Claiming personal injury compensation after a footpath tripping accident
If you have been injured as a result of a fall caused by tripping on a dangerous pavement or footpath you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. The majority of footpath tripping accidents which lead to accident claims occur on public roads and footpaths.
Steps to take after a footpath tripping accident:
Taking the following steps after a highway tripping accident will assist any claim for personal injury compensation:
Obtain witness details: take details of any witnesses to the accident as this will help to prove where and how the accident occurred.
Take photographs: It is important to obtain photographs of the defect and the surrounding area as soon as possible after an accident. This helps to identify the precise location of the accident and provides evidence showing the state of the pavement at the time of the accident. This is important to support any claim for injury compensation. It can also be helpful to take photographs of injuries such as bruising.
Seek medical attention in respect of your injury: this can be from your GP or hospital and you should make sure that you explain how and where the injuries were sustained.
Obtain expert legal advice regarding your pavement tripping accident
There are lots of legal issues which arise in relation to tripping accident claims. It is therefore important to obtain expert legal advice regarding your potential claim. We will provide a free assessment of your claim and help to obtain evidence to support your case. No win – no fee is available and if the claim is unsuccessful we do not charge a penny! There are no hidden charges.
For free advice regarding any tripping accident contact us for free advice by phone or to arrange a free meeting or free home visit.
Highway Tripping Accidents – Frequently Asked Questions
When is the highway authority liable in a pavement tripping accident claim?
The highway authority, usually a county or local council, has responsibility for the maintenance and repair of public highways. The highway authority has a duty to keep the highways in a reasonably safe condition for users – including pedestrians, motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders. However, the highway authority is not automatically liable to pay compensation to a person injured in a pavement tripping accident.
In order to make a successful claim for personal injury compensation against a highway authority it is necessary to prove the following:
- that the highway was not reasonably safe for pedestrians; and
- that the accident was caused by the dangerous condition of the highway
What is a public highway?
A public highway is a highway over which every member of the public has a free right of passage. The term ‘highway’ includes public streets, roads, pavements, footpaths, walkways, cycle tracks and bridleways.
What is a dangerous highway?
The fact that a tripping accident has occurred does not prove that the highway was in an unsafe or dangerous condition. In each case it is necessary to consider the position, size and nature of any defector hazard in or on the pavement. Minor defects will not be classed as dangerous. As a general rule of thumb the court is likely to accept that a defect measuring an inch or more in height or depth is dangerous. However, in some circumstances a defect of less than an inch can be held to be dangerous so it is sensible to obtain expert advice if you have been injured in a footpath tripping accident.
Is there a Highway Authority defence to footpath tripping accident claims?
The duty of the highway authority is to carry out regular inspections of the highway and to repair any defects found. The frequency of the required inspections depends upon the type of highway and the extent of use by traffic and pedestrians – for example a busy town centre shopping area will require monthly inspections but a residential cul-de-sac may need only yearly inspection.
The Highways Act 1980 gives a highway authority a defence to a claim for compensation if it can show that it did carry out regular and adequate inspections and carried out prompt repair of any identified defects.
Can I claim if I am partly to blame for the accident?
A further issue which must be considered in pavement tripping accident claims is that of ‘contributory negligence’ – i.e. the extent to which the injured person caused or contributed to the accident by failing to notice and avoid the defect or tripping hazard. If an injured person is found to to be partly to blame for the accident this does not mean that the claim will be unsuccessful but the final award of compensation will be reduced.
Should I tell the council if I have a tripping accident on a public road or pavement?
Whilst it is important that highway trip accidents are reported to the council so that repair work can be carried out to make the pavement safe it is important that proper evidence of the defective pavement is obtained before the repairs are carried out. For this reason we would always recommend that you seek independent legal advice from a personal injury solicitor before you contact the council. Your solicitor will ensure that appropriate evidence is obtained to support your claim before the matter is reported to the council or relevant highway authority on your behalf.
How do I make a claim for compensation after a footpath tripping accident?
Contact us for free, no obligation advice regarding your claim. We are happy to provide advice by phone or a free meeting and free home visits are available in Lancashire. We work on a no win – no fee basis so there is no need to worry about the cost of making a claim.