Pavement Trip Compensation Claims
Injuries caused by pavement trips are one of the most common types of personal injury compensation claims made in the UK. If you have tripped on a pavement due to a raised paving slab, a pot hole or a damaged drain cover, you may be entitled to make a no win no fee pavement trip compensation claim.
Defects on council pavements are unfortunately very common. Although councils do try to monitor and repair such defects, raised paving slabs, uneven pavements and pot holes are still very common and can cause significant injuries.
If you have tripped on a pavement due to the pavement being uneven, whether this is a raised paving slab, a pot hole or any other defect, and have suffered a personal injury due to the accident, you may be entitled to make a pavement trip compensation claim against the council. Our personal injury solicitors specialise in compensation claims against councils and work on a no win no fee basis.
Criteria to make a pavement trip claim
If you have had an accident on a council pavement, there are a number of criteria that must be satisfied in order to make a successful pavement accident compensation claim against the council.
The pavement defect must be at least 1inch – When making a compensation claim against the council for a pavement trip, the defect that has caused the accident must be at least 1inch. For example, if you have tripped due to a raised paving slab, the raised area must at least 1inch above the normal level of the pavement. If you have tripped due to a pot hole on the pavement, the pot hole must be at least 1 inch deep.
Although a defect which is less than 1inch can cause accidents which result in significant injuries, it is very unlikely you would be able to make a successful pavement trip compensation claim. Cases have been considered by judges but have been unsuccessful, with one judge stating that “a pavement is not to be judged by the standards of a bowling green”.
The accident must be within the time limit to make a compensation claim – The pavement trip accident must have happened within the past three years in order to make a compensation claim. If you were under the age of 18 when the pavement accident happened, the three year period starts on the date you turned 18 years old. If the three year limitation period has passed, you would not be able to make a pavement trip compensation claim.
The pavement trip must have caused an injury – In order to make a personal injury claim for a trip on a council pavement, naturally you must have suffered a personal injury. If you have not been injured, you would not be entitled to make a pavement trip compensation claim. You cannot claim for a ‘near miss’ or for what ‘could of happened’.
The injuries caused by a pavement trip will be assessed by a solicitor before deciding whether or not they are able to take the case on a no win no fee basis. If your injury is completely better within a week or two it is unlikely to be taken on by a personal injury solicitor on a no win no fee basis.
You must seek medical attention for your injuries – If you have been injured due to a trip on a raised pavement, a pot hole, an uneven pavement or any other pavement defect, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. It is important that your injuries are recorded on your medical records as evidence that you have suffered an injury as a result of the accident. Having your injuries looked at by a relative or a neighbour who happens to be a nurse would not be sufficient.
Record as much evidence of the pavement trip as possible – As with any compensation claim, if you have tripped on a pavement, it is a good idea to record as much evidence as possible. You should take photographic evidence of the defect as soon as possible. When taking photographs of the pavement defect, whether it is a raised paving slab or a pot hole, it is a good idea to put something in or against the defect to show the size of the defect. A ruler or tape measure would be great for this, but alternatively you could use a coin, a match box or any other item which gives an indication of the size of the pavement defect. You should take several photos of the pavement from different angles to make sure the defect is clearly visible in the photographs.
As well as photographic evidence of the pavement accident, you should also make a note of any other evidence. For example, if there were any witnesses to your pavement trip you should try to record the names and contact details of the witnesses. You could also write a letter to your local council to report your accident, and keep a copy of your letter. If you do report the pavement accident to the council, it is a good idea to take photographic evidence of the defect first.
Could the council have a defence to my pavement accident? - The simple answer to this is Yes! Under section 58 of the Highways Act 1980 the council may have a defence to a pavement accident claim if they can prove they have a good system in place to inspect the pavement that has caused the accident, and they have carried out these inspections on a regular basis. A personal injury solicitor would look to challenge this defence on the basis that the system put in place by the local authority is either inadequate or has not been enforced properly.