A slip, trip or fall on a road or pavement is always embarrassing but they can also be very painful, and in serious cases can even cause long-term damage. Sometimes no one is to blame for such an accident, but if you are hurt because the highway was not properly maintained, then you may be entitled to bring a claim for compensation.

Therese Classon, a Partner in the Personal Injury team at WBW Solicitors in Newton Abbot, explains how accidents on roads and pavements commonly occur and how you go about claiming compensation if this was a result of negligence.

Slips, trips or falls on a road or pavement can cause all manner of injuries, from cuts and bruises, to sprain and fractures, right up to head or spinal damage. Such an accident could be caused by:

  • cracked kerbs or paving slabs;
  • potholes in the road;
  • rubbish clogging the walkway;
  • uneven surfaces;
  • inadequate signage by roadworks; or
  • bad lighting.

It is important to find out who had responsibility for the upkeep of the road or pavement where your accident happened. This could be the local council, the Highways Authority, the Waterways Board, or a private landowner.

It is also important to take photographs of the defect as soon as possible.

Once you have pinpointed who was responsible, you then need to prove that your accident was caused by their negligence. This means being able to show that it was their duty to maintain the area, that they breached this duty and that you were injured as a result.

Such a duty would include: regularly checking roads and footpaths for defects and repairing any defects found in a reasonable time frame; acting on any complaints received about a road or pavement in a timely fashion; and adequately signposting any hazards or dangers.

There is usually a strict time limit of three years from the date of your accident for bringing a compensation claim for personal injury, so you should consult a specialist personal injury solicitor as soon as possible.

They will help you gather the evidence needed to bring your claim – such as photographs, witness statements and medical reports – and will refer you to a medical expert who will assess the extent of your injuries and the effect they have had on your life. Your solicitor will then either negotiate a settlement if liability is accepted, or they will help you bring your case to court.

The amount of compensation you can claim for your injuries will vary depending on how severe they were, but could include damages for physical and mental suffering, the cost of medical and rehabilitation treatment and for loss of earnings if you are not able to work after the accident.

Your solicitor can talk you through the options for funding your personal injury claim, including a no win no fee agreement.

For more information on claiming compensation for a slip, trip or fall in a public place, or any other personal injury issue, contact Therese Classon, a Partner at WBW Solicitors in Newton Abbot, on 01626 202328 or email thereseclasson@wbw.co.uk.

WBW has offices in TorquayPaigntonNewton AbbotExeterBovey Tracey,  Exmouth,  Honiton,  Sidmouth,  Launceston,  AxminsterChard and Seaton.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.