The council has a legal duty of care to try and ensure that members of the public (and council staff) are safe while using local amenities. As a result, you could sue the council if you are injured because of its negligence. For example, you might receive compensation from the council if you’ve been injured by faulty equipment in one of its leisure centres. Our guide on council compensation claims will explain when you might be entitled to compensation and what you could be compensated for.
If you would like advice on claiming compensation against the council, we can help. To begin, a specialist will listen to what has happened and assess the merits of your claim. You’ll be given free legal advice and we could partner you with one of our personal injury lawyers if the claim is strong enough. Should they agree to represent you, they’ll work on your case on a No Win, No Fee basis meaning that you won’t need to pay for your solicitor’s work in advance.
Ready to claim against the council straight away? If so, please contact us on 0800 652 1345 today. Otherwise, please continue reading to find out more.
Can I sue the council for negligence compensation?
Our solicitors try to help as many people as possible claim compensation but can only take on claims with a realistic chance of success. To check whether or not you could sue the council for negligence they’ll want to know:
- Did the council owe the claimant (you) a duty of care?
- Did the council’s negligence cause you to have an accident?
- Were you injured in that accident?
If you can answer yes to all three questions above, we could help you to begin a compensation claim against the council.
How much compensation for an accident on council property can I claim?
When it comes to claiming compensation from the local council there are two main areas to consider which are general damages and special damages. General damages relate to the injury and impact on the individual while special damages cover any costs or expenses you have incurred.
No two council compensation claims are exactly the same, but if you win your claim it could cover:
- The physical pain and suffering caused by your injuries.
- Mental harm caused by anxiety, depression or distress relating to the accident and your injuries.
- Compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder.
- The cost of replacing any personal items damaged during the accident.
- Earnings you lost if your injuries prevented you from working.
- Care costs to cover the time someone else spent helping you with daily activities.
- Any impact your injuries had on your family life, social activities and hobbies.
- Fuel, parking and other travel costs.
- Physiotherapy and other medical costs including private treatment in some cases.
- Modifications of your house or car if they’ll improve your quality of life when dealing with long-term injuries.
- Future income losses if your ability to earn is reduced by your injuries.
If your claim is settled by the council, you cannot ask for more compensation later on. As such, all aspects of your suffering should be thought about intricately before your compensation claim is sent to the council. If one of our solicitors represents you, they will use their experience to try and make sure that you are compensated fully for your injuries.
Types of council and local authority compensation claims
Members of the public and council staff could potentially claim for any injuries sustained on council property or while using council-operated services. That means you could claim compensation from the council for injuries suffered while using:
- Public footpaths.
- Recycling centres.
- Care homes.
- Council offices.
- Public highways.
- Parks and playgrounds.
- Leisure centres.
Even if your local authority or council is having to deal with reduced budgets, they will still need to try and ensure their services are operated safely. Failure to do so could entitle you to compensation if injured while using them.
Common injuries in council compensation claims
Essentially, the personal injury claims process allows you to claim for anything other than the most minor injuries. Some of the more common claims dealt with by our solicitors include:
- Back injury compensation claims.
- Head injury claims.
- Broken bone compensation claims.
- Ankle injury claims.
- Soft tissue injury claims (muscles, tendons and ligaments).
- Wrist injury claims.
- Nerve damage injury claims.
If you’re not sure if your injury can be claimed for, call our claims team for a free consultation.
Types of negligence that can result in claims against councils and local authorities
Due to the number of services provided by councils and local authorities, it’s not possible to list every possible type of negligence that could lead to a compensation claim. However, we have listed a few examples below:
- If you trip and fall on a public footpath because a defect such as a raised paving slab hadn’t been repaired in a timely fashion. Please see our pavement accident claims page.
- Where you are injured in a council operated gym because of poor advice from a member of staff. Please see our gym injury claims page.
- If your child falls and hurts themselves in a park because safety tiles were damaged and had not been repaired.
- Where you slipped on ice because the council failed to grit a well-used footpath (in the town centre for example). Please see our slipped on ice claims page.
- If you are damaged in a car accident after hitting a pothole because of a poor inspection programme.
- Where you’re injured whilst working for the council because you were not given appropriate personal protective equipment. Please see our PPE claims page.
- If you slip on a wet floor in a council property where no warning signs were in place. Please see our slipped on wet floor claims page.
Remember, the council must’ve been negligent and breached its duty of care if you’re to make a successful claim. This is usually established by legislation such as the Highways Act 1980, the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. You need not worry too much about proving a duty of care though as your solicitor will verify this when assessing your claim.
A note on pothole claims against councils
There are a couple of points to bear in mind if you are claiming for injuries caused by road or footpath defects such as potholes. They are:
- The council could fight the claim successfully if they can show that they have a good programme of inspection and repairs.
- The defect that caused your injury must be at least 1-inch high or deep.
Please call our advice centre if you’d like to check if you could be entitled to claim.
Providing proof for a council compensation claim
Compensation claims against the council will usually be handled by their own legal department or by an insurance company. In either case, it is unlikely that liability for the accident or your injuries will be accepted unless you have proof to show who caused the accident and how you have suffered.
Any of the items listed below could all be used as proof to support your case:
- Photographs. Where possible, you should attempt to take pictures of the council accident scene from various angles. Ideally, this will show the cause of the accident before it has been moved, replaced or repaired.
- Medical notes. If your injuries were treated by your GP or at a hospital, your solicitor can request copies of your x-rays and medical records. These could help to prove the extent of your injuries and the required treatment.
- Accident report forms. Like other organisations, councils must keep a log of accidents on their premises. You can ask for a copy of their report as it could help to prove that the accident actually happened.
- Witness information. In some cases where liability for your accident is contested, witness statements could be requested to try and corroborate your claim. As such, you should give the contact details of any witnesses to your solicitor.
- Camera footage. If your accident was on council premises where CCTV cameras are in use, you could ask for a copy of any relevant footage. This will need to be requested quickly as data is usually deleted within a month.
Finally, it’s a good idea to write everything down in a diary following your council accident so that nothing important is forgotten.
Medical assessments for injury claims
The personal injury claims process dictates that you’d need to be assessed by an independent medical expert. This is nothing to be concerned about and your solicitor will usually be able to book a local appointment.
In your meeting, a specialist will examine the current state of your injuries, talk to you about how you’ve suffered and read through your medical records. After they have finished, they’ll list your injuries in a report and explain your prognosis. The council’s representatives and your solicitor will both receive a copy of the report.
Council compensation claims time limits
If you make a personal injury claim against the council, you’ll need to abide by the rules of the Limitation Act 1980. This means you must claim within 3-years of:
- The date you were injured; or
- The date your injuries were diagnosed by a doctor if they were not immediately obvious.
In our experience, the sooner you begin your claim the better. Starting the claims process early should make gathering proof to support your case much easier. You’ll also give your solicitor plenty of time to arrange for medical reports.
It’s worth bearing in mind that if you want to sue the council on behalf of your child, the 3-year time limit will not apply. You (as a litigation friend) can start the compensation claim at any point before your child turns 18 years old.
No Win, No Fee council compensation claims
Our solicitors know that no one wants to risk paying legal fees if their claim is lost. For that reason, any council compensation claim that’s taken on will be handled on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means that:
- You don’t pay your solicitor upfront for their work.
- You won’t pay them if your claim fails.
- Your solicitor can begin working on your case right away.
When you and your solicitor both agree to work together, you’ll be sent a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This will show you what your solicitor will do for you and explain the criteria that need to be met before you have to pay for your solicitor’s time and effort.
Essentially, you’ll only have to pay your solicitor’s “success fee” if you are compensated. This fee constitutes a percentage of any settlement that you receive and will be clearly listed in the CFA before you sign.
To check if one of our No Win, No Fee solicitors could help you to claim, arrange a free consultation here.
Start a compensation claim against the council today
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by the council’s negligence and would like to sue, we’re here to help. Remember, we provide a free case review and legal advice no matter what you decide to do. For your no-obligation consultation, please call our team on 0800 652 1345 today.
If your case is suitable, we’ll ask one of our solicitors to review it further. Should they agree to act on your behalf, they’ll represent you on a No Win, No Fee basis. That means you won’t pay any solicitor’s fees unless you are awarded compensation for your injuries.
If you have any more questions about council compensation claims, please feel free to discuss them via live chat or by calling our free claim line.