Slip, trip and falls can happen anywhere whether it’s in a public place, a private building or even in a person’s own home. Injuries that result from such falls can range from minor injuries such as cuts and bruises to severe injuries resulting in hospital treatment some can even mean lifelong injuries that can change a person’s life. The majority of slip, trip and falls happen in public places for a variety of reasons, damaged floors, wet floors, misplaced obstacles. Not all slip, trip and falls are the result of another’s negligence they can just be an accident that could not have been prevented. Injuries that happen due to faulty or defected flooring can happen even when warnings signs are indicating the dangers ahead.
However many injuries that occur due to defected flooring in public places happen due to the fact that the up keep has been neglected and if the flooring had been fixed when required such accidents that have happened may not have happened in the first place. A very common place for trips and falls happen due to damaged pavements which the council have failed to rectify. Each council has a duty to ensure that public walk ways especially pavements are safe for public use. Pavements are used daily by many people and therefore wear and tear is expected however such defects should be mended before they become a public hazard.
According to a study done by Help the Aged a huge 2300 people fall each day in the UK due to a faulty pavement, it is fair to say that not all these falls will fall under the category of negligence as a pavement has to be damaged enough to qualify that negligence was present however the number itself suggests that the quality of pavements needs to be of a higher degree. Many are under the assumption that falls in public or private places happen mainly to our aging population however people of any age from a small child to an elderly person can fall due to faulty flooring. If you have fell or tripped due to an uneven or broken pavement you may have the right to pursue a claim for council accident compensation. Many are confused on how to make a council accident compensation claim but it could not be more straight forward.
It is vital to remember that serious injuries can result from a simple fall in the street and that such injuries can change a person’s life forever. Although most injuries that occur due to a trip or fall may heal after sometime, some victims are left with injuries and illnesses that may not. People can easily hit their heads when falling which can result in serious head injuries, head injuries can lead to lasting illnesses such as epilepsy.
A Slip, Trip Causing a Head Injury as Resulted in a Man having a Brain Injury Causing Epileptic Fits.
On the whole the majority of slips and trips often result in minor injuries, superficial injuries even cases of fractured bones however there are the rare cases where such falls have resulted in people suffering head injuries. Although the cases are few and far between they are still happening and they are happening due to the neglect of local authorities. Injuries caused to the head can happen due to many different reasons i.e. road traffic accident is a major cause of head injuries, altercations or assaults of people can also result in a head injury however many people do not equate tripping or falling on pavements with injuries such as brain damage or epilepsy even though this may be a real reality.
Head injuries can happen as a result of a blow to the head; it is very easy for a person to trip or fall and bang their head either on an obstacles as they fall or sadly on the ground. With many people tripping and falling over uneven and broken pavements as well as potholes it is not hard to understand how some of those victims can hit their head as a result causing a head injury. Head injuries themselves are very serious and need medical attention straight away, they can also lead to other illnesses such as epilepsy. Traumatic Brain Injury TBI is very often the term used when the brain and its cells are damaged by physical trauma, leading the victim to suffer seizures as a direct result. Head traumas or injuries are one of the main causes of epilepsy.
Victims of brain injuries that result in Traumatic Brain Injury and Epilepsy and are a consequence of a fall or trip due to a faulty pavement or public grounds that has been neglected to be repaired have the right to pursue a claim for council accident compensation claim that has caused epilepsy brain injury.
How to find out if you can Claim Compensation after a Council Accident Causing an Injury?
People can fall due to local authority or council negligence for many reasons i.e. potholes in the road, defected and faulty pavements, un-gritted roads and pavements, plants, weeds and scrubs that have over grown and become obstacles all of which have the potential of causing serious injuries to those who fall or trip as a result. If you have fallen or tripped in public as a result of what you believe could have been prevented by the local council due to their neglect then you may have a claim for compensation. Below are a number of steps to consider when thinking of making a claim against the council or local authority;
Could have the fall or trip have been prevented by the local council?
If you have had a fall due to a faulty pavement that you think has fallen within breach of the duty of the council then you have a valid reason to make a claim for council accident compensation claim. Not all faulty pavements fit the criteria allowing those to make a claim if they have tripped or fell due to a faulty pavement. The pavement must have a defect (a rise or be sunken) of at least an inch to qualify a person to be able to make a claim; meaning that a pavement that is broken or faulty must have a height defect of 1 inch.
Has the area only recently been checked by the local authority or council?
Council and local authority’s do have a duty to ensure that public areas are safe for the public to walk however if the public area was checked within a reasonable time frame and no visible defects found that fall out of the council criteria then it may not be viable to pursue a claim. All highway authority’s have a system in place where areas are checked at regular intervals to ensure that they are considered safe for public use, the length of each interval will usually go on how much traffic the area is likely to get.
Has the accident happened within the last 3 years?
The general rule of making a personal injury claim whether it is a road traffic accident, accident at work or a slip, trip or fall is that is has happened within the last three years. There are exceptions to the rule of course but it remains that the majority of compensation claim cases must be pursued within three years of it happening.
Is the injury substantial enough to pursue a council compensation claim?
Many people fall in public places due to faulty and defected flooring or pavement however the fact that one has fallen is not enough to pursue a compensation claim the person must have been injured to appoint that is considered worthy of making a claim against the local authority or the council. Often scrapes and bruises are not considered an injury that warrants compensation from the local authority. It is quite difficult to know how much a person needs to be injured in order to make a personal injury claim, if the injury is sufficient enough to cause considerable pain and alters a person’s day to day life for a certain amount of time it is enough to make a claim.
What to do if you have Suffered from a Serious Injury due to the Local Council or Authority?
If you have been a victim of a trip or fall due to faulty or defected pavement where the local authority have a duty to ensure it is safe for the public to use there are a number of steps you can take to start your claim;
It is vital to gather as much evidence as possible as quick as possible. The council won’t accept a claim if there is no evidence of the incident location and its defect. As the council and local authority have a criteria of what is accepted as negligent it is important to gather evidence to back your claim up. Not only take images of the defect also if this is a claim regarding a broken pavement then the council will want a measurement of the rise of the pavement so it is important to take images with a ruler or tape measure showing the measurement of the defect. Images of the surrounding area are also key to show the exact location of where the incident took place.
It is important to have your injury documented either with your GP or the A and E department so that there is evidence of the injury. It is not essential and injury claims made against the council still can succeed without medical evidence put it makes the case that much stronger, it also backs up what you are claiming.
Seek Legal Advice
It is always best to seek legal advice when ever wanting to pursue any type of personal injury claim as they are the ones with the knowledge on how best to move a case forward. Most personal injury claims are pursued using a No Win No Fee agreement or a Conditional Fee Arrangement so often there is no financial risk (always best to read every contract fully). Personal injury solicitor’s deal with council claims on a daily basis so can assist you with any council injury claim you think you may have.
How to Report a Faulty Pavement Flag that can Cause an Injury to the Public?
It is most local council’s responsibility to ensure public areas are safe for the public including; pavements, grass and scrub areas along with general public surroundings. If you spot a problem that you feel is a hazard to the public you can report it to your local council or use the council report problem pavment site for further information.