How to bring a tripping claim

Advice and assistance from Cohen Cramer

Make a tripping accident claim.Mike Massen of Cohen Cramer Solicitors appears on BBC Radio Leeds to discuss public liability claims 8th June 2015

If you have sustained injury and loss as a result of a tripping claim while on public or private land then you may be entitled to claim compensation. To claim compensation you will need to show that the person with responsibility for the property was negligent.

The responsible party may be the local authority if you fall due to a pavement hazard. If you trip over something while out shopping then the shopowners or their landlord may be at fault. It can sometimes be a complex area. That is why you need to expert legal advice when bringing a claim.

What to do if you have a tripping accident

If you have had a tripping accident it is very important that you take photographs of the accident site as soon as possible. The photographs can then be used as a means of identifying the defect that caused you to fall.

You will need to take photographs showing the accident site as well as long view photographs. This will allow the defect to be located with reference to house numbers, street furniture etc. The more images the better as this will help us to put forward a stronger case on your behalf.

When taking photographs of the accident site you should shoot them as follows:

  • 10 meters away so as to allow the location of defect to be determined, it would be helpful if you or another party was stood by the defect so as to give an indication as to location.
  • 5 meters away showing the surrounding area
  • 1 meter with you or another showing how your accident occurred e.g. foot/toes against an aspect of defect that caused you to fall.
  • Close up of defect showing a depth of defect using a ruler or, if not available, a 50p piece.

Overall you should take images that show the location, cause and extent of the defect that caused your accident.

Claim for your tripping accident.

Claim for your tripping accident.

Date stamp the photos if possible as evidence as to when they were taken

How deep does the trip need to be to make a tripping accident claim?

The depth of defect required to be regarded as a hazard is not set in stone and each case turns on its own merit, that said the defect needs to be sufficient so as to present a hazard to the public in general or at the very least to the specific area and demographic e.g. a raised pavement will present a greater hazard if outside a residential facility for the elderly.

It is best if you use a rule to measure the defect, make sure that the measurement is visible in the image.

If the defect is a pothole or similar then take the measurement from a few places to get an overall assessment of the depth of the defect.

If you have someone with you then it would help if you took photographs of you re-enacting the accident, as far as is possible, so as to show the direction of travel, point of contact with defect etc.

In summary the more information you can get the better.

Will my claim succeed?

It is likely that the Council’s lawyers will raise what is known as a S58 defence (S58 Highway’s Act). All roads need to be inspected at least once a year depending on their location. A busy main shopping thoroughfare may be examined every 3 months. A country lane may only be inspected once every 12 months.

If the other side can show, by way of an inspection report, that their last inspection was before your accident but within the inspection period they will state that the defect arose since their inspection and before your accident and as they didn’t know about the defect they cannot be responsible for your injuries.

For this reason, it is worth getting details of any houses, shops etc that may be near to the defect so that your solicitor can make enquiries as to how long the defect had been present. Such evidence can rebut the inspection regime and be vital to the success of your claim.

Start your tripping claim today

Such claims are not easy and you need expertise and experience on your side. We can provide the advice and help that you need and on a no win-no fee basis.

To see how we can help get in touch with us today:

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  • Pop your contact details in the box at the bottom of this page and we will get straight back to you.

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