Trips and falls are fairly common and mainly lead to nothing more than cuts and bruises. However, some injuries can be much more serious and result in long-term suffering as well. One reason why people fall is because of defects on pavements such as potholes, uneven paving slabs or exposed tree roots.
In some cases, if you’ve tripped on pavement and are injured because a business or the local authority has failed to maintain the pavement properly, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. As such, we’ve written this article on claiming compensation for a pavement accident to show you when you could be entitled to compensation and what you could claim for.
We specialise in personal injury claims and offer free legal advice if you’re thinking of making a pavement accident claim. During your free consultation, your case will be reviewed by a specialist advisor. They’ll explain what options are available to you and could introduce you to one of our personal injury lawyers if your claim appears to be viable. If the lawyer agrees to represent you, they’ll process your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis. That should make the claims process less daunting as you won’t need to pay solicitor’s fees unless you receive a compensation payment.
We’re ready to review your claim right away so please feel free to call us on 0800 652 1345 today. If you’d rather learn more about claiming for injuries caused by pavement defects, please continue reading.
Common causes of trips and falls on pavements
If you hurt yourself after you tripped on pavement, you might decide to start a claim against the council or the business responsible for the pathway. There are many types of defects that could cause trips and falls and entitle you to compensation including:
- Missing kerbstones.
- Raised paving slabs.
- Uneven tarmac.
- Manhole covers that aren’t closed properly.
- Tree roots that have broken through the pavement.
- Broken street furniture like benches or signposts.
Injuries that can result from trips and falls on pavements
There are a lot of different injuries that could be sustained following a fall on the pavement so we can’t list each of them here. However, some of the more common that lead to compensation claims include:
- Ligament, tendon or muscle damage.
- Back injury.
- Sprained ankles.
- Fractured bones.
- Head injuries and concussions.
- Permanent scars.
- Cuts, bruises, lacerations and penetrating wounds.
These injuries can be serious enough for most people but they can be devastating for elderly and frail victims. As well as the physical pain these injuries cause, they cause psychological injuries as well such as distress and anxiety.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a defective or broken pavement, please call today if you’d like to discuss your options.
Can I claim compensation for a fall on the pavement?
The first thing you’ll need to prove if you decide to make a pavement accident claim is that you were owed a duty of care by the organisation you are claiming against. So, we’ll explain what this is before we move on.
Local authority duty of care
The Highways Act 1980 places a duty of care on local councils and other agencies to maintain, inspect and repair any public highways (including pavements) in their area. This means that they must carry out regular inspections and have a programme to repair certain defects that they identify.
Importantly, even if you tripped on the pavement on a public highway, the local authority could successfully defend a claim made against them in some instances. That might be the case if they can show that they’d checked the pavement in line with their inspection programme and the fault hadn’t been logged at the time.
Business’s duty of care
Several laws can be used to establish a duty of care if you’re injured on business property. For example, the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 means that any visitors, customers or guests to a property should be kept as safe as possible. That doesn’t mean you need to be watched over all of the time. Instead, the business should make regular safety checks and fix any problems, such as pavement defects, in a timely manner.
Based on the above information, a personal injury might take on your pavement accident claim if:
- The defendant breached their duty of care through a negligent act (or lack of action); which
- Caused you to have a pavement accident; and
- You sustained injuries during the accident.
Winning a pavement accident claim can be tough. We believe you have a better chance of success if you have a specialist solicitor on your side. If you’d like us to check whether you’ve got grounds to take action, please contact our advisors for free advice today.
Pavement defect minimum height
It is generally true that compensation claims for injuries caused by pavement accidents can only proceed if the defect was deeper or taller than 1-inch.
Later on, we’ll look at what proof you might use to prove the size of the defect, how your accident happened and the injuries your accident caused.
How much compensation for tripping on pavement can I claim?
There are usually two elements to a pavement accident claim that will determine how much compensation you should get. General damages are based on the pain your injuries caused and special damages are used to recover any costs incurred as a result of the accident. No two claims are exactly the same but, in general, you could be compensated for:
- Your pain and suffering.
- Any loss of amenity. This is where you could claim if you can’t complete activities you usually enjoy because of your injuries.
- Any income you’ve lost due to your injuries. Additionally, you could claim for future loss of income if your injuries will affect you in the long term.
- The cost of adapting your home or vehicle if making changes will improve your quality of life after suffering permanent injuries.
- Travel expenses linked to your injuries.
- The cost of hiring a carer if needed. Alternatively, a value could be calculated for the time a loved one spent caring for you.
- Medical expenses or rehabilitation costs (such as physiotherapy).
All elements must be considered before you file your claim as you can’t request additional damages after you’ve agreed to settle. If you work with one of our personal injury lawyers, they’ll use their experience to try and ensure nothing is left out of your claim.
Providing proof of injury for a pavement accident claim
There are several things you could do following a pavement accident. Some of these could help if you decide to take legal action for the injuries you’ve sustained. As such, you could:
- Report the accident. This is important because, by law, most accidents of this nature must be recorded in some sort of accident log book. Having a copy of the report would make it quite difficult for the defendant to deny that the pavement accident took place.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you are offered first aid at the scene of the accident, you should also visit your GP, a hospital or minor injuries unit. That way a medical professional will assess and treat your injuries properly. Later on, you could ask to be sent a copy of your medical notes or x-rays to help prove the severity of your injuries.
- Ask locals about the defect. It’s always a good idea to ask residents or business owners about the pavement defect. This could help to prove how long it was present before your accident occurred.
- Take photographs. Importantly, you should take pictures of the pavement defect that caused your accident. You will need to use a ruler or tape measure to show the scale of the defect. Remember, claims are typically only possible for problems that are taller or deeper than 1-inch so try to capture this in your picture.
- Ask any witnesses for their details. You’ll need to prove that the accident actually happened. One way to do this is to request contact details from anybody who saw you fall. They may be asked to provide a statement by your solicitor later on.
- Obtain camera footage. If the area where your accident is covered by security cameras, you’re within your rights to ask for a copy of the relevant footage. Act quickly here as recordings aren’t usually retained for longer than a month or so.
- Keep a diary. Finally, a diary can help you to keep track of how your injuries have affected you. For example, you could record any expenses you’ve had to pay for because of your injuries. You could also keep track of any time off work or social events you missed out on.
We are happy to review your evidence during your initial consultation. Whether you decide to proceed or not, you’ll benefit from free legal advice about your pavement accident compensation claim by calling today on 0800 652 1345.
Medical assessment for a personal injury claim
As well as providing your own evidence, you will most likely need an independent medical assessment as part of the pavement accident claims process. This means you’ll meet with a medical expert (usually set up by your solicitor locally) to discuss how your injuries have affected you. Your injuries will then be examined by the specialist who will then list your injuries and prognosis in a report for both parties involved in your claim.
Pavement accident compensation claims time limits
There are time limits that apply to personal injury compensation claims. Mostly, you’ll have 3-years to claim from the date you tripped or fell on the pavement. There are a few exceptions to this rule though including:
- Where a child is injured.
- If the claimant doesn’t have the mental capacity to claim themselves.
In these cases, the time limit will not apply and a litigation friend could be appointed to represent the claimant. If you decide to claim on somebody else’s behalf, the claim will proceed as normal and you’ll handle all queries from the solicitor for the claimant. The litigation friend process will end if the claimant turns 18-years old or they recover the capacity to deal with the pavement accident claim themselves.
Whether you’re claiming for your own injuries or for somebody else’s we’d suggest you start the claims process as soon as possible. This will allow your solicitor plenty of time to gather evidence and you’ll also find it easier to recall what happened.
To check how long you’ve got left to make a claim, please call today.
No Win, No Fee pavement accident claims
There’s no doubt that most people wouldn’t use a solicitor to seek compensation if they had to pay for their work in advance. For that reason, all of our solicitors offer a No Win, No Fee service for any pavement accident claims they work on.
That means you won’t pay any solicitors fees if your claim fails. If your claim is won, however, you’ll pay a success fee to cover the solicitor’s time and costs.
So that your solicitor can start working on your case quickly, you’ll both sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This will formalise how your case will be funded. It will also tell you the percentage of your compensation that will be deducted as a success fee if you are paid compensation. Legally, this can’t be more than 25% of your settlement amount.
If you’d like to check if you could claim on a No Win, No Fee basis, please phone us or request a claim consultation on this page.
Start a pavement accident claim today
If you’ve tripped on the pavement and decided that you’d like to take action for being injured, please get in touch with a claims advisor today. One call to 0800 652 1345 is all you’ll need to find out whether you’ve got a chance of being compensated.
If we deem you’re entitled to compensation and one of our solicitors agrees to represent you, they’ll work on your case on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Thanks for reading this article about pavement accident claims, and if you’d like to know anything else about the claims process, please use live chat to contact us.