By Stephen Anderson. Last Updated 7th December 2023. If you’re looking into suing the council for uneven pavement that has caused you to be injured, you may have questions that this guide can help answer. Such questions include, “how do I make a claim for pavement tripping?” and “on what grounds can you sue the council?”. This guide will explain the necessary steps for making a claim and confirm the types of evidence you could provide to support a claim.
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Select A Section
- Suing The Council For Uneven Pavement Accidents
- Council Responsibility For Pavements
- How To Sue The Council For Negligence – What Evidence Do I Need To Prove My Claim?
- Valuing Council Compensation Payouts
- Suing The Council For Negligence With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- Learn More About Council And Local Authority Injury Claims
You may be able to sue the council for an accident caused by an uneven pavement if it occurred because they breached their duty of care to you. All parties in control of public spaces owe a duty of care to those who use the space for the intended purpose. In Wales and England, this duty of care is detailed in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.
You can claim compensation for a wide range of injuries, from relatively minor ones like cuts and lacerations to more severe and potentially life-changing injuries like brain damage. There are three basic principles you need to prove to claim compensation for an injury. They are:
- That the third party had a duty of care
- That their actions breached this duty of care
- Finally, that these actions led to your injury
It’s important to note that, while there is no legal restriction for a trip hazard in the UK. However, a council will usually not consider public liability claims for a trip hazard that is less than 1 inch.
To learn more about this, please refer to our advisors, who offer free legal advice 24/7. They can be contacted using the details above.
You might be wondering whether the council has a responsibility for the pavements in your area. Generally, councils are the local authority responsible for making sure that pavements are safe to walk on, so if you come across unsafe paving, you can report it to them. They then have a responsibility to fix the issue in an adequate time frame. If they fail to do so, and you are injured as a result, then you may be able to make a claim.
When suing the council for negligence, you have to be able to prove either that this local authority was aware of the fault in the pavement and failed to act, or that they should have been aware of it anyway. For example, this could be that a necessary inspection was not carried out, or was not carried out adequately.
To learn more about how to sue the council for an accident involving uneven pavement, contact our team of helpful advisors today.
Where Do I Report Uneven, Broken And Damaged Pavements?
If you notice a broken or uneven pavement in a public place, you may want to report this to your local authority. By doing so, you give them an opportunity to repair the
You can report it online using the Government’s online portal. There is a checker tool that involves inputting the postcode of the relevant area. Once your council has been located using the tool, you can inform them of the defective area.
Tripping on an uneven paving stone could cause you to sustain a serious injury, such as a head injury, back injury or broken forearm, that you may be able to claim for. We’ll go into more detail below, or you can get in touch with our team today for more information.
When suing a council for an uneven pavement accident, you should gather as much evidence as you can that confirms your injuries and the cause of them. Examples of evidence that could support a pavement trip claim could include:
- Medical records that confirm your injuries and the medical treatment for them.
- Any video footage that shows your accident, such as CCTV footage.
- Photos of the accident scene and your injuries.
- Contact details of any witnesses who can provide a statement.
If you are being supported by a personal injury solicitor, then they can assist you with gathering evidence for your case. For example, a solicitor may be able to take statements from witnesses, and they may arrange for you to undergo an independent medical assessment. This would result in a report illustrating the extent of your injuries which can help when determining how much compensation you are entitled to.
For more advice on how to sue the council for a pavement accident on a footpath, please contact our team for free today.
Suing Your Council – Time Limits
When suing a council for an injury you sustained due to their negligence, you generally have 3 years from the date of your injury to begin the process of making a claim. This time limit can be found in the Limitation Act 1980. However, it can still sometimes be possible sue the council following the expiration of this time limit.
We’ve listed a few examples below:
- Child claims – The time limit for claimants under 18 is suspended. It only begins once they reach adulthood. They cannot claim for themselves prior to this date. However, a litigation friend can be appointed to do so on their behalf.
- Claimants with a reduced mental capacity – Whether the claimant’s mental state is a result of the injury or not, their time limit is also suspended. It will begin if and when they are deemed capable of making a claim for themselves. Before this date, a litigation friend must instead claim on their behalf.
If you have any questions about how to sue your council or the time limits that can be involved, get in touch with our advisors.
You may be wondering, “what is the average payout for a slip and fall in the UK?”. Whether you’re suing the council for an uneven pavement accident or claiming compensation for another type of accident, one of the things that will be considered is the extent of the injury and how it has negatively impacted you.
Therefore, there are two potential heads of claim. Firstly, general damages relate to the physical and psychological pain and suffering caused by the injury.
Work from the Judicial College can help give you a greater indication of the value of general damages you could receive in a claim. They analyse previous payouts, comparing them to the severity of the respective injuries. The figures below have been taken from the sixteenth edition of the Guidelines, published in 2022, to make sure we give you the most up-to-date information. Take note that the first entry in the table below is an estimated figure that is not taken from the Judicial College Guidelines.
|Multiple serious injuries plus special damages||Serious||Compensation may be provided to cover multiple serious injuries caused by an accident involving an uneven pavement. Special damages such as care costs or loss of earnings may also be covered in the payout.||Up to £500,000+|
|Back||Severe (i)||This bracket can apply to severe back injuries that may involve damage to the spinal cord and damage to nerve roots. The injured party will be suffering from severe pain and a significant disability.||£91,090 to £160,980|
|Back||Moderate (ii)||Soft tissue injuries that lead to the exacerbation of an ongoing back problem, normally by five years or more.||£12,510 to £27,760|
|Foot||Severe||Fractures to both feet or heels leading to a substantial mobility restriction.||£41,970 to £70,030|
|Foot||Moderate||Metatarsal fractures that are displaced leading to permanent deformity and ongoing symptoms.||£13,740 to £24,990|
|Ankle||Very Severe||Injuries might include a transmalleolar ankle fracture that leads to deformity and extensive soft tissue damage.||£50,060 to £69,700|
|Ankle||Severe||Extensive treatment is required that could require pins and plaster being inserted with a significant disability caused.||£31,310 to £50,060|
|Ankle||Modest||Injuries in this bracket might include minor, undisplaced fractures, ligamentous tears and sprains.||Up to £13,740|
|Achilles tendon||Moderate||Partial rupture or a significant tendon injury. How much is awarded will depend on the treatment received.||£12,590 to £21,070|
|Toe||Severe||Severe crush injuries that could lead to partial amputation of one or two toes (that aren’t the great toe).||£13,740 to £21,070|
In order to value the general damages head of your claim, you’ll attend a medical appointment with an independent expert. They’ll examine your injuries and compile their findings into a report. The results from this report will be used to value the general damages head of your claim.
What Else Can You Claim When Suing The Council For Negligence?
As well as general damages, when you are suing the council for uneven pavement that caused you to become injured, your settlement could also include special damages. Special damages aim to compensate you for the financial losses you have suffered due to your injury.
Some of the things you could claim compensation under special damages when suing the council for negligence include:
- A loss of earnings, both past and future, if you needed to take time off work.
- Travel expenses.
- Medical costs, such as paying for prescriptions or physiotherapy.
- Any home adaptions you needed to cope with your injury.
- Any mobility aids you required to cope with your injury.
You will need to provide evidence of these financial losses in order to claim them back under special damages. Evidence could include payslips, receipts, bank statements, and invoices.
Contact our advisors today if you still have any questions about how to sue the council for negligence or how much compensation you may receive.
Our panel of solicitors have years of experience handling various types of public liability claims and council negligence cases. One of them may offer to help you with your claim by working with you on a No Win No Fee basis with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a type of No Win No Fee agreement.
When a solicitor offers their services on a No Win No Fee basis, they won’t charge you anything upfront or ask you to pay ongoing fees. If they are successful with your case, they will take a legally capped percentage from your compensation award, known as a success fee. However, if your claim is not successful, they won’t ask you to pay for their services.
To learn more about claiming with No Win No Fee solicitors for council negligence claims, you can contact our advisors. They could offer you free advice for your potential compensation claim and may connect you with a solicitor from our panel. Our advisors are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to help you.
To talk to an advisor:
You can check out the resources below to learn more about claiming against local authorities or other types of personal injury claims:
- The Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) retrieve benefit payments from claimants in Great Britain once their compensation claim has been successful.
- Please refer to this NHS web page if you’ve suffered a broken ankle and would like medical guidance.
- Would you like to know more about how to make a general complaint against your local council? If so, please refer to this Government webpage.
- To know more about claiming from public highway accidents, please read this page on our website.
- You may be able to claim if you’ve been injured from a road defect. Read this guide to learn more.
- Would you like to know more about claiming for an accident in a public school? If so, read this article on our website.
If you’d like to know more about suing the council for uneven pavement, please contact our advisors for free legal advice using the details above.
Article by AU
Edited by ET