the home owner directly adjacent to the pavement defect. I also don’t usually walk down the road. I have just received an email from the council saying they deny liability under Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980. Saying that they had inspected the area in September 2020 and it was ok. I know this is not the case as the defect has been there since at least March 2020. Can you please advise if I can pursue this matter? I will be able to get a neighbour as an independent witness. Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      We can certainly look in to demonstrating that the council have either been dishonest in claiming to have inspected the area in the September prior to your accident or that their inspection was inadequate. One of the ways that we have demonstrated this in the past is by having an independent local person willing to confirm that they had previously reported the defect or hazard prior to the inspection date or even by using online street view images and backdating them to see if a defect or hazard is visible in the period before a local authority claim to have inspected the site.

      If you would like further help from us with this, please email us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk to provide some accident site photographs, the location of the accident site, your contact details and a description of the accident.

      Reply
  • Karl Fargin

    I fell down because of a pothole and had to have plastic surgery on my finger because of the fall. Am I able to make a claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Do you have photographs of the pothole that caused you to fall? To be able to advise you as to whether or not you can pursue a claim, please email photographs of the accident site to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk and include your contact details. We’ll then review the accident site and contact you to further discuss this matter with you.

      Reply
  • Xenia

    Tripped on a public broken pavement in the park dislocated my Thumb . And big toes and my knee damage. I did report to council. They broken pavement.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Please send photographs of the pavement surface where you fell to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk along with your contact number. We can then further advise you as to any potential No Win No Fee claim for personal injury compensation.

      Reply
  • Jordan

    Hi, I slipped walking my dog down a huge grate. I fractured my wrist and had to wear a cast for 5 month. I grazed my knee and leg when I went over and twisted my ankle.

    I put in a claim with YOURLAW solicitors who knocked it back because the council said they had inspected the road in a timely manner. I don’t know what to do or where to go from here. Please get back to me . I just need someone willing to actually fight my case and not just say yes to the council. If it was inspected then this wouldn’t of happened. I wouldn’t jump down the hole it’s clearly and accident they are liable for 🙁

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If you have photographs of the accident site, we would be happy to view them to consider whether there is any realistic prospect of overturning the council’s denial of liability.

      If you have such photographs, please email them to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk along with your contact details and ideally, the most recent correspondence from your Solicitor closing the case so that we can review this and advise you further.

      Reply
  • WILIAM

    Hi my partner fell a few days ago broke her wrist and cut her legs and had to go to hospital, but when she returned to take photo the pothole had been filled. I believe the cctv may have caught it and also informed the council who then rushed to repair it. She has injured herself and broken her phone camera, please help.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Do you have any photographic evidence of the pothole before it was repaired?

      Reply
  • Joanne

    Hello Ian,
    I had a trip on the pavement outside my home address I was working at the time as a child minder. I tripped on a uneven paving slab which resulted in my right elbow impacting on the edge of a metal manhole cover, which lead to surgery to rebuild my elbow. I have been unable to work for the last eight weeks and I am looking at another four at least and have been advised that it could take up to a year to get near to normal, can you please advise me on the best course of action in my case?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      As you have been caused injury as a result of tripping on a disrepaired area of pavement, there is a potential to pursue a claim against the local authority responsible for the maintenance of the area in question.

      In order for us to be able to advise whether the actual site of your fall is something that you would be able to establish negligence against the local authority, we need to see some photographs of the accident site – both close up images of the raised slab (showing a measurement of the height) and some images from slightly further back showing the site in general. If you can obtain such images and send them to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk we can then advise you about a possible No Win No Fee claim for compensation. For examples of the kind of images that would be really helpful, please see our article about tripping accident compensation, but don’t worry if you can’t obtain images like this – just send us whatever images you can and we’ll go from there.

      Reply
  • Kelly short

    Hi, i need some advice please as to whether I take matters further. I had a fall down a pothole along the pathway on 31/3/2021. I ended up at the hospital a couple of days later to find out I had actually fractured my ankle and had to be put in a boot and take three weeks off work. I reported the incident and claimed for compensation. I provided pictures and medical documents however I have today had a response from the council’s insurers stating they deny liability due to them having completed investigations down the road where I had fallen on 05/11/2020, and no defects were reported. Is this the end of the matter or should I pursue the claim further?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Whilst it would appear that the defendants have raised a robust defence, that is not necessarily the end of it. We can certainly review the matter for you and give you our point of view without it costing you anything and if we were able to take it further, we would do so on a No Win No Fee basis.

      Please email the photographs of the accident site to us along with some basic info (where it happened, how it happened, time of day etc) and your contact details and we’ll review this and let you know our thoughts. You can reach us by email at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk

      Reply
  • Chris

    I was crossing the road to avoid a patch of moss on the pavement when I slipped (the road must have had some moss on it too) and broke my ankle in 3 places. I had surgery for insertion of plate and screws and spent 6 weeks with cast/crutches. Reported to local council who say issue is a low priority for them. I have no witnesses (was in shock and didn’t think to ask for details of the people who found me injured). Can I claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Whilst it is not straightforward, there is the potential to pursue (& succeed with) a claim against the local authority if you slip on algae/moss on a public footpath. However to have any chance of succeeding, it would need to be shown that the algae/moss was excessive and had been in situ for a considerable time.

      Without having seen photographs of the accident site in your case, it is impossible to know whether there is any realistic prospect of pursuing a claim for you. If you have such photographs, please forward them to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk and we’ll gladly give you our opinion.

      Reply
  • Leda

    The local council started to resurface the pavement outside our hone in December and had to stop work as they were unable to get the materials needed. As a result, the worked ceased on Dec 21st 2020.

    I called the council to complain that they had left a very dangerous pathway and they explained the above and said that work would commence in January. January came and we went into another lockdown and the council said they could not continue the work. I stressed again my concern about the uneven footpath and the raised curbs, again they said nothing they could do nothing at the moment.

    In February my Daughter arrived home from work and tripped on the raised curb and needed hospital attention. She was diagnosed with a suspected fractured wrist and put into a brace for 6 weeks.

    Can we make a claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Although the council may have been unable to complete the works due to legitimate reasons and the specific implications of a further Coronavirus lockdown, they would still have a duty of care to ensure that any hazards reported to them were appropriately dealt with – whether that be by making repairs, completing works or cordoning off an area.

      In this case, it would appear that there may be valid grounds to pursue a claim for tripping accident compensation and we would be happy to further investigate this for you.

      Given the nature of the situation, it would be helpful if you could email us directly at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk to provide further information to enable us to look in to this for you. Please provide your contact details, the location of the accident and copies of any correspondence that you have sent to or received from the local authority. Ideally, if you have photographs of the area and images of the accident site, please attach them to your email and we’ll gladly look in to this for you.

      Reply
  • Michelle

    Hi in September by foot got caught in a broken curb, causing me to get a fractured ankle and torn ligaments. I also also hurt my knee and damaged my coccyx. With the pain ongoing I had hospital appointments.

    I’d taken photos of the curb and of my injuries, but I have now been told that its not worth claiming as I won’t win. The council have rejected my claim. What do I do?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Have you formally made a claim? If so, was that through a specialist Solicitor or did you deal with the local authority directly? If you haven’t formally claimed, please send the photographs of the accident site to us by email to: justice@direct2compensation.co.uk along with your contact number and we’ll gladly review this and advise you as to a potential claim for compensation. If you have had a claim rejected, please send a copy of any correspondence regarding the reasons for the rejection to us and we’ll advise you on that.

      Reply
  • D

    I slipped and fell whilst on a walking path at a council owned park. The path is uneven, sloped and has a loose gravelled surface, however it was also slightly icy. I suffered a shattered wrist, and have had to have surgery to fit a metal plate and screws. I’ve been told I will always suffer pain, and my wrist is now healing with a slight deformity (bent). Would I have a case to make a personal injury claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Notwithstanding the serious and permanent injury to your wrist, we do foresee problems with such a claim. Certainly the ice issue is a red herring and should be ignored. There would be no duty of care to grit the path in question.

      However, if the path is hazardous, a claim could proceed. If you have photographs of the path, please forward them to us via justice@direct2compensation.co.uk so that we can review it and advise you further.

      Reply
  • marcus

    I’ve been denied any compensation for my ankle injury witch I’m still suffering 6months on, I was walking my dog and my foot went down some missing block pavements near my local shops, the solicitors that was dealing with the case basically said I had no chance of winning due to it being split between the council and highways. Is there anything I can do as think this is really unjust?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Do you have photographs of the accident site? If so, please email them to justice@direct2compensation.co.uk so that we can review this matter and offer you some advice. Please include your contact details and the details of the Solicitors who have rejected the claim. We can then contact you to discuss whether or not we can take this any further for you.

      Reply
  • Kelly

    Hi, My friend went to the local shop and as he’s come out he’s stepped off the curb and his foot has gone into a big pothole. He tripped and has now got a bad knee and foot. The council clearly know about it as there’s yellow lines painted over it. His foot has been in a state for over a week now, still swollen and bruised. We have photos of his foot and can take photos of said pothole and possibly get hold of CCTV from the shop too. Is this a public liability claim? Thanks

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      This would be a public liability claim, but the CCTV from the shop could be helpful. Further, if anyone working in the shop knows how long the pothole has been there and was willing to provide a statement regarding this, it would be very helpful.

      Please email the photographs of the pothole to us, along with contact details to: justice@direct2compensation.co.uk so that we can review this and advise further.

      Reply
  • Spike

    My car hit a patch of bad road (potholes) causing whiplash injuries. The council concerned took our report of the incident and held onto this for several months, carrying out repairs, before forwarding this to their insurance company. Though the insurance company have a report, photos and a location map they now want an X marks the spot and are refusing to release inspection records until they have this. I have argued that the report, etc was good enough for the council to repair the bad road but they won’t budge. This incident was May 2020. The insurers letter is dated 5th September 2020. It’s now mid January 2021.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      In your case, the council will not admit liability if they can demonstrate that they had carried out the mandated inspections that they are tasked with and if they had not received any reports from members of the public regarding the hazards. Having a specialist Solicitor on board will ensure that the local authority are held to account properly.

      Reply
      • Spike

        I’ve had some legal advice. Currently dealing with the issue myself as the solicitor I approached wasn’t interested unless there was proof of liability. I’ve requested various records for the area in question but so far there’s been nothing from the council. If they continue to withhold I’ll have no option other than to apply to the courts for an Application for Pre-Action Disclosure.

        Reply
        • Ian Morris

          Why wasn’t the Solicitor you spoke with interested in your claim? Did they view photographs of the accident site? We would be more than happy to view your photographs of the tripping hazard that caused you to suffer injury in order that we can advise you as to the potential prospects of success with any potential claim.

          You can email the photographs to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk

          Reply
  • Lynsey

    I am a district nurse and following the recent bad weather the roads to where my patients live were iced over, rain fell then more ice appeared, the patient I was attending to needed my visit so it was essential I attended. I tried to walk on the pavement but hit the ice and fell over, breaking my wrist.
    Who would be responsible for the pavement safety? As this was a necessary visit would the council be responsible to make sure the public path was safe or would it be me that should have assessed the situation differently?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If the local authority had been made aware of the essential need to visit this address, they may have been able to treat the surface. However, local authority highways departments are not obliged to treat pavements or minor roads/residential areas and must instead concentrate on the major routes, bus routes and city centre areas.

      Unfortunately, as things stand I don’t foresee that you can pursue a claim for compensation unless any colleagues had provided a warning to your employer of the risks and they had failed to pass on any such warning to you.

      Reply
  • S

    As I left a public council owned building I lost my footing as I came out onto a pathway, there were shallow steps but no warning signs of them, although the council tells me they are highlighted yellow to warn they are there. (I didn’t notice) I tripped off the step and twisted my ankle. I have badly sprained my ankle and torn ligaments, possibly broken my foot too.

    Should there have been signs up?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If you can provide us with photographs, or a short video showing the approach to the steps in question and then the view as you walk out where you fell, we could advise whether the steps should have been indicated by signage.

      Any such footage should be emailed to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk along with a short explanation of the incident and your contact details.

      Reply
  • John

    I had a injury on council property while at work but my employer isn’t to blame. Can I still claim against the council?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You can make a claim against whoever was responsible for your accident. What was the cause of your injury? If you believe that the landowner has been at fault and is liable for your injuries we’ll discuss the accident details with you and help you start your claim for compensation.

      Reply
  • Gemma

    Can the County Council withdraw admitting liability after medical report says I had slipped and not tripped?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If a Doctor has recorded that you slipped when you had informed them that you had tripped, that should not see your claim fail. Of course, a defendant is likely to attempt to use that discrepancy in ‘version of event’ description against you and attempt to say your claim cannot be proven. However, if you have a good specialist personal injury Solicitor acting for you, they should be able to deal with such an issue.

      Reply
  • janet

    I slipped off the pavement due to oil on the pavement and large amount in the road 3′ x 3′ and broke my hip. The road is a public road due to be cleaned by the council I have since reported this and received no reply nor is it cleaned up. Do I have a case?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Whether or not you have a valid claim will depend on how long the oil had been in situ and who put it there. If the oil had been a long standing issue that had previously been reported to the council or been there long enough that they should have noticed it on their usual inspections, you would have a valid claim. If the oil had been spilled within the previous few days or weeks and not been reported, the council would not be liable. However, the person who spilled it could be.

      We would be happy to look in to this to see if there is anything that can be done. If you have photos, please email them to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk along with some further information about the spillage, where it is (i.e is it outside a garage etc) and your contact details and we’ll look in to this for you.

      Reply
  • Lucy

    Hi there,

    I’ve just fallen in a deep hole in the foothpath round the corner from my house, it was dark I couldn’t see it, there were no signs! I’ve twisted my ankle and smashed my knee in the ground, my back is also aching. I was carrying my child and luckily saved him from hitting the ground too. Little bit shaken up. Not impressed at the state of the path and the fact the council have just left it.
    I don’t have any phone credit until Friday and I was wondering if you could contact me via email or call me if I email you, if you think I have a claim for compensation? Thanks so much.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Our initial view is that the cause of your injuries could well enable you to pursue a claim against the local authority or landowner, for the injuries you have sustained.

      In order for us to be able to evaluate whether or not you can pursue a claim for compensation, we’ll need to see some photographs of the hole in the path where you fell. If you, or a family member/friend could visit the accident site and take some photographs – a few close up images of the hole (ideally with a measurement visible showing the depth) and a couple from further back showing the hole with the street visible (to prove location) and email them to us, we can then confirm whether or not the hole is sufficient to enable a claim.

      Please email your photographs and contact number to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk and we’ll call you when we have received the photographs to discuss helping you make your claim for tripping accident compensation.

      Reply
  • Jennifer

    Thank you for your reply Ian
    The local authority are already involved and the neighbour has been advised by the local authority and the police on numerous occasions of their obstruction but still refuse to keep the path clear .
    The local authority are to issue a community protection notice to try and resolve this issue . I just wondered if any claim due to an accident would be directed towards the neighbour themselves or the local authority for failing to ensure the path is clear ?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      In this case, it would seem that the neighbour is the negligent party as the local authority have been attempting to resolve the situation and are taking further action – therefore it is likely that they would be seen to have fulfilled their obligations.

      Reply
  • Jill

    I was walking on a small public thoroughfare that used to have vehicular access but is now just for pedestrians, there was a lot a wet leaves covering the ground, I slipped on them and have damaged my arm in breaking my fall. I will be seeking medical advice ASAP but this happened at a weekend. Is my local council liable?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It is unlikely that liability would attach to the local authority for the cause of your fall. Leaves are a naturally occurring ‘hazard’ and are not something the courts would likely find the council liable for being in situ.

      Reply
  • Philip

    Hi, the street where we live has recently had the street lights changed to the LED type from the older orange ones, and to be honest they are no where near bright enough. Last Sunday night; 24/11/2019 at just before 8:30 pm my wife went out to take our dogs for a walk. The light from the street lights have until recently lit up our front steps. However; since the installation of the new bulbs the steps are in darkness and unfortunately my wife fell and has broken 3 bones in her ankle which has required an operation to pin and plate the bones. I was wondering if the council could be held responsible for removing the level of light which there has been onto our steps for years Without taking into consideration the safety of the residents. A lot of the residents have spoken recently about how poor the lights are. Many thanks, Philip Griffiths.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Sadly, it is unlikely that it would be possible to establish liability against the local authority for the alteration made to the street lighting. It is almost certain to be the case that the council are using lighting that has been approved for such use and enables the council to meet energy saving targets and meet environmental targets.

      Reply
  • Keith

    My wife tripped on a loose rocking footpath paving slab at the end of July resulting in a double comminuted fracture of her shoulder. Along with the considerable pain over several weeks, the cost of physiotherapy in her recovery, being self employed she has lost earnings during the past 10 weeks. The Council inspected the footway just under 5 months previously and so denied liability. However subsequent inspection of their records shows the same defect was identified on that inspection and subsequently repaired with a “temporary” filling. Following this there are several reports from residents and businesses complaining of multiple instances of the pavement flooding due to blocked galleys which I suspected may have been responsible for undoing the repair. A report of a rocking paving slab about a month before my wife’s fall was reported but classified as non-urgent and not actioned. It seems to me that a) the defect repair indemnified during the period inspection was inadequate – the defect was evident again within 4 months and b) the council should have done further inspections following repetitive flooding because of potential collateral damage to the footway.

    Should I confront the Council with the evidence from their own records so that they may wish to review their defence?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Recovering lost income is often part of a claim, even for the self-employed. Have you had this matter represented by a specialist Solicitor with an expertise in public liability tripping accident compensation? If not, it may be worthwhile considering instructing such a specialist.

      Whilst the local authority may be in a position to deny liability on the basis of their inspection and temporary repair, it could be the case that the courts would find that their repair was inadequate or that they failed to make the area fully safe, despite knowing of a hazard. Whilst there is no guarantee that a Solicitor would be in a position to pursue the matter further, it would certainly be wise to seek some specialist advice.

      On the issue of confronting the local authority with the evidence from their own records, it would certainly be appropriate to do that.

      Reply
  • Martin

    Hi, I was walking home and I tripped on pathway because Thames water top cover was missing (water mains valve). My Achilles tendon is damaged. Been told to walk with special boot for about 10 weeks. I have pictures. What should I do next?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Please email your photographs of the hazard that caused you to fall to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk along with your contact number and a brief description of the incident (date, time, weather etc).

      We can then contact you to get some further basic details to enable us to present this matter to our specialist Solicitors for detailed consideration with a view to pursuing a claim on a no win no fee basis on your behalf.

      Reply
  • Donna

    On Monday of this week (it was raining) I slipped on the public footpath leading from the carpark to our row of houses, this pathway is concrete embedded with stones, over the years the stones have become more prominent causing it to be very slippery when wet, it is on a decline from the carpark. I always try to take extra care when its raining but my foot slipped, i pulled the the back of my calf, I now have a large painful swelling in the back of my right ankle and pain in my right lower back. I have a GP appointment today. Would I be able to pursue a claim with my local borough council?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You could pursue a claim, but unless the stoney pathway has been reported to the council as being a hazard when wet, it is unlikely that the claim would succeed.

      Reply
  • Chris

    I tripped on a pathway, water company’s small grid which has caved in and seems to have been like that a long time and broke my scaphoid. This has since been replaced with a new grid and new tarmac around it. I was in a cast for 3 months and it’s never been the same again, are they liable for this?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Potentially yes, you can make a claim against the highways authority or water company. Do you have photographs of the accident site? If so, please email them to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk so that we can review the area and advise you further with regards to a possible claim for compensation.

      Reply
  • Naomi

    Hi, i had a injury at the end of may 2019 in a local park. It was a hole in a park which i have a photo of and can confirm it is more than a inch deep. I was throwing my ball for my dog into water nearby and fell backwards into the hole causing my knee to go one way and foot to go another way. I was at work at the time and immediately called my boss as i could not walk, i work with my partner for a homecare company so she assisted me to the car. I did go to the doctors after following nhs advice online to self medicate and rest and my knee failed to get better so i went to hospital which i had relevant examinations. There was no breaks or tears but i am left with crippling spasms and cramps in knee and upper leg. I am still on medication and attending regular physio. I am still in alot of pain and have been off work 2 months? Do i have a case?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Whether or not you can pursue a claim will depend on the location and type of the defect that caused you to fall. If you fell in a hole on a grassed/unpaved surface the reality is that you will not be able to pursue a claim. However, if the hole that caused you to fall was on a tarmacadam or hard paved surface there is every possibility of making a claim.

      If you have photographs of the hole that caused you to fall, please email them to us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk so that we can further review this enquiry for you and give you a view as to whether or not you can make a claim.

      Reply
  • John

    I fell on a footpath leaving my friends house a year ago. I injured my shoulder, back and leg. It was a public footpath with a sign that was broken. My girlfriend came down and took pictures. Do I have a case seeing as I have suffered a lot of shoulder problems after it?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      With any claim for tripping accident compensation, we can only really advise when we have seen photographic evidence of the accident site and the cause of the fall. In your case, please email the photographs you have of the accident site to: justice@direct2compensation.co.uk along with your name and contact number. We will then call you to discuss your situation and offer advice.

      Reply
  • Mark

    I fractured my ankle as I tripped off a curb. The curbed area was (and still is) in darkness. Due to the extent of the injury I have a plate in my ankle. Would this be grounds for a claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Whether or not you have a valid claim will depend on whether or not negligence can be attached to whoever has responsibility or ownership of the land where you fell. To find out if you do have a claim, we need to know some further information. Our specialist staff would ask you whether there was there a fault with the curb, such as a broken piece or something sticking up that caused you to trip. If so, you may have a valid claim. If not and you simply fell because it was dark, any claim would be less likely to succeed – unless the darkness was caused by disrepaired or broken street lighting.

      There is no statutory duty to fit street lighting. So if there are simply no lights, it is very unlikely that you could make a claim. However, if there are lights in situ, but they do not work or are faulty, you probably can make a claim.

      The best bet would be to make further contact with us so that we can advise you in detail.

      Reply
  • Gavyn

    Hello,

    In January, I was walking my dog along a public footpath and tripped over a tree root that had broken up through the pathway. I had fractured a bone in my hand and was in a splint for 4 weeks. After a few weeks, the council repaired the path by putting chippings over the root so no one would fall over it again. The way the root had grown, it must have been there for a very long time, which I assume should have been noticed and repaired before this accident.

    I lodged a complaint with the council, who passed the complaint to their insurance company/solicitor. I have received a letter today saying that the council are not liable for the broken pathway and my claim was unsuccessful. As they have taken steps to stop anyone tripping again, is this not accepting liability? They have repaired the same pathway in the past as there were loose paving stones.

    Am I now entitled to take the claim to an independent solicitor and is it likely to be successful if their solicitor has said they are not liable?

    Many Thanks.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It is not uncommon for claimants attempting to pursue a claim without specialist legal representation to be ‘turned away’ and given a denial of liability by a defendant insurer. Whilst that does not always mean that the defendant has taken the view that as the claimant is not represented that they can ‘get away with it’, it is sometimes the case that a specialist Solicitor is able to overturn the defence and prove that the defendant was liable.

      In your case, the best thing to do at this stage would be to allow our specialist tripping accident Solicitors to consider your claim in detail. We will need to see the photographs you have and ideally, any correspondence that you have relating to the claim.

      Reply
  • Mariusz Pekala

    How much time do I have to make a claim? The accident happened on Friday evening and now I am in a cast. I will see specialist on Wednesday. I twisted my ankle and it looks like something wrong with a hole in the pavement. I took some photos the day after accident.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You have a claim limitation period of 3 years from the date of the accident, so you are well within that. However, it is always wise to start your claim at the earliest opportunity as the supporting evidence that our specialist Solicitors will need to give you the best chance of succeeding with your claim will be freshly available.

      It is good to hear that you have taken photographs of the pothole in question.

      Reply
  • Rachael

    I tripped on uneven paving in November and hurt both of my knees. I ended up having to go to A & E to have them x rayed, luckily i escaped with no breaks but had a sprained tendon in my knee which was very painful. It took weeks before i could walk on it without pain and even now it hurts if i walk for more than about half hour and i have been unable to return to the gym since then. I also suffer from anxiety and PTSD and had to cancel counselling sessions becuase i was unable to travel far. I documented everything, took pictures of the pavement (right outside a busy post office) and several pictures of my knees over a few days. I also provided the A & E details. The pavement has not been fixed and i warned the council that should an elderley person fall here the results could be very serious. The council have until 16th of this month to produce their findings and accept/deny liability. What happens if the 16th comes around and the council haven’t got in touch with the claim handlers?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      I assume that you have a specialist Solicitor representing you in your claim against them? If not, it would be wise to instruct a suitable specialist to act for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

      If the council fail to disclose their findings by the deadline, a specialist Solicitor would issue a further deadline of around 1 month. If the council again failed to disclose their findings by the 2nd deadline a specialist Solicitor would then issue court proceedings to bring them to court where a judge can oblige them to cooperate.

      Reply
  • Amanda jones

    My daughter who was 9 at the time , (2016) went out on her scooter and the scooter hit a very uneven part of the path she was on resulting in a severe leg break , her leg from the ankle down was facing the wrong direction due to the bones being completely broke away from the main one . She was immediately admitted to hospital and was operated on, she had fixcetor on and stayed in hospital for 3 weeks, she was wheelchair bound for a further 4 and was off school for over 3 months …… I just want to know if I could claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Yes, you can make a compensation claim for your daughter for this accident – but you will only succeed if certain criteria are met. As this is essentially a tripping accident claim, we will need photographic evidence of the defect that caused her to fall from her scooter, ideally with measurements of the height or depth of the hazard. Do you have these? Can more be taken?

      Importantly, you are well within the legal time limit for making a claim for compensation. With claims involving children that have had an accident, they will enjoy a longer maximum claim limitation period. The norm for those over the age of 18 at the date of an injury is a claim period of 3 years. However, with those under the age of 18 at the date of injury, the law affords them up to their 21st birthday to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation.

      Given the severity of injury sustained by your daughter, we would be very happy to help you find out more about a possible claim for compensation.

      Reply
  • Cleara

    I recently tripped over a broken pavement, the pavement got mended a few day after. The council have denied liability. However I took photos of the pavement with the date of the accident. Can I still pursue this?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      I would very much like to view the photographs you have taken of the broken pavement that caused you to fall. Please can you email these to me along with a full description of the accident and the height/depth of the tripping hazard listed. If you have any correspondence from the council, please forward the same to me. I realise that the council have denied liability at this stage. It maybe a strong defence, but without viewing the photographs it would be hard to offer a view on that.

      Our article on claiming after trips on broken pavements may also be of interest.

      Reply
  • Helen

    I have solicitors dealing with a claim for me but I have been asked if anyone else has reported the defect that made me trip. It was a defective drain and chunks were broken off of the concrete around it. When I tripped, I went straight onto the pavement, starting on my right side then my body twisted to the left side.

    I have been asking around but no one else has come forward to say that they had reported the hazard. The Council involved say that the area was inspected last year but it may not have been there then? I don’t know what to do. I’m an old age pensioner (66yrs old).

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      In cases of tripping accident compensation, the courts have allowed local authority highways departments what they say is a reasonable time frame to inspect their highways/pavements and make repairs of any actionable defects or hazards found. As such, the courts have ruled that local authority highways inspectors should check the pavements and roads within their remit at least every 6 months. To that end, if the council can provide an inspection report that shows that an area was inspected within the past 6 months with no defect present, it becomes very hard to succeed with a claim against them.

      In such circumstances, the claimant will then need to locate an independent witness to the defect or hazard – not someone who saw the accident, but was aware of the hazard and reported it to the council – thus proving that their inspection was inadequate.

      Have you knocked doors of the properties adjacent to the hazard? The other option you could employ would be to run some searches of the area on Google Streetview – the images will be dated and if you can see the hazard/defect in situ 6 months or more before you fell, you could print those off and hand the same to your Solicitors.

      Reply
  • Brian

    my wife has received a head injury whilst walking along a pavement and tripping over a raised water meter cover on a small newly built housing estate. Most of the houses are occupied and the pavement was opened up for public use8/9 months ago possibly longer. It is too soon to say what the long term affect will be on her health but being in her mid 70,s it could have longer term repercussions so I feel she needs to consider all her options when she feels sufficiently recovered. I have taken plenty of photographs with a 50p coin to guage size of hazard and intend advising the developer and local authority but don`t hold out much hope as local residents have been complaining to the planning officer for months saying the state of the pavements are an accident waiting to happen and the developer is very cavalier in his attitude. The pavement is a route for children walking to the village school and this played a part in granting planning permission for the site, It seems to me both developer and planning/building control have been negligent one for giving public access for something not fit for purpose the other for not using their enforcement powers when public safety is being put at risk. Does my wife have a winnable case?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      As you can imagine, at this stage we can’t say for certain that your wife has a winnable claim for tripping accident compensation. However, I can say that on the basis of your initial description of the incident and cause of your wife’s injury, it would seem that she has a valid claim for tripping accident compensation that warrants further investigation as the relevant ‘boxes’ appear to have been ticked in that there is a tripping hazard protruding from the pavement surface that has been in situ for many months (if not longer).

      We would need to see the photographs of the ‘hazard’ and discuss the situation in more detail to give a more qualified view, but our initial view is positive. We would like to help further with this as and when your wife feels able to do so. At that time, please either call us on 01225430285.

      Whilst it is always wise to avoid delays in making a claim, your wife does have 3 years from the date of her accident in which she can make a claim.

      Reply
  • Stephen magee

    I’ve slipped on a council path which had paint spilled all over it. The paint has been there ages but when it is wet it’s like ice. As a result of the slippery surface, I have broken my ankle and the tibia/fibula.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      As stated in our slipping accident claims 5 top tips You should obtain photographic evidence of the accident site that caused you to slip and suffer such a nasty injury and then report your injuries and the accident location to the relevant local authority.

      In order to succeed with a claim for compensation, it will have to be demonstrated that the local authority highways department have been negligent and allowed a hazard to remain on the pavement surface for an excessive period of time. To that end, it would be wise to speak to local people to see if anyone is willing to act as a hazard witness in support of any claim you may attempt to make. A hazard witness isn’t someone who has seen an accident, but someone who can verify that a defect or hazard has been in situ for a specific amount of time. Perhaps someone living near this path could state that it has been there for 6 months, a year or even longer. Such evidence would greatly help any claim that were to follow.

      Whilst your accident scenario is unusual, we think it is worth looking a little further in to this with a view to making a claim for compensation. Please contact us so that we can take some further information and get one of our specialist public liability accident Solicitors to discuss this with you.

      Reply
  • Yvonne

    I had a fall on a pavement that was badly cracked and sticking up and hurt my knee. I made a claim against the council and they said they were not liable because they had a regular inspection. However, the inspection forms they sent me made no reference to the area in question. I have sent details to Thompson and Slater Gordon who say they can’t act but do not say why. Since the fall the pavement area in question was repaired within a couple of weeks and is now smooth tarmac but the same pavement has several more areas that required repair (approximately 10 or more separate areas that were highlighted in yellow paint) which were all highlighted at the same time and would not have all come up for repair at the same time, therefore regular inspections cannot happen. There are still blocks sticking up in the same area that I fell that have had nothing done to them and they have been like this since my fall over 2 years ago! I have had to have physio and attend hospital for my knee since the accident and still have a lump on the knee that the specialist says will always be there as it was caused by the trauma. This means that I no longer feel comfortable wearing skirts. Do you think I should be able to claim against the council?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      The courts have previously found that it is unreasonable to expect a local authority to ensure that there are no hazards whatsoever on their footpaths. Therefore, they have ruled that as long as a local authority have a reasonable inspection regime in place that involves checking and identifying actionable defects for repair they will not be liable should someone have an accident.

      The only way that you are likely to succeed now – given that the claim has already failed – is to be able to demonstrate that the inspection carried out was not sufficient or that it was inadequate. Do you know if the inspection of the area where you fell was done on foot or via a drive-by inspection?

      Reply
      • Yvonne

        From the lengthy report they sent to demonstrate their ‘on foot’ inspection there was nothing to indicate that this area had been inspected at all. I asked them where it was and they indicated a page that was not the correct area and in fact was at the other end of the road. As i said they had about 10 different areas they marked up for repair at the same time all along the road!

        Reply
  • Darren

    I had an accident at work while working for a local government authority. They have admitted liability, my solicitor has sent them compensation details but they have not been back in touch. She extended the deadline because apparently the case worker has left and it was handed over to somebody else. But I still have no offer and there is only a few days left until the deadline. Can anybody advise me in what is going on, I don’t really fancy going down the court route are they with holding evidence or just burying their heads.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If the defendant is not responding within the standard time frame, it is usual practice for the claimant Solicitor to offer an extension to the deadline and await response. If the defendant continues to fail to cooperate and respond as per the law, the only option is for a Solicitor to issue proceedings and bring the defendant before a court as the court has the legal authority to force them to disclose information, decide upon a settlement and ensure payment.

      Reply
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