Local councils provide a wide range of different services, everything from waste collection and running schools and libraries to maintaining our roads and organising public transport.
Most people don’t realise that, just like any service or business, councils have a duty of care to the public they serve. When things go wrong, you may be able to claim compensation, most notably if you have suffered an injury because of negligence on the council’s part.
Types of Personal Injury Involving Councils
Facilities that are administered by the local council include their premises, public paths and roads and locations such as libraries and schools. The common injuries that we see include:
- Council employees being injured at work because of poor facilities or limited training or safety measures.
- Trips and falls on pavements that haven’t been maintained properly.
- Cars that have crashed because of badly maintained roads with potholes.
- Injuries that happen on council premises because safety measures have been ignored or not properly implemented.
Councils don’t go out of their way to make their boroughs hazardous for employees or the general public.
Contributing factors may include not having funds to repair roads properly or having badly maintained equipment. Accidents could happen because there has been a significant delay in reacting to concerns (such as a damaged area of paving on the high street) and subsequently putting things right.
In other circumstances, staff may be badly trained or have the wrong safety equipment. You might have a situation where, because of staffing levels, you have untrained employees undertaking tasks they are not qualified for.
Can I Make a Claim for Personal Injury?
The underpinning rule for making a claim is that an injury was caused by the negligence of the council. If they did all they could to prevent the accident and demonstrated their duty of care, or there is shared culpability because you did something wrong, you may not be able to claim at all.
If you have been injured and negligence can be proved by your solicitor, then you may have a case to make a claim. The most common injuries we see either cause pain or suffering, affect the way people can live or have some mental health impact.
Personal injury claims allow you to get compensation for a variety of things. You may have lost earnings or perhaps you are not able to earn to the same potential following the injury. You might need to have adjustments made to your home so you can live independently. Or maybe you require compensation to aid your recovery and for future medical expenses.
What To Do If You Are Injured
The first thing you need to do is get appropriate medical care. If you can, at the time of the accident, collect as much evidence as possible, including photographs of the place where the injury occurred. Of course, if it’s a very serious accident this is not going to be possible.
Whether you are an employee or a member of the public, the same rules apply when it comes to personal injury claims. If you believe that the council or their representatives were negligent, it’s essential to sit down with a solicitor that works with these types of claim. They will give you an initial free consultation and provide you with the advice you need to move forward.