As you may already know, 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 it might be possible to claim against the council if you trip on a pavement defect like a raised paving slab, pothole or missing kerbstone? As well as proving that the council had failed in its duty to maintain the pavement, you’d need to prove that the defect was a certain height too. The legal pavement trip hazard height in the UK is generally accepted to be 1-inch or 25mm.
When Could You Sue The Council For Uneven Pavement Accidents?
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.
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.
Select A Section
- A Guide On If There Is A Legal Pavement Trip Hazard Height In The UK?
- What Are Highway Tripping Claims?
- Statistics For Falling On Uneven Pavements
- How To Prove Injuries Caused By Falling On Uneven Pavements
- The Highways Act 1980 And Duty Of Care
- Assessing The Legal Pavement Trip Hazard Height In The UK
- Suing The Council For Uneven Pavement Accidents And Injuries
- Can The Council Defend Highway Tripping Claims?
- Pavement Trip Hazards Caused By Poor Maintenance
- Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claims Calculator
- Special Damages In Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claims
- No Win No Fee Claims For Falling On Uneven Pavements
- Why Choose Us For Highway Tripping Claims?
- Start Your Claim For Falling On Uneven Pavements
- Learn More About Highway Tripping Claims
- FAQs About Highway Tripping Claims
A Guide On If There Is A Legal Pavement Trip Hazard Height In The UK
In this guide, we’re going to look at how you prove that the local authority (or a business) was to blame if you’ve tripped on uneven pavement. To do so, we’ll look at how you prove the trip hazard was higher or deeper than 1-inch, when it might be possible to claim and what sorts of injuries might be claimed for.
The types of defects that could lead to a claim if they cause you to fall include:
- Tree roots that have broken through the surface of the pavement.
- The remnants of street furniture that’s been vandalised.
- Potholes and sinkholes.
- Loose paving slabs.
- Missing kerbstones.
When starting personal injury claims, a solicitor will need to verify that:
- The defendant (the local authority in this case) owed you a duty of care; and
- Due to their negligence, you were involved in an accident; and
- Because of that accident, you were left injured.
Duty of care is something that comes from legislation. In this scenario, local authorities have a duty of care to maintain many of the public highways (roads and paths) in their region and therefore prevent slips and falls, for example. Failure to do so could mean that compensation claims will be brought against them if somebody is injured because of a pavement defect.
Please bear in mind that if you do decide to take action, time limits apply. Generally, you’ll have 3 years to claim from the date of your accident. This doesn’t apply to children though. In these cases, parents can claim for their child’s injuries so long as the claim begins before their 18th birthday. Once the child turns 18, they would have 3 years to claim from their birthday.
There are other exceptions to this general time limit. Our advisors can help you understand how much time you may have to claim.
What Are Highway Tripping Claims?
A public highway is a road, street, thoroughfare or footpath which can be used by members of the public, without permission, all year round. Many of these highways are managed by local authorities or Highways England. As such, these authorities have a duty to have a good process of inspecting and maintaining the highways they are responsible for.
If they don’t, and a member of the public trips on a defect and injures themselves, like a pothole, for instance, the authority could be sued for damages. It is generally the case that the pavement trip hazard height in the UK needs to be 1-inch or more before a claim can be made.
Statistics For Falling On Uneven Pavements
While there aren’t any statistics specifically about tripping over pavement defects, there are some reports that show just how common falls are. According to the Hospital Admitted Patient Care Activity 2019-20 report, there were 106,116 admissions related to falling on the same level from tripping, slipping and stumbling. Over 1,000 extra cases were caused by slipping on ice and ice.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
The Highways Act 1980 And Duty Of Care
That means that councils should:
- Ensure highways they are responsible for are passable and safe.
- Provide adequate provisions for adverse weather conditions.
- Keep records of any repairs or work they carry out.
- Repair any identified defects as quickly as reasonably possible.
- Prioritise both inspections and repairs based on the type of road and the volume of users.
Assessing The Legal Pavement Trip Hazard Height In The UK
As discussed above, it is essential that you prove the height of the pavement defect that caused your accident. As explained already, the pavement trip hazard height is generally considered to be 1-inch. However, this can differ between councils.
So how do you prove that you’re eligible to claim? Well, one option is to take a photograph of the defect in situ. That means acting quickly to capture it before it is repaired by the council. In the past, common advice was that you could use coins to show provide scale and show the height of the defect. However, this advice has since changed.
The best way to capture the height or depth of the pavement trip hazard is to return to the scene with a ruler or tape measure. You should try to capture the height of the hazard by taking a photograph from the front and another photo from above could be used to show its width.
Suing The Council For Uneven Pavement Accidents And Injuries
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.
Can The Council Defend Highway Tripping Claims?
Put simply, the answer to this question is yes. If the council can show that they have conducted inspections in accordance with a sound system of monitoring, then they would have a good defence against your claim.
Essentially, it would be impossible for the council to monitor every pavement all of the time. Therefore, if they provide evidence that the defect didn’t exist at the last inspection, which happened on time, and they weren’t made aware of a new hazard, you may find it difficult to claim.
Pavement Trip Hazards Caused By Poor Maintenance
As well as claiming for road defects that hadn’t been repaired in a timely manner, you may be eligible to claim if maintenance of the pavement hadn’t been carried out correctly. For example, if paving had been repaired but there was still a trip hazard of over 1-inch following the work, you could still claim despite the council’s work.
Pedestrian Injury Compensation Claims Calculator
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 award.
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|
|Arm||Simple (d)||£6,190 to £18,020||Includes simple fractures of the forearm.|
|Elbow||Severe (a)||£36,770 to £51,460||This category covers injuries that result are severely disabling.|
|Back||Minor (c) (i)||£7,410 to £11,730||Soft tissue injuries which take 2 to 5 years to recover from without surgery.|
|Wrist||Severe (a)||£44,690 to £56,180||Covers injuries that result in the complete loss of function of the wrist.|
|Wrist||Moderate (d)||Rarely exceed £9,620||Fractures which need longer than normal to recover from but result in no lasting damage.|
|Hand||Serious (e)||£27,220 to £58,100||In this category, injuries are likely to reduce hand function to around 50% of its original capacity.|
|Knee||Moderate (b) (i)||£13,920 to £24,580||A dislocated knee or torn meniscus that causes wasting, instability or weakness.|
|Ankle||Severe (b)||£29,380 to £46,980||This category covers injuries where plates and pins are used to secure fractured bones or where extensive treatment is required.|
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.
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.
No Win No Fee Claims For Falling On Uneven Pavements
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.
Why Choose Us For Highway Tripping Claims?
Accident Claims UK has been helping clients make personal injury claims for decades. We operate efficiently as possible by processing claims online, via email and over the phone. That means you don’t need to waste time travelling to our offices.
If your claim is accepted, it will be processed on a No Win No Fee basis. Importantly, your solicitor won’t stop and accept the first compensation offer they receive. If they believe a settlement is too low and doesn’t cover your suffering fully, they’ll go back and negotiate to try and make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible for your case.
Start Your Claim For Falling On Uneven Pavements
We hope that you’ve found our article on pavement trip hazard claims useful. If you would now like our support with starting a claim, you can:
- Call our advisors on 0800 073 8801.
- Send us an email about your claim to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Request that a specialist calls you by completing this form.
- Use our live chat if you’d like to discuss your options online.
Learn More About Highway Tripping Claims
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.
FAQs About Highway Tripping Claims
As we’re nearly at the end of this article on the pavement trip hazard height in the UK, we are going to use this section to provide answers to some frequently asked questions.
Can you claim for tripping?
A trip and fall on its own will not allow you to seek compensation. Instead, you will need to demonstrate how the accident and resulting injury was caused by somebody else’s negligence. Photographs, witness statements and accident reports could all help with this.
You’ll also need to show the extent of any injuries you sustained. Medical records could be used to try as a way to demonstrate this.
Can you sue for tripping over a pothole?
If you fall after tripping on a pothole and are injured as a result, you could be eligible to claim compensation. To do so, you’d need evidence (photographs) to show that the pothole was deeper than the pavement trip hazard height in the UK.
Furthermore, you’d need to show that the local authority had not maintained the road surface in accordance to the Highways Act 1980 if the pothole was on a public highway.
What injuries can occur from slips trips and falls?
While head injuries, back injuries and neck injuries are possible following a fall, it is more common to see sprains, strains and fractures in hands, arms and wrists. This is usually caused when the victim puts their hands out to break their fall.
Thank you for visiting today and reading our guide on the pavement trip hazard height in the UK.
Guide by BH
Edited by RV