Whilst some pavement accidents are nobody’s fault, if you can prove that the council/local authority’s negligence led to your injuries, you may be eligible to claim compensation by filing a pavement accident claim.
Am I Able To Claim Compensation For A Pavement Accident?
Tripping on a loose paving slab or damaged tarmac can result in a lot of pain and suffering. Amongst other injuries, you could suffer cuts and bruises, broken bones and also head injuries. In some cases, these pavement trip and fall injuries could cause long-term suffering even after many attempts at surgery or other forms of treatment. So, can you sue the council for falling on an uneven pavement?
Most public highways (paths and roads) are the responsibility of local authorities in England and Wales. This obligation comes from The Highways Act 1980. Their duty of care means that they need to regularly inspect the highways and pavements in their area and have a programme to repair any defects that are identified. Furthermore, they must keep a good record of all inspections and any work they carry out.
If the authority fails to meet their obligations, and you tripped and fell on an uneven pavement as a result, you could sue the council for injury compensation.
To be eligible to claim, you’ll need to show that:
- The pavement trip hazard height was at least 2.5cm (1 inch) deep or high.
- You sustained an injury after tripping on the pavement defect.
- The local authority had failed to meet its obligations to maintain the pavement.
To support your claim, we would advise that you:
- Photograph or video the pavement defect using your phone. You should try to include a tape measure or rule to help demonstrate the height, depth and width of the defect.
- Ask any witnesses for their details.
- Visit A&E or your GP to have your injuries assessed. Your medical records could be used as supporting evidence later on.
- Ask local businesses or residents if they are aware of the defect and how long it has been present.
One of our claims advisors will happily review any evidence you’re able to provide during a no-obligation consultation. Why not call today on 0800 6524 881 to see if you have enough evidence to proceed to a claim?
What Type Of Pavement Accident Claims Are Possible?
Pavement accident claims might be possible if your injuries were caused by:
- Tree roots that have broken through the pavement’s surface.
- Raised, loose or uneven paving slabs.
- Potholes and sinkholes.
- Damaged street furniture (signs, posts, manhole/drain covers etc).
- Missing or damaged kerbstones.
Part of the claims process will involve proving the local authority/council hadn’t repaired the pavement defect in a timely manner. To help prove this, you could ask local residents or businesses if they are aware of the defect.
When you present your pavement accident claim to the council, they will need to show when the pavement was last inspected and whether it was checked within the allowed timescales. They will also need to show whether the defect was present at the time of the last check. It’s worth noting that not all pavements have to be inspected as regularly as others. For example, the local high street will need more regular inspections because it will have more foot traffic than a small rural cul-de-sac.
If you have tripped on a pavement causing an injury and would like free advice on whether you have a valid claim or not, please feel free to get in touch. You can call or use our live chat to discuss whether you could claim compensation for your injuries.
How Much Compensation For A Fall On A Pavement?
The amount of compensation paid for a fall on a pavement will vary from case to case. To help determine the settlement level, several factors will need to be considered. These include the severity of your injuries, whether you lost any income while you were recovering and whether you’ll continue to suffer in the future.
As every claim is unique, the best way to check how much compensation you could receive is to let one of our advisors or solicitors conduct a free initial consultation. By doing so, they’ll be able to offer a personalised compensation estimate after reviewing your case.
Importantly, as well as claiming for your injuries, you may need to claim for any financial costs linked to your injuries too. This could include care costs, medical expenses and loss of earnings too.
If your case is suitable, and you decide to claim, our solicitors will offer to process your pavement accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis. Please get in touch to learn more.
Pavement Accident Claims Compensation Calculator
Some common injuries seen in pavement accident claims include:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken/fractured bones
- Back injuries
- Brain injuries
- Ankle injures
As mentioned above, claim amounts will vary from case to case depending on the nature of the injuries sustained. Therefore, it’s not possible to predict exactly how much compensation might be payable if you claim against the council for injury.
However, the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) provides a range of settlement amounts for different injuries. Therefore, personal injury solicitors can predict approximately how much compensation could be paid after they have assessed your claim and the extent of your suffering.
In our pavement accident claims compensation calculator, below, we’ve provided a range of injuries and compensation brackets to help you understand how much your claim might be worth.
Please use this calculator for information purposes only. There is no guarantee that, should your pavement accident claim be successful, you would be awarded the exact settlement amounts that we have listed.
Is There A Time Limit For Claiming?
In UK law, personal injury claims are time-limited. That means that you must file your pavement compensation claim within 3-years. If you fail to do so, the claim could be statute-barred which means that you may miss out on any compensation you might have received.
In most accident claims, the 3 year period will usually start from the date the accident took place. However, if a child is injured after tripping on a pavement, the same time limits do not apply. A parent or litigation friend could claim on their behalf at any time before the child is 18-years old. If a claim isn’t filed, the 3 year time limit will apply from the date of their 18th birthday.
Similarly, if the claimant doesn’t have the mental capacity to file a claim, a friend or family member could claim on their behalf. Again, the 3 year limitation period would not be applied in this scenario.
In reality, no two claims are the same. As such, some claims can be resolved amicably in a matter of months whilst others might take over a year to be settled.
If you’d like to check how long you have to begin your claim, please get in touch with our team.
Using A Personal Injury Solicitor To File Your Claim
When starting a pavement accident claim, it is advisable to find an experienced personal injury solicitor to help you. They will have the experience and legal skills to give you the help and advice to start the claims process.
Having a personal injury solicitor on your side can be the difference between success or failure in your case. Furthermore, they could have a significant impact on the amount of compensation that you are paid.
We are here to help if you’d like to know if one of our solicitors could represent you. Therefore, why not call us on 0800 6524 881 to find out more?
Our team of specialist solicitors have years of experience in pavement accident claims. If your claim is suitable, they will start the claims process right away so that no time is wasted.
Any claim we take on will be managed on a No win No fee basis which means you’ll not be worrying about legal fees throughout your case.
Things To Bear In Mind With Pavement Accident Claims
Even if your case seems clear cut, you must be able to prove how your accident happened, how the local authority was to blame and how you suffered. Without ample evidence, you could lose your case or not be compensated fairly.
For that reason, it is advisable to have a legal representative on your side who can gather the evidence required for a pavement accident claim and try to counter any objections by presenting a strong case on your behalf.
If you’ve tripped on an uneven pavement and are considering suing the council after a fall for compensation, please contact us today for a free consultation with a personal injury solicitor.
Updated 26th July 2021.