For a pavement accident claim to be successful, it has to meet certain criteria including the pavement trip hazard height of at least 1 inch (2.5 cm/25mm).
Basic Criteria For A Successful Pavement Trip Claim
- Submit proof showing cause of the injuries
The first thing you will need to prove is that your injuries were sustained in a pavement trip and fall accident. This is to rule out claimants who may have been injured in some other accident that was their own fault and are looking for a way to get compensated regardless.
The best way to obtain proof that a trip and fall on a pavement caused your injuries is by getting photographs showing the damaged pavement and the surrounding area. If the accident happened at night, during bad weather or other low light conditions, try and capture that aspect in your photograph to support your claim.
If there are any people around who witnessed the incident, ask them if they will provide witness statements and get their contact details so that you get in touch with them when the time comes.
- Demonstrate that the pavement trip hazard height meets the specific size criteria
Submitting photographic evidence of the damaged pavement that caused your injuries is not enough by itself. The pavement trip hazard height is 1 inch and it is just as important to show this as clearly as possible. To win compensation for your injuries, you must be able to show that the pavement trip hazard height was more than one inch in depth or height.
- Prove that the pavement had been damaged prior to your accident
The local council is responsible for pavement maintenance and repairs. According to the law, the local council/ authority is required to carry out inspection of all roads and pavements in their area at regular intervals. It is not always possible to carry out all repairs overnight after an inspection. However, all damage and defects, whether identified during the inspection or reported by a member of the public, must be repaired at reasonable intervals to prevent potential accidents and injuries.
Crucial Aspects Of Photographic Evidence
We said earlier that in order to win your claim, you must be able to submit proof that the pavement defect was at least one inch. One way to show this is by taking photographs of the scene in such a way that they show the depth or height of the pavement defect. A photograph by itself may still not be enough though. With a plain photograph, the size of the defect could be debatable. The key is to show that the pavement trip hazard height was more than one inch. So how do you do this?
Getting a photograph with a ruler or tape measure indicating the depth or height of the pavement defect would of course be the perfect solution but not everyone is walking around with a ruler or a tape measure in their pocket. One alternative is to get a photograph with a 50p coin or any other object with a clear measurement placed against the defect. This provides some perspective of the size of the defect and serves as strong supporting evidence to back your pavement trip injury claim.
Take photographs as early as possible as the council may rush to carry out emergency repairs of the accident spot, obliterating all signs of the pavement defect or damage. This could kill your case.
Also take some wide-view photographs that include a few surrounding landmarks such as a lamppost, post box, rubbish bin, or bus stop. These types of photographs give the viewer a better perspective of the pavement damage relative to the landmarks in the picture.
If you’re unable to take photos yourself ask somebody you know to do this for you.
Should You Pursue A Pavement Accident Claim?
Not sure whether or not you are eligible to file a pavement accident claim for compensation? Don’t give up your legal rights without first speaking to a solicitor. Show your photographs to a personal injury solicitor, explain what happened, and ask for their advice about what to do next.
If the facts do not add up to a strong case, for example, the pavement trip hazard height is too low, the solicitor may advise you not to proceed with legal action. On the flip side, if you’ve got a strong case backed by solid supporting evidence, a solicitor may advise you to file a compensation claim.
If you have tripped on a pavement that has caused an injury and you believe negligence was the cause, you should speak to a personal injury solicitor even if the pavement trip hazard height is less than 25mm as there might still be a case to claim compensation.