Is There A Legal Pavement Trip Hazard Height In The UK?

By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 12th January 2024. If you trip over and hurt yourself you could be compensated if your injuries were caused by somebody else’s negligence. But did you know that suing the council for an uneven pavement accident might be possible if it’s caused by the likes of a raised paving slab, a pothole or missing kerbstone?

In this guide, we’ll look at what the local authority’s responsibilities are. We’ll also explain what evidence you could use to support your claim.

If you decide to take action, our advisors can help. We offer a free telephone assessment of any claim and you’ll get free legal advice on your options.

Where your personal injury claim has strong grounds, we could put you in touch with one of our solicitors. If they decide to take you on as a client, they’ll work for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

To begin the claims process today, why not call us on 0800 073 8801 right away? Otherwise, please continue reading to find out more about slip, trip and fall claims caused by uneven pavements.

suing council for uneven pavement

A guide to suing the council for uneven pavement

Select A Section

  1. Is There A Legal Pavement Trip Height?
  2. How To Prove Injuries Caused By Falling On Uneven Pavements
  3. What Injuries Could Be Caused By Tripping On An Uneven Pavement?
  4. Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claim Payouts
  5. Special Damages In Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claims
  6. Suing The Council For Uneven Pavement On A No Win No Fee Basis
  7. Learn More About Suing The Council For An Uneven Pavement Accident

Is There A Legal Pavement Trip Height?

You may be wondering “Is there a legal pavement trip hazard height in the UK?”.

When making a personal injury claim for tripping over a pavement it is vital to capture the height of the defective pavement. Although there is no legal height limit to what a defective pavement can be, different councils and local authorities will have guidance to what is considered a dangerous or hazardous defect height. 

Even if the trip hazard is over the height considered to be dangerous, this doesn’t automatically mean you can claim compensation. You would need to prove that the pavement trip happened due to a third party’s negligence. For example, for claims against the local authority, being able to prove that the council were aware of the hazard and didn’t act to reduce it could lead to a claim. 

You would also have to prove that you suffered injuries in the trip accident. We’ll explore how you can prove your claim later on in this guide.

If you would like to learn more about whether your pavement trip injury could lead to a claim, please contact our advisors. They could check your eligibility and give you advice on the steps you could take to get the compensation you deserve. 

How To Prove Injuries Caused By Falling On Uneven Pavements

To make a successful claim for injuries caused by uneven pavement, you may need evidence to show:

  • The depth of the pavement defect that caused your accident.
  • That the defect had been there for some time or the council had been made aware of it and didn’t act on it.
  • You were injured because of the accident.

To prove the injuries you’ve sustained, there are a couple of things you can provide:

  1. Medical records from the hospital, minor injuries unit or GP surgery you were treated by. As well as the fact your injuries will be treated by a professional, this is a very good reason to seek attention following the accident.
  2. A copy of the incident report. When you have an accident on a public highway, you should report it to the local authority.

To prove that the defect had been present for some time, it may be worth asking local residents or businesses if they are aware of how long it had been there. By doing so, you may be able to demonstrate that the council had failed in its duty to

  • inspect the highway; and
  • repair any defects identified.

Something else to look for is spray paint around or near the defect. This could indicate the council was aware of the problem but had not yet repaired it. We’ll look at how you prove the depth or height of the defect later on.

What Injuries Could Be Caused By Tripping On An Uneven Pavement?

So, as we have shown, if you have suffered an injury because you fell over a pavement trip hazard with a height of over 1 inch, you could sue the council for any injuries and suffering caused. This could include compensation for:

So long as you have the evidence to show the size of the pavement trip hazard, we could help you claim. If your case is accepted, your solicitor will approach the council to ask for evidence about when it last inspected the pavement. They will also ask about any repairs.

If it can be shown that the council doesn’t have a good inspection programme or they failed to act swiftly to fix an issue it was aware of, you could receive compensation for any injuries.

Why not call us today to see if you have the grounds to proceed to a claim?

Time Limit For Pavement Trip Injury Claims

As with any type of personal injury compensation claim, you’ll need to ensure you start your pavement trip claim within the time limit set out in the Limitation Act 1980. Generally, you have three years to start your claim from the date you were injured.

However, there are exceptions to the limitation period. For example, if a child is injured in a pavement accident, they will be unable to make a claim until their 18th birthday. Once they turn 18, they will have three years to start a claim. Prior to their 18th birthday, a litigation friend could start a claim on their behalf.

For those who lack the mental capacity to make their own pavement trip compensation claim, the time limit is suspended indefinitely. During this time, a litigation friend could act on their behalf. If a claim has not been made on their behalf and they were to regain this mental capacity, the 3-year time limit will be reinstated on the date of recovery.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like our advisors to answer any additional questions about the time limits involved when claiming after a trip on a piece of pavement

Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claim Payouts

We are now going to look at what amount of compensation might be awarded for a range of different injuries. To help do so, we’ve provided a compensation table below populated with data from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG gives potential figures that various injuries could be awarded.

It’s not possible to list every injury in this guide. Therefore, if yours isn’t included, why not call and ask an advisor what settlement bracket it falls into?

Injury to Severity Level Settlement Bracket Notes
Multiple serious injuries combined with financial losses. Serious Up to £500,000+ A combination of serious injuries causing medical expenses for example, combined with pain and suffering.
Head Moderate (c) (iii) £43,060 to £90,720 Reduced work ability, small epilepsy risk and concentration and memory issues.
Elbow Severe (a) £39,170 to £54,830 This category covers injuries that result are severely disabling.
Ankle Severe (b) £31,310 to £50,060 This category covers injuries where plates and pins are used to secure fractured bones or where extensive treatment is required.
Hand Serious (e) £29,000 to £61,910 In this category, injuries are likely to reduce hand function to around 50% of its original capacity.
Wrist Severe (a) £47,620 to £59,860 Covers injuries that result in the complete loss of function of the wrist.
Wrist Moderate (d) £6,080 to £10,350 Fractures which need longer than 12 months to recover from but result in no lasting damage.
Knee Moderate (b) (i) £14,840 to £26,190 A dislocated knee or torn meniscus that causes wasting, instability or weakness.
Arm Simple (d) £6,610 to £19,200 Includes simple fractures of the forearm.
Psychological Moderate (c) £5,860 to £19,070 Although coping problems occur, improvements have been made and the prognosis is good.
Back Minor (c) (i) £7,890 to £12,510 Soft tissue injuries which take 2 to 5 years to recover from without surgery.

The important factor in settling claims is the severity of your injuries. That’s why, during the claims process, you’ll need a medical assessment. It will be carried out by an independent medical expert. They’ll discuss how you’ve been affected by your injuries, examine them and they may refer to medical records too.

Once done, they’ll write a report to explain your prognosis. One purpose of the report is to prove that your injuries were caused or worsened by the accident.

If you work with Accident Claims UK, your solicitor will usually arrange your appointment locally

Special Damages In Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claims

Along with compensation for your pain and suffering, it is also important to look at whether your injuries have resulted in expenses, monetary losses or costs. If they have, you could also make a special damages claim. The idea here is to return you to the financial position you were in before the accident happened.

Damages must be based on costs that were directly caused by your accident or injuries. They could include:

  • Care costs. These might be claimed if somebody needed to look after you during your recovery. They could cover the cost of a professional carer or the time a loved one spent helping with daily tasks.
  • Medical expenses. You may need treatment that’s not available on the NHS to help you recover. Therefore, you could claim for the cost of this treatment as well as any prescription fees.
  • Lost income. Taking time off for medical appointments or to recover, can prove costly. As a result, you may wish to include any lost income in your claim.
  • Modifications to your home. If you are seriously injured and left disabled, modifying your home or vehicle might make it a little easier to cope. If that’s the case, the cost of any work could be claimed back.
  • Future lost earnings. Where there has been an adverse impact on your ability to work, any long-term loss of earnings might be considered. Where that’s the case, the settlement would be based on factors such as your age, current salary level and job prospects.

If you call our advisors, they’ll look at how your injuries have affected you financially. Please call today and we’ll review your case for free.

Suing The Council For Uneven Pavement On A No Win No Fee Basis

In this section of our guide to pavement trip hazard height in the UK, we look at how No Win No Fee works.

If you’ve been injured after tripping on pavement, you might be worried about how much a solicitor will cost you if the case loses. You needn’t be concerned if you work with us, though. That’s because our personal injury solicitors provide a No Win No Fee service for every claim they take on. That means you won’t pay any solicitor’s fees at all unless you’re paid compensation.

When you get in touch, a solicitor could review the merits of your case with you. Should they agree to work on your case, you’ll be given a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). It’s also known as a No Win No Fee agreement. This agreement makes it clear when you’d need to pay any solicitor’s fees.

If your case is won, a success fee will be deducted from your compensation. In the CFA, you’ll find that this fee is listed as a percentage of any settlement you’re paid. By law, success fees are capped for your benefit.

If you would now like our support with starting a claim, you can:

We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so please feel free to get in touch at a convenient time.

Learn More About Suing The Council For An Uneven Pavement Accident

Please take a look at the articles and guides below if you believe they’ll be helpful during the claims process:

  • Repairing Potholes: Information on how Highways England detects and repairs potholes.
  • Wrist Injuries: NHS guidance on how to deal with pain resulting from wrist injuries.
  • Slips And Trips: Information on how trips and slips can happen and what can be done to avoid them.
  • Tripped Over A Wire: This guide looks at claims for workplace accidents caused by wires trailed across walkways.
  • Wet Floor Accident Claims: Advice on claiming if you’ve been injured because you slipped on a wet floor.
  • Pedestrian Accident Claims: Information on claiming for injuries sustained by a pedestrian in a road traffic accident.

Thank you for visiting today and reading our guide on the pavement trip hazard height in the UK.