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Home > News > Tripping Accident Compensation After Inspection System Fails

26th August 2008

Tripping Accident Compensation After Inspection System Fails

Our specialist personal injury lawyers were asked for their accident claim advice by our client when she suffered a broken toe in a tripping accident on the public highway. Although this area had been the subject of several inspections leading up to the tripping accident, no effective repair had been carried out.

Tripping Injury

Making her way back to work on the day of the tripping accident, our client lost her footing on a loose paving stone. She fell down heavily on her right knee, and then fell completely forward. She immediately felt pain in her foot, hands and legs. Although embarrassed at her situation, our client found she was unable to get up and was in considerable pain. Passers by assisted her to a seat at a nearby bus stop.

After recovering her composure somewhat, our client then made her way, with some difficulty, to a walk-in-centre. She was initially advised that nothing was broken and that she should rest her foot for a few days. When there was no improvement to her foot after a few days, our client returned to the centre. They referred to the local A & E department and at this point, x-rays confirmed that she had a broken metatarsal on her little toe.

A cast was applied and our client was unable to return to work for 3 weeks. Although advised to take a further 2 weeks after the cast was removed, our client held a senior post in her organisation and felt obliged to return.

On-going Consequences Of The Tripping Accident

Advised that the injury might take some 18 months to return to normal, some 4 years later, our client still suffers symptoms including shooting pains, swelling and dull aching on a regular basis. She is unable to walk or stand for long periods and it has been confirmed by further x-rays that the bone is healed but crooked. It is likely she will continue to have problems with her foot and the injury site is now prone to arthritis.

Court Proceedings Issued For Tripping Accident Compensation

The other side failed to put forward any reasonable proposals for the settlement of our client’s tripping accident claim. Our specialist personal injury lawyers were forced to issue Court proceedings.

At trial, the evidence revealed that although inspections had been carried out several times in the weeks prior to the accident, and that several complaints had been received from the public following those inspections, no repair had been carried out to the defective paving stone.

This tripping accident claim had been brought on the basis that the Council were in breach of Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980, which states that they owe a duty of care to maintain the pathway in a safe condition. They had caused or permitted the pathway to become or remain in a state of disrepair.

Further, evidence suggested that either the inspector had not carried out his inspections correctly, or the lack of paperwork suggested that the inspection system was not carried out with due diligence.

Although she had not measured the hazard at the time of her tripping accident, our client had returned to the scene of the accident some weeks later. The defective paving stone was still rocking when trodden on, and our client estimated that the hazard was now some 2 inches. Although the Judge felt that this had probably become worse since our client’s accident, it would still have been a dangerous hazard at that time and should have been repaired.

Quantum Agreed For Tripping Accident

Quantum had previously been agreed for general damages and the Judge awarded our client special damages and interest, which brought the total compensation sum to almost £5,000.

The other side requested permission to appeal but this was refused.

Compensation Claim

Clear Answers’ lawyers have teams of specialists waiting to help you, should you decide to instruct us to represent you in your claim. We specialise in all types of personal injury claims, especially slips, trips and falls.

Whether you were injured as a result of an accident at work, or whether your accident happened in a public place, if you or a family member has been injured in these circumstances, please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers. Alternatively, you may prefer to complete one of our online compensation claim forms and one of our representatives will contact you as quickly as possible. Our lawyers will be happy to provide you with expert legal advice, to talk you through the claims process in plain English and answer any questions you may have regarding your claim.

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