Claiming against the Council

April 26, 2013

Accident compensation claims can be brought against the council or local authority if you have suffered an injury.  The injury may have occurred whilst out on a public street, in a public area, building or your child may have been injured in school.  Accident Solicitors can start a claim on your behalf against the council if the accident was not your fault in these situations.


Making the Claim

Within the majority of Cities and towns across the land the councils and local authorities have a legal responsibility to protect the safety of members of the public.  Whether you live in the area or are visiting or you are working within the region which is controlled by that specific council, they are responsible for the welfare of you.

The following list includes but is not limited to council’s responsibilities:

  • The maintenance and upkeep of pavements and roads
  • The maintenance and upkeep of playgrounds, public parks and swimming pools
  • The maintenance, running and upkeep of schools


What to do

Make sure you contact a Solicitor who has direct experience of dealing with accidents.  As soon as the accident happens ensure you contact the Solicitor straight away.  The accident has to have occurred in public place and not be your fault.

The Solicitor you go with will deal with all the legal intricacies of the case and obviously make the claim on your behalf.  You will be entitled to compensation for any injury caused that was not your fault.  The payout will be related to the level of injury sustained and your solicitor will have to prove the council was negligent before any payout.


Claim Scenarios

Pavement claims are one of the most common claims made against councils and local authorities.  There are stipulations that require meeting before you go falling on the pavement, firstly the paving stone should be sticking up by around 1 inch or more.  The same rule applies to potholes too these need to be at least one inch in depth.  Councils do have reasonable inspection systems in place so you will also need to demonstrate that they had known of the defect or ought to have known.  There are other situations where a claim against the council can be made, such as uncovered manhole trips or an accident caused by council housing or similar council owned property that has defects.


Assisting a Claim

When you make a claim there a several things you can do to aid the success of a potential accident claim:

  • Get details of any witnesses who were present and record their names, addresses and telephone numbers
  • Record details of defect that caused the accident, try and take measurements and photographs are a great help
  • If you have to pay for any treatments or travel costs then keep all receipts for any expenses you have suffered as a result of the accident


Potential Compensation Payment

Levels of compensation payout correlate to the level of injuries suffered.  Circumstances to each individual case are usually unique and treated as such.  You will receive compensation for injuries caused by the accident related to the pain you suffer.  Any financial loss you suffer from the accident, such as loss of working days or bonuses from work you will be able to claim for this also.  Ensure you explain all circumstances to your solicitor in full with as much evidence as possible and you’ll be fully compensated.