Have you suffered an accident or injury because of an uneven road or pavement? Do you know that you could be entitled to financial compensation? Roads and pavements must be kept in good working order so that they are suitable to be used by members of the public. If they are allowed to fall into disrepair and someone suffers an injury as a result, then whoever failed to maintain their condition can be held responsible.
At Kerr Brown, our accident claims lawyers are routinely approached by clients who have been hurt because a road or pavement caused them to slip or fall. We are here to help ensure that you receive adequate compensation as a result of your being injured because of someone else’s negligence.
MAKING A CLAIM AGAINST A LOCAL AUTHORITY OR OCCUPIER
In almost all cases, it is the responsibility of the local authority to maintain roads and pavements. Proving that they caused you to suffer an injury sufficient to warrant compensation will need to meet certain legal criteria. If you are interested in pursuing a claim for compensation for injuries sustained as a result of a pavement or road in bad condition, then you will need to have evidence to demonstrate that they failed to take ‘reasonable steps’ to keep it in a relatively good condition.
It should be pointed out that it is not always possible for an injury on the pavement to warrant compensation. Generally, there is a threshold that needs to be met before there is a likelihood of a personal injury claim being possible. If your injury was caused by a protruding piece of pavement less than an inch long or less than an inch deep, then it should be considered whether or not it is worth attempting to raise a claim. The law cannot require that a risk of injury be completely removed from daily life. It does, however, require that those with responsibility for maintaining pavements do so, and where they fail to take reasonable steps to do this, they may be obliged to provide compensation if they cause you to suffer injury as a result of their negligence.
There are different ways that you can demonstrate that the local authority has not fulfilled its obligations. This includes:
- Demonstrating that the local authority did not regularly inspect the area; or
- Providing evidence that the state of the area was reported to the local authority, but it did not attend to it in good time.
MAKING A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM – WHAT EVIDENCE DO YOU NEED?
In order to make a personal injury claim for injuries sustained as a result of a road defect, your claim will need to be based on evidence that the local authority caused the accident complained of. Furthermore, it is generally accepted in law that no road will be able to be kept completely even, which means that not every injury sustained will attract compensation. In order for your claim to have an increased chance of success, you should:
- Take pictures of the area where you suffered your accident;
- Speaking to witnesses who saw you slip, trip or fall and suffer your injury, and obtain a written statement from them; and
- Finding out if anyone else had suffered an injury in the same way as you did, and being able to show that the local authority did not adequately address the hazard.
Not every fall or slip on the road will be sufficient to warrant financial compensation. That is why it is important to speak to lawyers who will be able to offer objective, pragmatic counsel on the strength of any prospective personal injury claim.