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Pavement Trips or Falls: Advice on Claiming Compensation
I tripped on broken pavement. Can I make a claim?
Slips, trips and falls on the pavement are quite commonplace. A lot of the time, they are accidents where we trip over our shoelaces or aren’t paying attention to where we’re going. In these instances, we feel a little silly, get back up and just keep on walking.
However, there are also times when pavement trips are caused by maintenance issues or hazardous situations, including: cracked pavement, raised pavement due to tree roots, missing sections of pavement, potholes or misaligned curbs. Trips caused by broken pavement can result in serious harm and injury.
After suffering a trip or fall due to broken pavement, you may be in need of additional medical assistance or be forced to stop work. This can be expensive and stressful. If you’ve sustained injuries after tripping over broken pavement, you may be qualified to make a claim for compensation.
It’s a good idea to speak with one of our expert injury solicitors as soon as possible to receive the free, no obligation legal advice you need to make a successful claim.
Evidence to back up your compensation claim
A successful compensation claim following a trip or fall on a pavement will consist of two different factors. The first will entail demonstrating that you’ve been injured following your fall, whilst the second involves the ability to demonstrate that the poor condition of the pavement was caused by the negligence of a third party.
Claims.co.uk’s specialist personal injury lawyers will put the strongest possible case together, but this will be easier if you contact us as soon after the event as possible, whilst the details are still fresh in your mind, and provide as many details as you can. Amongst the details which will help to build your case are:
- A description of the fall, where it happened and the condition of the pavement in question.
- The account of any witnesses, and their contact details.
- The details of an official complaint made to the authority responsible for the upkeep of the pavement.
- If possible, take photographs of the defective pavement, and use an object in the photograph in order to demonstrate the size of the defect.
- If the area in which you tripped is covered by CCTV cameras, then you have a right to request the footage, and the owner of the camera is obliged to hand it over within 40 days.
- The details of any medical attention you have received as a result of the trip.
- Receipts relating to expenses caused by your injury (i.e. travel expenses, medical bills).
Most trips only result in minor injuries, but if you’re older with brittle bones, or happen to land particularly badly, then the injuries sustained could lead to a lengthy spell during which you are unable to enjoy your life, or earn a living. Fortunately, a part of any compensation award will consist of an amount based upon a calculation of earnings you might lose now and in the future. This will be paid on top of a lump sum, which the court will calculate using actuarial information called ‘Ogden Tables’.
Tripping on a public pavement
The law states that the safe condition of a public walkway is the responsibility of the local authority which has control of the space which it crosses. According to the Highways Act 1980, the local authority has to check pavements regularly to ensure that they are maintained in a safe condition and free from obstructions.
Although there is no legal definition of an unsafe pavement, cases which have been brought to court in the past have created a situation in which a defect of more than an inch in height is generally thought of as being ‘unreasonable’.
One of the main reasons for seeking the advice of a legal professional is that they will be able to advise as to whether the defect which caused your trip fits the definition of ‘unreasonable’, and therefore whether you have a strong claim for compensation.
One part of any successful claim consists of demonstrating that the local authority in question had been informed of the defect and had reasonable time to repair it. In some cases, the authority in question may claim that the defect was new and had not been brought to their attention, in which case you can put in a Freedom of Information request, under which they will be compelled to provide information on their inspection regime and any reports of faults which they have received.
Tripping on a private walkway
The legislation covering a claim for a trip which occurred on a private as opposed to public walkway is the same in terms of establishing negligence, with the difference being that the responsible party will be regarded as being the owner of the land in question.
Do I have to pay to make a claim?
With our qualified and experienced no win no fee solicitors, you won’t have to pay any expensive upfront legal fees! The no win no fee system guarantees free legal services, regardless of the outcome of your claim. If you win your claim, any legal fees owed to your solicitor are taken from the compensation awarded (up to a maximum of 25%), and if your case is lost, you will not have to pay any fees.
Can I have a talk with you about my claim?
Without a doubt! We’re ready and willing to help you out in any way we can. Give us a call or complete our no obligation online claim form to get the answers to all your questions in just minutes.