Tripping on a broken or uneven pavement can result in a lot of pain and suffering. Amongst other injuries, you could suffer lacerations, broken bones and also head injuries. In rare cases, these injuries could be catastrophic. Whilst some pavement accidents are nobody’s fault, if you can prove that the council/local authority’s negligence led to your injuries, you might be eligible to make a pavement accident claim for compensation.
To learn more about claiming compensation for a pavement accident, please read on. Alternatively, you can call us right away on 0800 6524 881 if you’re ready to begin your claim today.
Table of contents
- What Are A Councils Responsibilities For Pavements
- Am I Eligible To Make A Pavement Accident Claim?
- Common Causes Of Pavement Accident Claims
- Common Injuries From Tripping On Pavement
- How Much Compensation For Tripping On Pavement Could I Claim?
- What Types Of Evidence Could Support A Pavement Accident Claim?
- What’s The Time Limit For Making A Pavement Accident Claim?
- How Long Do Pavement Accident Claims Take To Settle?
- Starting The Pavement Accident Claims Process
Most public highways (pathways, pavements, and roads) are the responsibility of councils and 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 district and have a plan of action to make good any pavement defects that are identified. Furthermore, they must keep a good record of all inspections and any work they carry out.
If a council fails to meet their obligations to maintain a pathway, and you tripped and fell on a broken/uneven pavement as a result, you could claim compensation against the council for your injuries.
If you’ve tripped and fell on a pavement, to be eligible to make a pavement accident claim for compensation, you’ll need to prove that:
- The pavement trip hazard height was at least 2.5cm (1 inch) deep or high.
- You sustained an injury after tripping on a pavement defect.
- The defendant, such as the council/local authority, had failed to meet its obligations to maintain the pavement.
If you’d like an advisor to check your eligibility to start a claim, please get in touch with us today.
If you were partly to blame for tripping on a pavement you may still be able to claim compensation. However, the amount you would receive may be reduced. For example, if a person walking on the pavement wasn’t paying attention due to looking at their phone and tripped on a broken paving slab that had been reported to the council as a trip hazard some time ago, it could be argued that the person was negligent and contributed to their own injury by not paying attention
The principle of contributory negligence might apply in such cases and would mean that the amount of compensation awarded would be reduced in proportion to the degree of responsibility the claimant had for the accident. As alluded to earlier, each pavement accident claim is different so we’d advise contacting our advisors to check your eligibility to claim.
Part of the claims process will involve proving the local authority/council hadn’t repaired the pavement defect in a reasonable period of time. For example, if you’re planning on suing the council for an uneven pavement that caused your injury, to help prove your claim, you could ask local residents or businesses if they are aware of the defect.
When you present your case to sue the council for negligence, they will need to show when the pavement was last inspected and whether it was inspected within the allowed timescales. They will also need to show whether the defect was present when they carried out their inspection. It’s worth noting that not all pavements and footpaths 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.
We’ll look at what evidence for a pavement accident claim you could use a little later on in this guide.
Some common causes of pavement accident claims where you could be compensated for your injuries include:
- Tree roots that have broken through the pavement’s surface.
- Raised, loose or uneven paving slabs.
- Potholes and sinkholes in pathways.
- Damaged street furniture (signs, posts, manhole/drain covers etc).
- Missing or damaged kerbstones.
If you have tripped on the 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
Some common injuries caused by trips and falls due to pavement defects include:
If the type of injury you’ve had isn’t shown, don’t worry. You can still call or use our live chat to discuss whether you could claim compensation for whatever injuries you’ve suffered.
The amount of compensation for tripping on pavement or a pavement fall 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 pavement accident 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 directly associated with those injuries too. This could include care costs, medical expenses and loss of earnings compensation 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.
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 what settlement might be due if you’ve tripped on a broken pavement without knowing the extent of your injuries.
However, the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) provide a range of settlement amounts for different injuries. Therefore, personal injury solicitors can predict approximately what payout could be paid after they have assessed your claim and the extent of your suffering.
In our pavement trip 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.
Even if your case seems clear-cut, you must be able to prove how you tripped on the pavement, how the local authority was to blame, and how you suffered as a result. Without ample evidence, you could lose your case or not be compensated fairly. Therefore to help prove liability in a pavement accident claim, we would advise that you:
- Photograph or video the pavement/pathway trip hazard or defect using your phone. You should try to include a tape measure or rule to help demonstrate the height, depth and width of the trip hazard.
- Ask witnesses who are present if they could provide you with their contact information.
- Visit A&E or your GP to have your injuries assessed. Your medical records could be used as supporting evidence later on.
- If your trip and fall on the pavement was caught on CCTV, you have the right to request a copy of the footage.
- Ask local businesses or residents if they are aware of the trip hazard 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, so please call us today to see if you have enough evidence to proceed with a claim.
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 on the date the accident took place. However, if a child hurt their head or any other injury from tripping on pavement, the same time limits do not apply. A litigation friend such as a parent or guardian could file a 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 individual 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 pavement accident claims can be resolved amicably in a matter of months whilst others might take over a year to be settled. It really depends on the complexity of the case, what evidence is available, and the willingness to admit liability for a pavement fall.
If you’d like to find out how long a claim might take, please get in touch with our team.
When starting the pavement accident claim process, 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 for falling on pavement that you receive.
We are here to help if you’d like to know if one of our solicitors could represent you. So, please 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.
Remember, any claim we take on will be managed using a No Win No Fee agreement which means you shouldn’t be worried about legal fees throughout your case.
If you’ve tripped on broken pavement and were injured as a result, please contact us today if you’d like to discuss the process of making a pavement accident claim with an advisor.