Personal Injury Compensation For Slips, Trips And Falls
Posted on 21st May 2020
It’s a (Concrete) Jungle Out There.
As more areas become developed, housing projects completed, retail parks opened and more footpaths are laid, it increases the prospect that somewhere you pass through in your daily routine is a hazard that can cause you injury. We all seem to be busier than ever, with more places to go to, more things to do and more activities for the family to be involved in. “Concrete Jungle” is a slightly clichéd phrase but it does, we think, go some way to describe the world out there and the various potential dangers to members of the public who simply wish to go about their daily business.
MG Legal are here for when you’re trying to navigate the concrete jungle out there and you do, unfortunately, fall foul of a defect or hazard that shouldn’t be there or should have been repaired.
The most common hazards, those that the Council don’t repair
The most common hazards are, of course, potholes and raised paving stones, but there are countless other dangers which would take a very long time to list.
Everyone knows that the local Council is meant to keep pavements in good condition, indeed they have a duty under Part IV the Highways Act 1980. Many people even know that it is a generally accepted threshold that any defect larger than one inch in depth or height (2.5cm, or roughly the size of a 50 pence piece) it is “actionable” and if you trip over it, the council have a duty to show they have inspected the area recently and that the defect was not there before. If the defect is somewhat transient, or, at least the landowner deem it to be so, they will often look to file a Section 58 Defence- this being Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980. Section 58 is a statutory defence, that allows a council, or highways agency to argue that they have a reasonable system of inspection in place, and that your tripping personal injury, whilst unfortunate, is not caused as a result of the negligent actions of the council, or highway authority.
What if the Council does not own the land?
The same principle applies, with the landowner or occupier (if the land or building is rented) owing everyone a similar duty to ensure there are no obvious hazards and that all reasonable and foreseeable steps have been taken to ensure the premises is safe. This is most often covered by the Occupiers Liability Act 1957.
Sometimes, defects or dangers do emerge and are not dealt with in time and so people can slip, trip or fall and sustain an injury. If this is the case, contact MG Legal and we will be happy to review your incident with a view to taking on your claim on a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement).
A Case Study
MG Legal, your Personal Injury Solicitor in Longridge, was approached by Mr B who had fallen after tripping over a large concrete block left on the pavement during construction work. The concrete block had formed part of the base to a tall floodlight tower illuminating a large public area. The concrete block was around one foot high and had no warning sign, cone or barrier to caution Mr B as to the presence of the defect.
Mr B unfortunately tripped over the block, falling onto his hands and knees, sustaining injuries, including a badly dislocated finger which required Hospital attention.
How did MG Legal help?
MG Legal, your Personal Injury Solicitor in Longridge, accepted Mr B’s claim on a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement) and went to the site of the incident with Mr B to take photographic evidence of the defect. We also obtained a witness statement from an employee at a nearby shop.
MG Legal quickly identified the company who were working at the site and after some investigation work, identified that the local Council were responsible for the renovation work.
We presented details of our client’s claim to the Council, including the photographic evidence and the evidence of the witness. After some initial arguments, MG Legal made it clear that there was no prospect of the Council successfully Defending the claim and around five months into the claim, they admitted breach of duty (in other words, they had been negligence in allowing the concrete block to remain after the floodlight was removed).
How did MG Legal settle the claim?
MG Legal sent Mr B to see a medical expert, an Orthopaedic Surgeon and on consideration of the medical evidence put forward a reasonable offer to the Council. Their response was to make a very low offer, of £2500.00 and to allege contributory negligence against Mr B.
MG Legal again returned and despite our making some very clear and reasonable points, the Council would not see sense. We advised Mr B of his options and he took our advice to issue Proceedings in the County Court.
Why Court Proceedings?
If you have a ‘deadlock’ between two parties who simply cannot find a common point at which to settle a matter, the Court is the last resort. Issue of Proceedings in the County Court is not the same as a Trial, as Trial is the very last stage of Court Proceedings.
With MG Legal, there will always be an expert personal injury solicitor in charge of your case, every step of the way. Often, most Defendants whether Councils, Insurers or in-House Legal Departments will employ file handlers without proper qualifications to run files and so, whilst we may use the best arguments and case-law, these opponents cannot always understand the futility of their position.
The Court proceedings generally force a Defendant to pass the matter to their Solicitor or to instruct one to deal with the matter. Often, this fresh set of more experienced eyes will see the strength of our client’s cases for what it is and then come to the table to settle.
How did Mr B’s case conclude?
Very soon after County Court proceedings were issued, the Council’s Solicitor saw the best way forward was to minimise costs and treat our client’s claim as the more serious injury that it was. MG Legal secured Mr B five times more in Personal Injury Compensation when negotiations were concluded than he would have received if he had settled before County Court proceedings were issued.
Instructing MG Legal
Should you have sustained a Personal Injury, or have any other type of legal matter, please contact MG Legal, your Personal Injury Solicitor in Longridge, to discuss how we can help you.
We aim to accept all Personal Injury matters on a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement) and all other matters on a fixed fee basis wherever possible.
Please get in touch with us at our offices in Garstang, Lancaster or Longridge and we will put you through to the correct department immediately to ensure you receive the advice and representation you deserve.
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