Every council has a responsibility to ensure the spaces under their control are safe for public use, so far as reasonably possible. Legally, they have to follow strict and important health and safety rules and regulations, such as the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, to protect members of the public from accidents and injuries.
Therefore, if you have suffered an injury or have been involved in an accident 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 good case or not.
Local councils are responsible for providing various services and maintaining different spaces 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 an injury as a result of the council’s negligence, read on to find out what steps you could take next.
Common Accidents and Injuries Due To Council Negligence
In order to make a successful personal injury claim against the council, you must be able to prove that your injuries were sustained because the council breached the duty of care they owed to you.
Some of the common injuries that can result from this kind of negligence include:
- Falls, trips and slips because public areas haven’t been properly maintained
- Badly maintained equipment causing injuries in schools or council-owned city parks
- Poorly maintained roads or potholes causing car accidents and cycling accidents
- Injuries during employment with the council
Thorough evidence is necessary to make a successful claim. This evidence includes photographs of the area where the accident took place as well as the cause of the accident, statements from any witnesses, and any medical notes confirming your injuries.
Your lawyer may need to request CCTV footage, if there is any, from the area where the accident took place. Such evidence can prove crucial in establishing what exactly happened.
What Can You Claim?
As every personal injury claim is different, it is hard to say just how much compensation you would be awarded without knowing more about your case. However, compensation will take into account the following:
- Suffering and pain from your injuries
- This accounts for the physical and psychological damage sustained in 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. Individuals may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (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 their rent or mortgage.
- Any travel expenses
- Trips to medical professionals, hospitals and other professionals related to your injuries can be included in the compensation award too, 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 during your employment with the council, you could make a claim based on employer negligence.
To succeed, you will need to prove that your employer breached their duty of care and, as a result, you had an accident in which you suffered 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.
As with any claim, 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; witness statements from colleagues confirming you weren’t properly trained or supplied with PPE, or; proof that no warning signs or notices were used to alert you to hazards.
If you’re at all unsure what evidence to collect to support your case, get in touch with our knowledgeable team on the number at the top of this page. They’ll tell you all you need to know about obtaining evidence.
How To Proceed With Your Personal Liability Compensation Against The Council
It may be the case that you need the support of a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling compensation claims against the council.
As the law on both employer negligence and public liability is complicated, it is not advised that you take on the case yourself, though you can if you wish. However, a personal injury solicitor would be well-versed in the claims process. They will be able to handle the sometimes complex legal procedures, will have knowledge of what evidence to obtain and how to present it to the defendant. And ultimately they will ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
It is important that you don’t delay making a compensation claim against the council, as there are timeframes within 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 time limit, or limitation period, is 3 years from the date of the accident. If the injured person is a child (under 18), a relative or appointed official can process the case on their behalf. If no claim is made, the child, once 18, can make a claim themselves. They will have until their 21st birthday to do so.
No Win No Fee Claims
Most personal injury lawyers work on a No Win No Fee basis. In fact, all of the lawyers on our expert panel work in this way. This means that if you are worried about the costs involved with making a claim, this type of agreement will ease your concerns.
Your lawyer won’t expect payment unless they win your case. And even when they do, they will only take a small, legally capped percentage of your compensation award.
If they do not succeed, you will not have to pay any of their fees at all. Plus, there are no upfront or ongoing costs to pay either.
To find out more about how to claim against the local council, or to kickstart your claim today, get in touch with our team. You can reach them by: