Local Council Personal Injury Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation For A Public Accident Against Local Council?

Local Council Personal Injury

Local Council Personal Injury

On this web page, you are going to read a guide to making local council public personal injury claims. You will learn about many of the different types of claims that could exist that the council could be liable for, and you will also learn why you could be eligible to make such a claim. We will also look at the concept of a No Win No Fee claims service, and how this can be a good, risk-free way to have your claim processed.

You will need to start your claim within the personal injury claims time limit. This time limit is usually three years from the date the incident occurred. It can be different in certain circumstances though, so we recommend that you speak to the ProLawyers claims team on 0800 953 0698, and check which time limit will apply in your own case. They will also be able to answer any questions you have about the claims process itself.

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A Guide To Local Council Public Personal Injury Claims

In this guide, we will answer questions such as, how do I sue the council for injury? do I need a solicitor to make a personal injury claim? as well as others. Your local council is responsible for maintaining all publicly accessible facilities such as pavements, roads, parks, playgrounds and public car parks, in a safe state of repair. When the local authority fails to do this, and a member of the public or an employee of the council is injured as a result, there could be a basis for making a claim.

This guide starts out by providing basic information about a council claim. We take a look at what this kind of claim is, and explain the concepts of liability and eligibility. You will also find a table that lists possible compensation ranges for different kinds of injuries, and a list of some of the kinds of damages your settlement could include.

The next part of this guide moves on to look at specific examples of the kinds of claims that could be made against your local council. We cover each of these kinds of claims in their own section, and list some of the risk and hazards that could lead to them.

In the last part of this guide, we give some advice on how to go about starting your claim. We will also take a look at what a claims service is, and how this kind of service offering can provide a vehicle for making your claim, at no financial risk to yourself whatsoever.

What Is Local Council Personal Injury Claim?

Victims of accidents in public places such as a street, park, playground, public car park, etc. could be able to claim local authority injury compensation. Additionally, other organisations the local authority is involved in the administration of that allows a person to come to harm, could also be liable. For example, if you are injured in an accident due to a poorly maintained property that you rent through the local housing association, you could be able to make a housing association injury claim.

However, in order for you to make a claim, you must eligible to make a claim, and the local council will need to have been at least partially liable for the cause of the incident. Consider the following two examples:

  1. A person is walking down the street, and trips over due to a paving slab that has sunk. This causes an injury.
  2. A person is walking down the street, and trips over a bicycle left in the street by a child. This causes an injury.

In the first example, the sunken paving slab was the hazard that caused the accident. The local council is responsible for maintaining the pavement, and could, therefore, be liable. In the second example, the hazard was not caused by the local council, and therefore, a claim could not be made against them.

In some cases, the injured party may have contributed to their own accident in some way. In these cases, the legal team representing the local council will negotiate with your own solicitor, and agree a reduced level of liability, expressed as a percentage. This percentage of liability would be used when calculating the amount of compensation.

Local Council Public Accident Personal Injury Claims

If you have been injured in a public place, and would like to know how much compensation you could be able to claim, you can use the table below. It is based on the UK judicial guidelines, used by the legal system to calculate how much compensation could be suitable for accidents in a public place.

What Injury?How Severe?Potential CompensationNotes
Injured handMinor up to seriousUp to £54,266A range of injuries from those caused by blunt trauma, heat or sharp objects such as cuts, bruises, burns, scalds, etc. through all types of STI as well as fractured bones, to amputation or paralysis of the hand.
Injured wristMinor up to severeUp to £52,466A range of injuries from lacerations, grazes, bruises, scalds, etc. through soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains, as well as fractured bones, to some level of paralysis of the wrist.
Injured armModerate up to severeUp to £114,696A range of injuries from skin damage including lacerations, grazes, burns, etc. through all forms of fractures bones and soft tissue damage, to full or partial amputation or paralysis of the arm.
Injured fingerMinor up to severeUp to £21,906A range of injuries from skin needlestick and sharp object damage (cuts, lacerations, etc.), burns, and bruising, through dislocations and all other kinds of soft tissue injuries, as well as fractured bones, to amputation of one or more fingers.
Injured thumbMinor up to severeUp to £48,006A range of injuries from skin needlestick and sharp object damage (cuts, lacerations, etc.), burns, and bruising, through dislocations and all other kinds of soft tissue injuries, as well as fractured bones, to amputation of one or both thumbs.
Injured backMinor up to severeUp to £141,136A range of injuries from damage to the skin of the back (lacerations, cuts, burns, scalds, scrapes, bruises, etc.) through STI such as sprains and strains, as well as damaged or fractured vertebrae of the back, to some level of long-term or permanent paralysis.
Injured neckMinor up to severeUp to £130,046A range of injuries from damage to the skin of the neck (lacerations, cuts, burns, scalds, scrapes, bruises, etc.) through STI such as sprains and strains, as well as damaged or fractured vertebrae of the neck, to some level of long-term or permanent paralysis.
Injured toeModerate up to severeUp to £49,106A range of injuries from skin needlestick and sharp object damage (cuts, lacerations, etc.), burns, and bruising, through dislocations and all other kinds of soft tissue injuries, as well as fractured bones, to amputation of one or more toes.
Injured ankleMinor up to severeUp to £61,106A range of injuries from lacerations, grazes, bruises, scalds, etc. through soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains, as well as fractured bones, to some level of paralysis of the ankle.
Injured footMinor up to very severeUp to £96,106A range of injuries from those caused by blunt trauma, heat or sharp objects such as cuts, bruises, burns, scalds, etc. through all types of STI as well as fractured bones, to amputation or paralysis of the foot.
Injured legMinor up to severeUp to £119,206A range of injuries from skin damage including lacerations, grazes, burns, etc. through all forms of fractures bones and soft tissue damage, to full or partial amputation or paralysis of the leg.

You could also use some kind of online personal injury claims calculator to get a rough idea of how much you might be able to claim. However, a much better idea, is to speak to a personal injury solicitor, who will be able to give you a much more accurate estimate.

Types Of Damages Council Compensation Payouts Could Include?

When a solicitor is successful in processing public accident claims on behalf of a client, the settlement the claimant receives could be made up of a number of different kinds of damages, such as:

  • Special damages (these compensate for financial and other losses):
    • The cost of hiring in-home care or home help.
    • Loss of your current wages or salary.
    • Loss of future work prospects and income.
    • Private medical fees you had to pay.
    • Travel tickets and related expenses.
  • General damages (these compensate for physical harm):
    • General pain and suffering following the accident.
    • Long-term or permanent disabilities.
    • Psychological injuries.
    • Mental trauma, shock and stress.
    • Painful treatment and recuperation.

To learn which kinds of damages you might be able to claim for as part of your own claim, we recommend that you speak to a personal injury lawyer.

Pothole Accident Compensation Claims Against A Council

As was mentioned previously, the local authority could be liable for accidents caused by a defect in the road surface. The council has to comply with legal requirements laid out in the Highways Act 1835 and the Road Traffic Act 1988, related to vehicle and pedestrian safety. When the council fails in this obligation, causing an injury or damage to property, it could be possible to claim against council for car damage.

However, there is a rather tricky situation related to vehicular pothole accidents. In order for the council to be liable, it needs to be proven that the authority failed to take appropriate action, in an acceptable timeframe, to fix the pothole. Therefore, generally, the pothole will need to have been reported previously before you could be eligible to make a claim. This whole situation is a little grey, so we recommend you talk over your claim with a solicitor to find out if you can claim.

Public Street Accident Claims

As we covered in the previous section, the local authority is responsible for maintaining public footpaths. So, to answer the question, can I claim for falling in the street? then taking legal action against local council could be possible, if it can be shown that the council was the cause of the accident. However, there are certain criteria that any hazard causing a pavement accident must meet, in order for the victim to be eligible to claim, and these are:

    • If the accident was caused by a pothole, then the pothole must have been 4cm or deeper for a claim to be possible.
    • If the accident was caused by a broken paving slab or other trip hazards, then the height of the hazard must be one inch or more.

If you are in any doubt whether the hazard that caused your accident fulfils the appropriate criteria, we recommend you speak to a solicitor.

Accident At Work Claims Against The Local Council

To answer the question, if you work for the local authority and are injured at work, can you take legal action against the council? the answer is yes; there is a possibility that you could claim council injury compensation. The council must comply with all applicable Health & Safety regulations, as well as general bodies of legislation such as the Occupiers Liability Act 1984, in relation to provide and safe and healthy working environment for its employees. When compliance fails, and an employee is injured, then there could be a valid cause for a claim. Examples of hazards that a person working for the council may encounter, are:

  • Slips, trips, and falls at work.
  • Manual handling and lifting accidents.
  • Work-related road traffic accidents.
  • Burns or scalds.
  • Workplace illnesses.

No matter how you have come to harm at work, we recommend you speak to a solicitor to find out if the council is liable for compensation.

Council House And Housing Association Claims

If you live in a home that is rented from a housing association, and you come to harm due to the fact the property is in disrepair, you could be able to claim for a public housing association accident. The key point here, is that the housing association will need to have been at least partially responsible for the harm you have suffered. Harm could be caused by hazards such as:

  • Damp and mould.
  • Faulty plug sockets and light switches.
  • Poorly maintained heating and hot water.
  • Insect or pest infestations.
  • Inadequately maintained windows and doors.
  • Structural damage.
  • Leaking or dangerous roofing.

However, you have come to harm, if you believe the housing authority is somehow to blame, we recommend that you speak to a solicitor to find out if you have a valid claim.

Accidents In Public Parks

To answer the question, my child was injured playing in a public park, can I sue the council for negligence? The answer would be yes; you could make council compensation claims if it can be proven that the council was the root cause of the accident. The local authority is responsible for maintaining public parks, and all of the facilities associated with them, such as children’s play areas. Typical hazards in a public park include:

  • Poorly repaired pathways.
  • Damaged play equipment.
  • Damaged exercise equipment.
  • Biological hazards, such as dog faeces.
  • Low hanging branches and other dangerous foliage.

If you have been injured in an accident in a public park, we recommend that you speak to a solicitor, to find out if you can claim against the council.

Sports And Leisure Facility Accidents

To answer the question, I have been injured in an accident at a council-run leisure facility, can I claim compensation from the council? the answer would be that it depends upon whether the council was responsible for the hazard that caused the injury. If they were, you could be able to make council compensation claims. Examples of council-run leisure and sports facilities include:

  • Public swimming pools.
  • Football and rugby pitches.
  • Public changing rooms and showers.
  • Cycling and walking paths.
  • Tennis courts.
  • A council-run leisure centre.

If you have been injured in an accident at a public sport or leisure facility that is operated by the local authority, we recommend that you speak to a lawyer to find out if you have a valid reason to make a compensation claim.

No Win No Fee Local Council Public Personal Injury Claims

If you need to make a compensation claim against a local authority, rather than fund the claim yourself, another option exists. You could use a No Win No Fee claims service to have your claim processed. These kinds of services offer a way to action your claim without any financial risk. This is because you don’t pay a fee unless you receive compensation. You don’t pay anything when the legal firm starts working on your claim, and you don’t pay anything during the time they are processing it for you. If the legal firm fails to win you any compensation at all, you still don’t pay anything. When they are successful, they will automatically deduct their fee from the money they have received for you, and then send you the rest.

How To Make A Local Council Personal Injury Claim

A team of solicitors can help you with public injury claims. They will be able to advise you on whether you are eligible to claim, and who might be liable to pay you compensation. They should be able to explain the claims process to you without using legal jargon, so that you understand everything that they intend to do on your behalf. If you intend to use a claims service, be prepared to ask the firm about its fee structure, and whether it offers a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) as an option for having your claim processed.

Contact Our Expert Team

Have you been injured in a publicly accessible place that is operated by a local authority? Do you believe that you have a valid reason to make a personal injury claim? If so, speak to the ProLawyers claims team on 0800 953 0698. They will be able to get your claim underway straight away.

References And Additional Guides

You may find the information at these links, to give some useful information:

Hot to make a public liability claim against the council

Claiming compensation for a pavement injury

Health & Safety for local authorities

The Highway Act 1980