How Much Can I Claim From The Council/Local Authority?

By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 1st December 2023. Welcome to our guide on local authority compensation claims and council accident compensation claims. Are you looking to make claims against the council or claims against local authorities for personal injury? Or suing your local council for emotional distress in the UK? Do you want to know how to sue the council for negligence or what evidence you’d need when suing the council for uneven pavement? The guide to council compensation payouts in the UK could prove useful. In it, we talk you through how to take legal action against the council in the UK and what reasons you could have for council compensation claims.

We also delve into potential council compensation payouts for 2022 claims and what damages you could receive when suing the council for damages. We answer questions on claims against the council for a personal injury, such as ‘Can I sue the council for emotional distress?’ and ‘Are there time limits to suing the council for negligence?’

We have helped many people in your position make council compensation claims, and we are certain there is no one better to help you attain the maximum payout on offer. To find out more about council accident claims, you can read on or call us for legal advice at 0800 073 8801.

Council compensation claims

Local Authority Compensation Claims Guide

Choose a Section

  1. Suing The Council For Negligence – What Can Be Included In A Settlement?
  2. When Could You Sue The Council?
  3. Steps To Take If You Are In A Local Authority Or Council Accident
  4. Examples Of Personal Injury Claims Against The Local Council
  5. Time Limits When Claiming Against The Council
  6. Making A Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis Against The Council
  7. Helpful Links Regarding A Claim Against The Council

Suing The Council For Negligence – What Can Be Included In A Settlement?

If you’re eligible to claim compensation from the council for injuries sustained due to their negligence, your payout could include general damages and special damages.

General damages is a head of claim that would compensate you for the suffering and pain of your injuries, both physical and mental.

When calculating general damages settlements for council compensation claims, solicitors could look to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a publication which provides guideline compensation brackets for various injuries at different severities. The table below includes figures from the 16th edition of the JCG, released in 2022. However, these should only be used as guidance. The first entry is not taken from the JCG.

The reason for claiming compensationThe typical payout amountSome extra comments
Multiple serious injuries which result in pain, suffering and financial losses.Up to £1,000,000+A combination of serious injuries that cause significant pain and suffering and lead to financial losses, such as loss of income, medical expenses and care costs, for example.
Back injury- severe (a) £74,160 to £160,980Cases range from disc fractures to the very worst injuries, i.e. nerve root damage and spinal cord damage.
Back injury-moderate (i)£27,760 to £38,780Such cases can include soft tissue injuries, muscle and ligament disturbance, and residual disability of a much lesser severity than the next category.
Ankle injury- very severe (a)£50,060 to £69,700Injuries that classify as very severe are unusual and limited. This includes instances of transmalleolar ankle fractures with lots of damage to the soft tissue.
Ankle injury- severe (b)£31,310 to £50,060This is an injury whereby the person has had plates and pins inserted, or they have spent a long period of time in a plaster, or they have needed treatment for an extensive period.
Ankle injury- moderate (c)£13,740 to £26,590The claimant will typically have suffered a ligamentous tear or fracture, which will result in a less serious disability. This could mean that the person experiences awkwardness while using stairs or they find it challenging to walk on ground that is not even.
Ankle injury- modest (d)Up to £12,900This is a less serious, undisplaced or minor fracture, ligamentous injury, or sprain.
Wrist injury- very severe (a)£47,620 to £59,860This results in injuries whereby the person has experience total loss of function to the wrist.
Wrist injury-moderate (c)£12,590 to £39,170The person will experience a degree of stiffness and persisting pain, yet this is of a lesser degree.

As well as general damages, you may receive special damages for a successful claim. This head of claim compensates for out-of-pocket expenses caused by your injuries. These could include:

  • Care costs
  • Travel expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Medical expenses

You will need documentary evidence to support your claim for special damages. Pay slips, bank statements and receipts could be useful in supporting compensation claims against local councils that include special damages. To learn more about what your payout could include, you can contact an advisor.

When Could You Sue The Council?

If you’re asking, “Can I sue the council for emotional distress in the UK?”, this may be because you’ve suffered emotional distress that you believe was caused by the local authority.

To make a claim against the council for a psychological or physical injury, they must have breached a duty of care towards you, and this breach must have caused your injury.

Alternatively, as a member of the public, the council will owe you a duty of care under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 if you are using a public space they are in control of, such as a public park. In this instance, the council must take all the necessary steps to ensure your reasonable safety. If they fail to do so and you suffer either a psychological or physical injury, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim.

For more information on when you may be able to claim compensation from the council for emotional distress, you can contact our advisory team.

Steps To Take If You Are In A Local Authority Or Council Accident

Before suing the council for negligence, you will need to gather evidence to give your case a better chance of success.

However, we would first recommend seeking medical help if necessary. Your health should be a priority. The resulting medical report could also potentially be used as evidence when suing your local council.

Evidence is important for claims against the council for a personal injury, as you will need to be able to prove that they were the liable party for your injuries. Evidence could include:

  • CCTV footage
  • Contact details from witnesses
  • Photographs of the scene and your injuries

You are under no obligation to hire a solicitor in order to claim. However, we would recommend seeking legal help as a solicitor will better know the claims process. For free legal advice, get in touch with our advisors at any time.

Examples Of Personal Injury Claims Against The Local Council

Below, you can find examples of how an occupier could breach their duty of care, causing you to sustain harm in an accident.

    • Injuries caused by an uneven paving stone: If a report was made about a paving stone being uneven or unsafe but no steps were taken to address the hazard in a reasonable time frame, you could fall and hit your head, causing a brain injury.
    • Slips, trips, and falls: If a spillage is not cleaned up within an adequate timeframe or appropriately signposted in a council-run building, despite the hazard being reported, you could slip, leading to a broken bone.
    • Pothole accident injuries: Councils and local authorities are responsible for the maintenance of certain roads. If they fail to repair a dangerous pothole, this could cause a road traffic accident, leading to whiplash or a back injury.

Please note, not all accidents in a public place will form the basis of a valid personal injury claim against the council. If you would like to discuss your specific case and learn more about how to sue the council for negligence, including the eligibility criteria that need to be met, call our team. An advisor can also provide further guidance on council compensation payouts in the UK.

Time Limits When Claiming Against The Council

The Limitation Act 1980 states that you will have three years to start a personal injury claim against the council, starting from the date of the accident that injured you.

Under some circumstances, this time limit can work differently. For example, if a child has been injured, then the time limit is paused until their 18th birthday. Before that day arrives, a claim could be made on the child’s behalf by a court-appointed litigation friend. If a claim has not been made before the child’s 18th birthday, then the injured party will have three years to start their own claim from that date.

If the injured party lacks sufficient mental capacity to make a personal injury claim, then the three-year time limit is indefinitely suspended. A litigation friend could claim on their behalf. However, if the injured party later regains enough mental capacity to make their own claim, and one hasn’t already been made, then the time limit will begin from the date of recovery.

To ask questions about claiming against the council, contact our friendly advisors today on the phone or online. They are available to answer any questions you may have, such as, “Can you sue the council for an injury?” or any queries regarding the time limit for claiming.

Making A Claim Against The Council On A No Win No Fee Basis

If you are eligible to claim compensation from the council for a personal injury, one of our solicitors could offer to assist you under a No Win No Fee arrangement, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under a CFA, you wouldn’t typically have to pay your solicitor any upfront or ongoing claims in order for them to start working on your case. Similarly, if your claim doesn’t succeed, they won’t take a fee for their work. 

Instead, if your claim is successful, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation. This is taken as a small percentage which is limited by a legal cap, ensuring that the larger share of your award stays with you.

To check whether one of our No Win No Fee solicitors could help you, or to ask questions about council compensation payouts, please contact an advisor. They can evaluate your claim for free, and answer any questions you might have about the claims process. To get started:

Helpful Links Relating To A Claim Against The Council