Council Accident Compensation Claims | No Win No Fee

By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 16th January 2024. Within this guide, we will discuss personal injury claims against local authorities. We will explain the duty of care that local authorities and the council owe you when you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim.

Additionally, we will share the different heads of claim you could be awarded as part of your compensation settlement if your claim is a success. We will also discuss the time limits that must be adhered to when starting legal proceedings.

Furthermore, we will provide some of the benefits of making a personal injury claim with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

If you have any questions regarding how to sue the council for negligence or would like free advice for your case, you can contact our advisors. They are available 24/7 and can be reached via the following methods:

Construction work on a public pavement

Local Authority Compensation Claims Guide

Choose a Section

  1. How Much Compensation Could You Receive From Suing The Council For Negligence?
  2. Council Accident Compensation Claims Criteria
  3. Steps To Take If You Are In A Local Authority Or Council Accident
  4. Examples Of Council Accident Compensation Claims
  5. Making A Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis Against The Council
  6. Helpful Links Regarding A Claim Against The Council

How Much Compensation Could You Receive From Suing The Council For Negligence?

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 compensation The typical payout amount Some 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 £160,980 Cases 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 £38,780 Such 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 £69,700 Injuries 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 £50,060 This 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 £26,590 The 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 £12,900 This is a less serious, undisplaced or minor fracture, ligamentous injury, or sprain.
Wrist injury- very severe (a) £47,620 to £59,860 This results in injuries whereby the person has experience total loss of function to the wrist.
Wrist injury-moderate (c) £12,590 to £39,170 The 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.

Council Accident Compensation Claims Criteria

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.

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.

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

If you want to make a personal injury claim, you need to have enough evidence to establish that negligence occurred. Negligence is the combination of the council breaching their duty of care, and you being injured. 

Some examples of evidence that you can use to help you sue the council for emotional distress in the UK and any physical injuries caused include:

  • Photographs: For example, if you were injured by a loose paving stone, taking a picture of this can help prove your claim. It can also be helpful to take pictures of any visible injuries.
  • CCTV footage: Similar to the above, video footage of the accident can be used to help prove your claim. 
  • Witness statements: If you take down the contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident, they may be able to give a statement to a professional later.
  • Medical records: It’s important to seek medical attention if you’re injured. This is for your own health, but it can also help your claim. Details of your injuries and treatment found in your medical records can be used to help prove your case.

This might seem daunting, but a professional can help. One of the benefits of making a claim with the help of a solicitor is that they can gather evidence for you by talking to witnesses, collecting photographs, and arranging an independent medical assessment. The report generated from this assessment can be used to verify that the injuries you suffered were caused by the accident for which you’re claiming.

To find out how one of our solicitors could help you prove a claim against the local council or authority, contact our team.

Examples Of Council Accident Compensation Claims

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.

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