We provide information on making a compensation claim against councils and local authorities for accidents caused by their negligence. Whether you have tripped on a raised pavement or a pothole, been injured in a council house, or suffered an accident or illness while working for a local council, you could have a valid injury claim.
Councils and local authorities are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of public spaces and properties. They owe a duty of care to people that use these publicly owned areas to ensure they are safe to use. Failing to meet this duty of care can, and often does, result in accidents and injuries. If this has happened to you within the past three years, you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim.
As the solicitors we work with specialise in helping people with accident claims against councils, they are ideally suited to provide you with the expertise you need to make a successful claim.
We work in partnership with National Accident Helpline, the UK’s leading provider of personal injury services. This ensures you receive the highest service levels and provides the key benefits that claimants look for, such as a free claim assessment and a no win no fee service.
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Can I sue the council for negligence?
Being involved in an accident of any type can be distressing. As well as the obvious pain and suffering that your injury may cause, you may also find yourself unable to work and financially affected. Some injuries may be relatively minor and clear up within a matter of days or weeks, but more severe injuries can have a long lasting or even permanent impact on your health and day-to-day life.
If your accident was caused by negligence on the part of the council or a local authority, you have every right to want compensation.
To find out if you can make a compensation claim, call free on 0800 678 1410 to speak to a trained legal adviser. As well as finding out if you can make a claim against the council, they will also help answer any questions you may have about the process.
What types of claims can be made against the council?
Councils have a responsibility to ensure people are safe when using public spaces. This includes roads and pavements, public parks and playgrounds and council run properties such as leisure centres and schools.
If the council have failed in their duty of care and you have been injured, you may be able to sue the council for negligence.
Below are some examples of accidents that could lead to a claim against the council.
Injuries caused by tripping on a damaged pavement or road
Under The Highways Act 1980, local authorities are responsible for conducting a regular inspection and maintenance program to ensure pavements and other public areas are safe to use.
When they fail to meet this duty of care, roads and pavements can be left in a dangerous state, with raised paving slabs, potholes and damaged kerbs.
If you have tripped on a pavement defect and been injured, you may be entitled to make a pavement accident claim against the council.
Council employees that have had an accident at work
Just like all employers, councils and local authorities owe a duty of care to their employees. This includes providing employees with a safe working environment, sufficient training and the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
If they fail to meet this legal obligation and it results in you suffering an accident or illness at work, you are entitled to claim compensation.
An injury lawyer can help by providing you with a no win no fee service. Find out more about making a work accident claim against the council.
Claiming for an accident in a council house or property
If you have had an accident in a council owned property and believe the council was at fault for your accident, you may be entitled to make a no win no fee claim.
Your local authority has a responsibility to make sure council housing is safe and adequately maintained. Failing to do this can put you and your family at risk of injury. This could include accidents such as:
- tripping on loose or badly worn carpets
- being injured from falling roof tiles or damaged guttering
- injuries caused by faulty electrical items
Providing it happened within the last three years and you suffered an injury, contact a personal injury solicitor who will be happy to discuss your case and let you know within minutes if you are entitled to be compensated.
Making a claim for an accident on school property
If your child goes to a public school, the council’s Local Education Authority (LEA) has a duty of care to protect them while they are on school property. This duty of care is also applicable to teachers, parents and other visitors within the school grounds.
So if you or your child has been injured due to the negligence of the LEA to maintain a safe school environment, you should be eligible to claim compensation.
Find out more about school accident claims.
Injuries sustained on playgrounds or public parks
Playgrounds and public parks provide children with a wonderful opportunity to play and exercise outdoors with friends and family. But unfortunately, playgrounds and parks can also be very dangerous if local authorities do not take care to maintain these areas properly.
Whilst general wear and tear is unavoidable, councils responsible for these areas have a legal duty to perform regular checks to keep members of the public safe. As well as playground equipment such as swings and climbing frames, this also applies to paths, playground flooring and the surrounding areas.
What are the time limits for making a claim against the council?
In most cases, a claim against the council for personal injury will need to be made within three years from the date of your accident. For this reason, we would always recommend you make a claim as soon as possible after the accident. Once the three-year time limit has passed, you might be time-barred from claiming compensation.
Starting a claim soon after an accident also makes the process of gathering evidence to support your claim much easier. Whether this is taking photos of a damaged pavement, measuring a pothole or interviewing somebody that witnessed the accident that caused your injury.
There are a couple of exceptions to the three year rule that applies to most personal injury claims:
- If you are claiming on behalf of a child (under 18 years old), the three year time limit does not apply.
- If you were injured when you were a child and a claim has not already been made on your behalf, you have three years from the date of your 18th birthday to start the claim yourself.
- If you’re claiming on behalf of a person that doesn’t have the mental capacity to make a claim themselves, there is no time limit applied.
How much compensation can I claim?
How much compensation you receive by claiming against the council for negligence will ultimately depend on how severe your injury is and what impact it has had on your life.
Examples of some of the factors that are taken into account to work out the amount of compensation you receive include:
- Any loss of earnings from being unable to work due to your injuries
- The cost of any medical treatment needed to aid your recovery, such as physiotherapy
- Travel costs to attend any GP or hospital appointments
- The cost of any accessibility changes that need to be made to your home or vehicle as a result of your injury
The best way to find out how much compensation your claim is worth is to discuss your accident with an experienced injury lawyer. To arrange a free claim assessment, call free on 0800 678 1410 or request a callback.
Will I be offered a no win no fee service?
Absolutely. No matter where you are in the UK, all of the injury solicitors we work with will be able to offer you a no win no fee service. Unlike with some firms, you will never be asked to pay any upfront legal fees to process your compensation claim, and you will never be left out of pocket.
If your claim for council negligence is successful, your solicitor’s costs are covered as a percentage of the compensation awarded (up to a maximum of 25%). If your case is unsuccessful, you are not required to pay any fees for the work your solicitor has done. You can find out more information about the no win no fee service here.
Want to find out more?
If you feel you may be entitled to make an injury claim against the council, it is a good idea to contact a solicitor as soon as possible. Although you have three years from the date of the accident to initiate a claim, getting legal advice early on can vastly improve your chance of success.
At CouncilClaims.co.uk, we can put you in contact with experienced personal injury lawyers who will provide you with a free claim assessment with no obligation attached. Enter your details into our simple online claim form, and a friendly and experienced legal advisor will give you a call to discuss your claim. Alternatively, you can call free on 0800 678 1410.
By contacting an injury solicitor early on, they can help to ensure any vital evidence you need to support your accident claim is captured, such as taking photographs of pavement defects before they are repaired, for example.