Trips, Slips and Fall Claims
Walking down the road ought to be an uneventful experience. However, as careful as we may be, sometimes tripping accidents occur and if this is due to the highway not having been properly maintained, then a claim may be pursued.
The Fabric of the Highway
There is a statutory obligation on the Local Council to maintain its network of roads and pavements at the public’s expense. Your council tax contributes to this and if the Council are failing to routinely inspect and maintain it where necessary then you may have a claim in the event that an accident occurs due to a defect.
Such claims are not readily easy to pursue. Just because you have sustained injury mean that your claim against the local council will succeed. The Courts accept that the Council cannot be everywhere at once and the Highways Act provides the Council with a Defence if it can show that it has a reasonable system of inspection in place to routinely survey the roads and pavements for defects, such as potholes, sinking/raised/rocking paving stones, damaged street furniture, trees roots etc.
The level at which the Council is required to intervene and carry out repairs is high. Typically a paving stone which causes a trip has to exceed one inch to result in an actionable claim. Even then a Council will escape liability if it can show that at the time of the last inspection, the defect was below the intervention level.
In order to pursue a claim it is therefore crucial that photographs of the defect which caused your accident is taken as soon as possible after the accident. Where possible a ruler or other discernable item of measurement should be used so that it is clear from the photographs. With pavement Tripping claims a two pence coin (measuring approximately 1 inch) will suffice to show the difference in levels of a pavement.
Please contact Stuart Capstick or Richard Airey on 0151 282 1700 to discuss making a ‘No Win, No Fee’ claim.