Every council has a responsibility towards the proper maintenance and regulation of their services to the public. They legally have to follow strict and very important health and safety rules and regulations to protect members of the public from accidents and injuries.
Therefore, if you have suffered personal injury or have been involved in an incident while on a council-owned property, or while employed by the council, you may be entitled to compensation. If this is the case, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer, to see if you have a successful case or not.
Local councils, administrative bodies representing local government, are responsible for providing various services in your local area, such as:
- Social care
- Public areas and parks
- Rubbish disposal and collection
- Public transport
- Leisure and sports facilities
If you have had an accident or suffered injury as a result of the council’s negligence, read on to find out what are the next steps to take and if you could be entitled to a monetary award due to your ordeal. We discuss which areas are covered in such claims, and the process by which a claim takes place.
Common Accidents and Injuries Due To Council Negligence
For your compensation claims against the council to be successful, you must be able to prove, with the help of a personal injury lawyer, that your injuries were sustained due to negligence on the part of the council. Negligence by definition means the council failed to carry out their duty of care towards the general public. Some of the common injuries that can result from this kind of negligence include:
- Falls, trips and slips because of public areas that are not looked after properly
- Badly maintained equipment causing injuries in schools or council-owned city parks
- Poorly maintained roads or potholes causing car accidents and subsequent injuries
- Injuries during employment with the council
Thorough Evidence is necessary to make a claim for compensation successful. This evidence includes photographs of the area where the accident took place and your injuries.
Your lawyer may need to request CCTV, if there is any, from the area where the accident took place to prove that negligence was responsible for it and your injuries.
What Can You Claim?
As every personal injury accident and the injuries suffered as a result are different, it is hard to say just how much compensation you would be awarded. However, you will be awarded compensation based on aspects related to the accident:
- Suffering and pain from your injuries
This is the immediate physical damage sustained from the incident. It can range from a few cuts and scrapes to broken bones and paralysis. Generally, the more severe the injury, the greater the level of compensation will be awarded.
- The impact in the long run on the quality of life you have
This deals with the long-term impacts the incident has on your family and social life.
- Psychological issues
When an accident occurs, the trauma may not be visible on the outside to the observer. Individuals may suffer PTSD and bouts of depression related to the incident.
- Loss of earnings due to sick leave or leaving your job altogether
A broken arm or leg can see accident victims off work for a minimum of 6-8 weeks. Their employer may not be able to give that much sick pay, leaving the individual unable to pay basic utilities or a mortgage.
- Any travel expenses
Trips to medical professionals, hospitals and other professionals related to your injuries can be included in the compensation cost- as well as any medication costs arising as a result of your injuries.
How To Make A Claim Against The Council If You Are An Employee
If you have been injured while being an employee of the council, you can make a claim based on employer negligence. You will need to prove that negligence was the cause of your accident and injuries. It could be that the council did not provide you or colleagues with the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment or that they failed to give you sufficient health and safety training.
Although a lot of the law surrounding employer negligence is slightly different, even just in the terminology used, there are a lot of similarities between the two.
You will need evidence to prove employer negligence was responsible for your accident and injuries. This includes the likes of photographs of the area or hazard that caused the accident, proof that no warning signs or notices were used, where necessary, to alert you to prevent accidents. If there is evidence that your employer did not follow the correct procedure or did not train you sufficiently in the health and safety aspects of your workplace.
How To Proceed With Your Personal Liability Compensation Against The Council
You need to contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience working on cases involving compensation claims against the council. As the law on both employer negligence and personal liability is complicated; it is not recommended that you take on the case yourself. A suitable professional solicitor will help you through your case from start to finish.
It is important that you don’t delay making a compensation claim against the council, as there are usually time-frames with which you have to make your claim. If you try to make a claim outside of this time-frame, you will not be eligible for compensation.
The great thing is that most personal injury lawyers work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. This means that if you are worried about the costs involved with making a claim only for it not to be successful, your lawyer won’t expect payment unless they win. It also means that they will work tirelessly to achieve the best result.
If you have been involved in an accident that you believe wasn’t your fault, you are entitled to claim for compensation, and a personal injury lawyer will be able to help you achieve this.