I tripped on a poorly maintained pavement, who is responsible?
If you trip and injure yourself whilst out walking on a pavement then it may well be that the condition of the pavement in question means you have a right to pursue a claim for compensation. In general terms, it is the responsibility of the relevant local authority to ensure that their pavements are maintained well enough to render them safe to walk on. In practice, this means that any defect, such as a hole or an uneven paving stone, should be noted by the authority and repaired within a reasonable length of time.
Of course, the definition of exactly how long a ‘reasonable’ length of time is can be open to interpretation, which is why it is vital to utilise the services of experienced personal injury lawyers if you are to pursue compensation in such a case. If you tripped on a poorly maintained pavement and subsequently injured yourself, then receiving compensation will depend upon demonstrating that your injuries were a direct result of the state of the pavement, and that the local authority had been neglectful in allowing it to get in that state.
As a general rule, a paving stone or uneven surface which protrudes by more than an inch, or a pot hole which is over an inch deep, will be taken to represent an unreasonable state of disrepair. Your lawyer will then set about building a case to demonstrate how long the pavement had been in this state, which may mean finding other witnesses or accessing the authority’s own records.
Whilst tripping on a pavement may be seen as a pretty trivial accident, the fact still remains that it could lead to some fairly serious injuries. A bad landing on a concrete floor could break bones, cause cuts, whiplash, concussion or even permanent damage. You shouldn’t have to merely accept this and put up with the disruption to your life – if someone else’s negligence was the cause of your injuries, then they should help to pay for the process of your recovery. On top of this there is the fact that having to pay out compensation may well encourage an authority to make sure its’ pavements are kept in better condition, thus reducing the risk of somebody else going through the same ordeal.