Tripped on a pavement

Many people are likely to have been in this situation, casually walking down a street and then you trip or fall due to a broken or badly placed paving stone. What many people do not realise is that in many cases where a trip is down to a fault with a pavement or road, the local authority or highways agency is often liable for paying a compensation claim. All highway authorities have the legal duty of care to ensure that all footpaths and roads are maintained to standards, these standards have been put in place to ensure individuals cannot be injured due to a fault. If personal injury is caused through any trip or fall there is potentially the opportunity to make a compensation claim.
It must also be considered that not all claims will be successful, a trip or fall on a footpath does not mean that the highways agency is immediately liable. All individuals have the duty of care to ensure they are looking where they are going and putting their feet, even if a pavement stone is raised higher that the rest, a claim may be difficult to pursue.
To ensure that the standards of footpaths and roads are met highways agencies have systems in place to ensure that these are checked on a regular basis. Understandably there are many miles of footpaths and roads, due to this some faults may be missed, or may occur after an inspection. Sites which are renowned for having faults are often checked on a more routine basis. A claim is more likely to succeed if an authority finds they do have faults on their footpaths roads but fail to rectify these problems. Once a fault has been found the authority must fix the problem by law, failing to do so will leave the authority liable. Claims are also more likely to succeed if a trip or fall is reported on a footpath which has had a fault reported by a member of the public; complaints must be followed up by all highways authorities.
Anybody who feels they do have a good chance of making a successful claim should return to the footpath at which the injury happened and photograph the pavement defect. The location and size of the defect should also be noted, the more details which are provided the more likely a claim is to be successful. One way to show how large the defect is, is to take a photograph of the defect with a common item placed next to it, providing an idea of size, for example us a coin or tape measure. A fall which is less than 2.5cm is unlikely to lead to a successful claim although it must be considered that each individual case is judged on its evidence. People wishing to make a claim against an authority are advised to gather evidence as soon as physically possible and also to contact a solicitor or specialist claims firm.