Sidewalks are open to the public (anyone basically), providing people with space to travel. They conform to local building codes and are maintained in a safe condition. Uneven surfaces, cracks, potholes, or debris make sidewalks difficult and dangerous to navigate. If neglected over time, the conditions become more hazardous. Tripping and falling on a sidewalk might not seem like a big deal, but the outcome can be disastrous. No one expects to get hurt while walking on the sidewalk, but it happens. Examples of common injuries include but aren’t limited to:
- Cuts & lacerations
- Strains & sprains
- Broken bones
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
If you’ve experienced a trip and fall, seek medical attention right away. Some injuries take days, weeks even to produce effects. If you don’t go to see a doctor, you risk endangering your long-term health.
Councils And Local Authorities Have a Duty of Care to Make Sure People Are Out of Harm’s Way
Public authorities are subject to the same principles in tort law as private individuals. More exactly, they owe a duty of care, which requires providing protection from harm. People must be kept safe in public places, whether parks, schools, or leisure centers. If the council or local authority has neglected to repair a sidewalk with a cracked surface or loose paving slabs, a personal injury case can be filed. Compensation can be pursued for incurred medical expenses, lost income, pain, and suffering, not to mention other damages. In order to win such a case, it’s necessary to demonstrate negligence.
Even the most cautious person can fall victim to such an incident. While some hazards are unavoidable, nobody should have to sustain severe injuries because of inadequate care in a public place. If there wasn’t anything wrong with the sidewalk and your own negligence led to the accident, it’s impossible to recover anything by taking your case to court. To find out whether you’re within your right to make a claim, reach out to a personal injury solicitor. Not only can they provide sound advice, but they also answer your questions. Injuries caused by sidewalk trips and falls are regrettably an all-too-common occurrence.
You Can Make a Personal Injury Claim As Long as You Meet the Criteria
By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover compensation from the other party responsible. Tripping on the sidewalk doesn’t automatically entitle you to claim compensation. Several requirements must be satisfied to be eligible to make a personal injury claim against the council, as follows:
You Have to Make a Personal Injury Claim Within Three Years of The Date of The Accident
The incident that caused your injuries must have occurred in the past three years to be able to seek compensation. If you have a valid personal injury case, pay close attention to the statute of limitations. As you can see, the law sets a very strict time limit on your right to seek legal action. If you were under the age of 18 when it all happened, the three-year period starts the day when you come of age. When the statute of limitations expires, the courts no longer have jurisdiction. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the claim must have concluded within this timeframe, just that you issue court proceedings.
You Must Have Suffered a Personal Injury
To support a claim of negligence, you must show that you’ve sustained a personal injury. A personal injury is any type of injury suffered in an accident, whether a trip and fall accident, road traffic accident or product defect accident. The rules apply when someone acts in a negligent manner, and that carelessness leads to the harm of another person. You can’t file a claim for something that could have happened. A personal injury solicitor will help you figure out the right course of action. They can take your case on a no-win, no-fee basis.
You Have to Get Prompt Medical Attention After the Accident
As the plaintiff, you have the burden of proving the wrongful conduct of the defendant and the harm caused to you. In this respect, medical evidence is of the essence. If you’ve been injured due to a pothole that is 40 mm deep, it’s a good idea to go see a doctor. Having your injuries looked at by a neighbor, who happens to be a nurse, isn’t recommended. Their word alone isn’t enough. Schedule an appointment with a doctor and get a copy of the medical assessment. The treating physician needs to be a specialist in a relevant field of medicine. If you’ve experienced psychological injuries as well, a clinical psychiatrist will write the report.
How Much Compensation Do You Stand to Receive in A Claim Against the Council or A Local Authority?
We can’t say for sure how much compensation you can receive in your personal injury claim. The compensation amount largely depends on the type of injury you’ve suffered, how serious it is, and the way it’s affected your life. The only thing we can say for sure is that you deserve total and fair compensation for the suffering you’ve endured. More often than not, personal injury claims involve legal intricacies, so hiring a solicitor is the best way of securing the compensation you deserve. The sum awarded will help you get back on your feet. Most importantly, compensating the victim punishes the wrongdoer.
If possible, take photos at the scene of the accident. The pictures will prove that the sidewalk is unsafe for pedestrians. Witnesses can be invaluable during litigation, so you’ll want to call them to testify. Keep any records of your pain and suffering to help your solicitor build a strong case. The more you can do to preserve evidence, the greater the chance of winning the case is. When negotiating the settlement amount, you can include future damages. This way, you’ll be compensated for every valid future injury or loss you’ll sustain. If you’re claiming severe injuries, it would be best to take a break from social media.