Making a claim for personal injury compensation against a council, local authority, or highways agency isn’t easy when it comes to winning a case. Defects in roads and on paths can appear in such short periods of time, especially during adverse weather conditions, and the duty the council or an authority has isn’t very strict.
But The Injury Lawyers offer a risk free No Win, No Fee guarantee for council claims so read on for how it all works.
Why council claims are normally hard to win!
The Highways Act 1980 puts a duty on the local authority responsible for land to have a system of maintenance and inspection for their roads and pathways. What this means is that they must, at specific intervals, perform an inspection of the area to spot and mark defects to rectify them. Inspections can be done on foot by inspectors, or by drive-by reviews (which aren’t always accurate).
How often they inspect an area is normally down to how busy the area is. For example, a city centre main road may be inspected monthly, whereas a cul-de-sac in the sticks of the countryside may only be inspected annually. So the ranges for inspection periods can be few and far between, and what this means is that if you are injured by a defect that they can prove has appeared between inspection periods, they can defend the claim.
For example – you trip today on a pothole. The road you are on is inspected every six months and the last inspection was less than four months ago. If their inspection records state that your pothole was not present on the last inspection date (its appeared between then and now) they can defend the claim. The next inspection isn’t due for a further couple of months, so they can use their special defence under Section 58 of the Act which pretty much absolves them of any liability to compensate you.
If they have evidence to prove their inspection system is adhered to and is fair for the area, they will very easily defend your claim. It doesn’t matter how badly injured you are, it’s all down to the inspection systems.
Many people say this isn’t fair – but if you think it from the perspective of the authorities, it isn’t feasible to be constantly watching all of the highways, roads and paths all of the time.
So how do I win a claim?
Well there are other factors to take in to account. If we could get evidence that the defect has been present before the last inspection period, and was classed as reasonably dangerous at that point, we could smash their defence. We could try and get evidence from local residents or businesses, or perhaps use Google Street View to have a look as well.
If the defect has been reported, and the authority fails to make good the area within a reasonable timeframe, you can smash their defence as well.
It’s important to get representation from a specialist personal injury law firm like us as there is other stuff we can do as well.
No win, no fee council claims
Even though the claims against a council can be hard to win, we offer a No Win, No Fee guarantee that means you do not get charged if the claim doesn’t win. Even though the claim could be hard to win, it’s still well worth you making the claim as we do all the legwork and you don’t end up at a loss if the case fails to win.
We also offer 100% compensation for council claims too – call 0800 634 7575 for expert legal advice today.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.