Councils are responsible for providing an extensive array of services related to the upkeep and maintenance of all public spaces and properties, from roads and parks to schools and leisure centres. According to the law, councils and local authorities have a duty of care to ensure that these publicly owned areas are properly maintained and safe to use. If they fail to meet this duty of care, and you are injured as a result of their negligence, it could be grounds for a council accident compensation claim.
Services That Councils Are Responsible For
Essentially, councils are responsible for maintaining all spaces that are considered public property. This includes:
- Roads and highways;
- Public pathways and pavements;
- Public transport;
- Public parks;
- Sports and leisure facilities;
- Social care;
- Waste disposal.
A council’s responsibilities include:
- Repairing cracked pavements and roads;
- Re-setting loose paving slabs on pavements and pathways;
- Filling potholes on pavements and roads;
- Clearing public spaces of all tripping hazards such as loose debris or fallen trees;
- Ensuring all public transportation is subjected to regular inspection and maintenance;
- Ensuring all equipment used for various repair work is scheduled for regular inspection and maintenance;
- Providing all workers with adequate training especially with regards to safety;
- Providing all workers with appropriate personal protective equipment;
- Addressing public concerns promptly.
What Could You Make A Council Accident Compensation Claim For?
When you consider the range of services councils cover, it’s not surprising that there are several different types of accidents that can be attributed to council negligence for which you could make a council accident claim for compensation. Some of the most common of these might include but are not limited to:
- Slip and trip accidents caused by loose paving slabs, damaged curbs or cracked surfaces on pavements or pathways;
- Road accidents as a result of unfilled potholes and badly maintained highways;
- Slip and trip accidents caused by loose debris or fallen trees on pavements or pathways;
- Slip and trip accidents due to icy pathways;
- Public transportation accidents caused by poor maintenance of buses, trains or ferries;
- Road accidents caused by broken streetlights or incorrect road signs;
- Public playground injuries caused by a faulty or broken playground equipment;
- Slip and trip accident due to loose carpeting, broken bannisters or debris-filled pathways in a council owned house or property;
- Burns or electrical shocks due to faulty electrical appliances or electric cookers in a council owned house;
- Water-borne illnesses brought on by contaminated water in a council swimming pool;
- Any type of accident in a public school that can be attributed to poor maintenance and failure to put up hazard signposts to warm students and visitors to the premises.
Starting A Council Accident Claim
There are several requirements you will need to meet to be successful when you file a council accident compensation claim. The most important of these is being able to prove that the accident was caused because of council negligence. What you must know is that the council will act fast to repair the scene of the accident. Their main intention will be to prevent any more accidents from happening, however in doing this they also remove any evidence from the scene of the accident that could help support your council compensation claim. If you think you have grounds to file a legal claim for compensation, you must act fast.
Here are some things you can do strengthen a council compensation claim:
- If you are badly hurt, call for an ambulance and get emergency medical help. Even if you don’t appear to be badly injured, you should still get to a hospital and get a medical checkup as soon as possible. You could be more seriously injured than you think. Sometimes the pain and other symptoms only manifest several hours or even days after the accident. Getting a medical check-up will also serve as proof that you did sustain injuries at the time of the accident.
- Get photographs of the scene of the accident. You don’t need a high end camera to do this. Your phone camera should be good enough for this purpose. Take several photographs that clearly show the scene of the accident from various angles. If you can, get a video recording of the accident scene. Also get photographs of any visible injuries and any damage done to any property, for example you may be able to claim against the council for car damage.
- Collect the names and contact details of any passers-by who have witnessed the accident. You may need their statement at a later date to support your council compensation claim.
- Look around and see if there are any security cameras that may have captured the accident as it happened. Recordings are powerful evidence and may provide irrefutable proof of the cause of the accident.
Contact A Personal Injury Solicitor About A Council Accident Claim
Legal proceedings can be expensive. This is one of the main reasons why most people hesitate to pursue any type of council accident claim even when they know they are not at fault. To help accident victims get the compensation due to them without worrying about legal fees, most personal injury solicitors offer a free initial consultation and provide their services on a No Win No Fee basis.
During the free consultation, they will hear your account of what happened and go through the evidence you might have already gathered. If you have a strong case in your favour to make a compensation claim against the council, our solicitor would offer to represent you without charging you any upfront fees. You only pay an agreed fee if your council accident claim is successful and are awarded compensation. This ensures that you are never out of pocket at any time during the proceedings. If you don’t win any compensation, you are not liable to pay anything. This is known as a No Win No Fee agreement.
A No Win No Fee agreement works in your favour as you get expert legal advice about your council compensation claim and representation from an experienced personal injury solicitor without any of the associated financial risks.
If you think you have a council accident claim and would like to have a free consultation with one of our expert personal injury solicitors then please phone us free on 0800 6524 881 or fill out the call back form on this page.