If I trip on an uneven pavement, can I claim?

Most of us have fallen over in the street at some point in our lives. Often it is because we weren’t looking where we were going, but sometimes it is not our fault. If you fall over because of an uneven or broken paving slap, there is a possibility that you could be entitled to claim for compensation. However, you have to have suffered an injury and you have to establish that someone else is liable for your injury.

Can I claim if I’ve been injured in a pavement fall?

For most people, a slip on a pavement may lead to nothing more than a little embarrassment. Tripping over is never fun. However, you can’t claim for compensation unless you sustained an injury (and hurt pride doesn’t count). Trip injuries are not always evident straightaway though. Sometimes it can take several hours or even days to realise that you have hurt yourself, which is why you should try to ascertain if somebody is liable when you slip over in case you need to seek damages for any injury that presents itself later on.

Who is liable for my personal injury?

On most streets, pavements and paving stones are usually the responsibility of the local authority. Councils have an obligation to ensure that pavements are safe to walk on so if you trip on an uneven paving stone and injure yourself, there is a good chance that you could make a claim for damages.

However, establishing liability isn’t always that simple. An uneven paving stone has to represent a trip hazard, so a slightly raised or uneven slab may not qualify. A general rule of thumb is that a paving stone needs to be raised by more than an inch to be considered a hazard. Furthermore, if you trip on a private road or somebody’s driveway, you will have to make a claim against the person who owns the property.

What should I do to get compensation?

If you do trip on a pavement and suffer an injury, the first thing you should do is try to take a photograph of the offending paving stone, preferably using a ruler to demonstrate that the protruding stone represented a trip hazard. The next thing to do is contact a solicitor as soon as possible. He or she will be able to guide you through the process and help you to ascertain if you have a good case.

 

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