The process for suing the council for tripping on an uneven pavement is similar to making a compensation claim against any other organization. You will need to prove that the council was negligent in maintaining the pavement and that this negligence led to your injury.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process that your claim is likely to take.
Suing The Council For Tripping On An Uneven Pavement
First Of All, Do I Need A Personal Injury Solicitor?
Yes, we would recommend that you instruct a personal injury solicitor to deal with your claim. This is because they will have the specialist knowledge and experience required to maximize your chances of success. They will also be able to handle all of the paperwork and communicate with the council on your behalf, which will save you a lot of time and stress.
How Much Will It Cost to Instruct a Solicitor?
Most personal injury solicitors operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. This means that you won’t have to pay anything upfront to instruct them, and they will only receive a payment if they successfully secure compensation for you.
However, before entering into a contract, do make sure that you check what fees the solicitor will charge if your case is successful. You should also be aware that you may have to pay some other costs, such as court fees.
Is The Council Responsible For Your Trip?
In order for the council to be found negligent, you will need to prove that they were responsible for the upkeep of the pavement where you tripped.
Generally speaking, the council is only responsible for maintaining pavements in public areas. For example, if you trip on an uneven pavement in a park or on a high street, then the council will likely be held responsible. However, if you trip on an uneven pavement in a private car park or on someone’s driveway, then the responsibility will usually lie with the owner of that property.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that the council isn’t always responsible for pavements that are in a poor state of repair. For example, if the pavement has been damaged by works being carried out by a utility company, then the responsibility for repairing it may lie with them.
To find out whether the council is responsible for the pavement where you tripped, you can contact your local authority and ask them.
What Evidence Will I Need To Prove That The Council Was Negligent?
In order to succeed in your claim, you will need to provide evidence that:
- The council was responsible for maintaining the pavement where you tripped.
- The pavement was in a state of disrepair at the time of your accident.
- The condition of the pavement led to your accident.
- You suffered an injury as a result of your accident.
Some examples of evidence that could help to support your case include:
- Photographs of the condition of the pavement.
- CCTV recordings
- Witnesses who saw your accident and can confirm that the pavement was in a poor state of repair.
- Medical evidence detailing the injuries that you sustained.
How Much Compensation Will I Receive?
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and how much they have impacted your life. For example, if the trip has caused a broken kneecap that has left them unable to work, then they will receive a higher level of compensation than someone with minor injuries.
Your solicitor will be able to give you an estimate of the amount of compensation you could receive once they have gathered evidence and spoken to experts.
The final figure will include:
- general damages – this is money to compensate you for your injuries; and
- special damages – this is money to cover any financial losses you have incurred as a result of your accident, such as loss of earnings, medical expenses, and travel costs.
How Long Will My Case Take?
The time it takes for your case to be resolved will depend on how complex it is. In most cases, it will take around six months to reach a settlement. However, if your case goes to court, it could take significantly longer.
It’s important, however, not to rush the process, as this could mean that you end up receiving less compensation than you deserve.
What Are My Chances Of Winning?
Whether or not you win your case will depend on the evidence available and whether liability can be proven. If there is clear evidence that the council was at fault, then your chances of success are high. However, if the evidence is less clear-cut, then your chances may be lower.
No matter what the outcome of your case, we hope that this guide has given you a better understanding of the process involved in suing the council for an accident on an uneven pavement.