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Accidents In Public Places Claims

Claims Against The Council

Councils and local authorities are legally required to ensure that pavements, roads and other council property are safe for public use. But every year people are injured by loose paving stones or potholes. To sue a council for compensation it will be necessary to prove your injury was a result of the council's negligence.

How To Sue The Council For Negligence

Claiming compensation from the council requires you to show that your injury has been caused by a failure of care on their part. If you’ve experienced injury as a result of council negligence we can help you claim compensation. You can arrange a free initial consultation with one of our specialist solicitors to talk about your case and decide if you want to take it forward.

Suing a council for damages can be difficult if the road or pavement defect that caused your injury has since been corrected. You can help us make your claim by:

  • Taking photographs of where your injury took place
  • Taking measurements of the pothole or other defect that caused your injury
  • Providing us with the names and addresses of any witnesses present
  • Letting us know the police incident number.

What Types Of Claim Can Be Made Against The Council?

Councils have a duty of care to ensure that roads, pavements and other public areas are properly maintained. We could help you make a council compensation claim if you’ve been injured as a result of:

  • A pothole that is 40 mm deep or more
  • An uneven paving stone that was sticking up by more than one inch.

Cyclists are particularly vulnerable to poorly maintained roads – if you’ve fallen off your bike after hitting a pothole, we could help you make a claim against the responsible council.

What Are The Time Limits For Making A Claim?

Claims against the council usually need to be made within three years of the accident that caused your injury.

However, there are some important exceptions to the three year rule:

  • If you’re claiming on behalf of your child there is no time limit up to their 18th birthday. From 18 years old the three year time limit applies
  • There is no time limit if you’re claiming on behalf of someone who doesn’t have the mental capacity to claim for themselves.

In cases of council negligence we recommend making your claim as soon as possible. This makes it easier for us to gather evidence, such as interviewing witnesses in support of your case or taking pictures and measurements of the road/paving defect that caused your injury.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

How much compensation you could receive depends upon the severity of your injury and the impact it has had on your life. We’ll seek a fair settlement that takes into account any suffering you’ve endured because of your injury as well as other costs.

Compensation could cover:

  • Cost of attending medical appointments and buying medical equipment
  • Loss of earnings
  • The costs of any treatment you’ve received and any further medical procedures or care you may need
  • Living and accessibility changes made to your home or vehicle because of your injury.

No Win No Fee Claims

We may be able to handle your claim against the council on a no win no fee basis. This means that there will be no upfront cost to you. If your case is successful, most of your legal fees will be covered by your opponent, with any other fees left to be paid out of your settlement. If your case is unsuccessful then you won’t have to pay anything*.

Why Choose Us?

As one of the largest personal injury law firms in the country we have an experienced and dedicated team of solicitors ready to help you.

We’ve represented thousands of clients who have been harmed due to negligence by their council or local authority. Our experts will support you throughout your claim and will work to get you the best possible compensation settlement.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one wish to make a claim against the council then you can get in touch on 0800 056 4110 or contact us online and we’ll call you back.

No Win No Fee*
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Thousands of successful claims each year
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Claims Against The Council - More Information
    • What Will Happen When I Make A Claim?
    • When you contact us, you’ll speak to a member of our friendly team who'll talk to you about your injury. This initial consultation is free - from there, we can advise you on the best way to take your claim forward.

      Contacting Those Responsible For Your Injuries

      We’ll then get in touch with those responsible for your accident at an early stage to see if they accept the blame for what happened. If they do, we’ll try to secure some of your compensation upfront, which can fund private medical care and living expenses while your claim is ongoing. These payments, known as interim payments, will be taken out of your final compensation award.

      Gathering Evidence

      Our experts will look into your case in detail, gathering evidence from various sources such as witnesses, CCTV and independent medical professionals.

      We’ll employ medical professionals to find out how your accident or illness has impacted your health and recommend the care you’ll need to make the best recovery possible.

      Final Settlement & Compensation Awarded

      We’ll always try and negotiate your claim out of court, keeping the claims process as short as we can. However, if your opponent doesn’t accept responsibility or doesn’t agree with the amount of compensation we feel you need, we’ll start court proceedings.

      Even when trial dates have been set, claims are still often settled before reaching court. If your claim needs to be decided at court, we’ll be there to help you every step of the way, talking you through what will happen so you feel as comfortable as possible.

      Read more about what happens if your case goes to court.

    • What Can Compensation Pay For?
    • Making a personal injury claim can help you access funds to pay for expenses, as well as any medical treatment you may need.

      Every personal injury case is different, so there’s no set amount of compensation you’ll receive. The amount of compensation you’ll get depends on your circumstances, the severity of your injuries and the long term impact.

      To work out how much compensation you’re entitled to, we’ll take into account:

      • Expenses – including travel expenses to medical appointments, medical equipment and things that help with practical day-to-day living
      • Loss of earnings – to cover any time you’ve had off work and time off you may need in the future. This figure can also cover matters such as not returning to the same role or not being able to return to work
      • Pain and suffering – caused by your injury or illness
      • Further treatments – to pay for any further surgery or medical procedures you may need after experiencing negligent treatment
      • Adaptations – we can help you adapt your home and vehicle to help with living independently. Find out more about the kind of changes that can be made to a property.
      • Care costs – to pay for home care visits and past and future rehabilitative treatments.

      If you’d like to make a compensation claim, contact us to set up a free initial consultation on 0800 056 4110.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • You normally have to make a personal injury claim within three years of your accident so it’s best to contact us as soon as possible. Getting in touch with us soon after your accident can make collecting evidence, such as finding witnesses to make statements in support of your case, easier.

      There are some exceptions to the three year time limit:

      • Claims on behalf of children – these can be made at any point before their 18th birthday. When the child reaches 18, they can make their own claim at any stage until they turn 21
      • Mental capacity – there are no time limits to make a claim on behalf of someone who doesn’t have the ability to handle their own case
      • Fatal claims – to make a claim on behalf of a loved one, you have three years from the date they died to make a claim. If a post-mortem found that their death was caused by an accident or illness, you have three years from the point where you discovered these findings.

      If you would like to make a personal injury claim, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible so we can start work on your case. Call us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation to discuss your situation.

    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded using a no win no fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case, we’ll discuss funding options with you and advise you which one we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be better options to fund your claim. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you’re best supported by a no win no fee agreement, we’ll explain the process clearly. This involves setting up an insurance policy that will protect you, at no cost to you. You’ll only have to pay if your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • Meet The Team
    • We have experienced solicitors across the country who specialise in helping people make claims against councils. We know the issues that you and your loved ones may be facing, and we can answer all of your questions in plain English.

      Having helped many other people who've suffered injuries as a result of a council’s negligence, our lawyers have specialist experience investigating and making claims like this.

      Meet the team.

When the case was finally settled, the relief was enormous. I felt as if I had done everything I could to try and stop it happening to anyone else.”

Karen O'Brien, client
Karen, client

Frequently Asked Questions

What Types Of Claim Can Be Made Against A Council?

Local councils have a duty to make sure that roads, pavements and other public areas are properly maintained. Loose pavements or potholes can lead to nasty trips and falls, so it’s important that regular inspections take place to prevent them hurting anyone.

We could help you make a claim if you’ve been injured as a result of:

  • A pothole that was 40 mm deep or more
  • An uneven paving stone that was sticking up by more than an inch.

Cyclists are particularly vulnerable to poorly maintained roads – if you’ve fallen off your bike after hitting a pothole, we could help you make a claim against the council responsible.

Where possible, you should take photographs to act as evidence – conditions on the road or pavement are likely to change quickly when repair work is carried out. When taking photographs of defects, it’s also useful to also take measurements of the size and depth.  In addition, it'll help if you can give us the names and addresses of witnesses and an incident number if the police were involved.

For more information on making a claim against the council, phone one of our legal advisers on 0800 056 4110 or contact us online.

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How Can Irwin Mitchell Help?

We know that an injury can have an enormous impact on your day-to-day life. That’s why we aim to take some of the strain from you by handling your claim against the council in a professional and efficient way. We will always strive to:

  • Support you by explaining each stage of the claim in plain English and helping you with any obligations you face as part of your case
  • Pursue claims to completion with dedication, making sure that you get the best possible settlement
  • Put your interests first at all times.

We'll work hard to make sure you receive the right amount of compensation to account for the pain and hardship you have experienced and the inconvenience caused to you. If your injuries have left you needing rehabilitation or physiotherapy, we can also help you access top-quality support.

Read more about the help we offer to get you the care and rehabilitation you need.

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How Is A Council Legally Responsible For My Injury?

Councils are required to look after public property and, if you’ve been hurt because pavements or other council property were not properly maintained, they may be legally responsible for your injury.

To avoid legal responsibility, a council must prove that there is a system of regular inspections in place to flag up and fix any potential road or pavement hazards.

If you make a claim against the council, our solicitors will work hard to prove that safety and maintenance standards weren’t met. For example, we may be able to prove that the road or pavement had been in a state of disrepair for a significant period of time without being repaired. In this case we’ll try and show that the council failed to notice the issue or they didn’t act quickly enough to fix it.

For more information on making a claim against the council, phone one of our legal advisers on 0800 056 4110 or contact us online.

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Rehabilitation means different things to different people. For some it’s being able to return to work, while for others it’s being able to become more independent around the house. Our personal injury solicitors are here for you whatever your situation is, and you can be reassured that we’ll help you access the care and support you need to make the best recovery possible.


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To begin your claim for compensation, or ask any questions regarding personal injury claims, contact us today for a free consultation.

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