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Robert wins compensation for man who was injured on uncovered drain

Graysons’ personal injury executive, Robert Burton, has won a case at court in which his client was injured on an uncovered drain.

tripped on open grate

Robert Burton

Robert’s client was walking along London Road in Medway in the evening.  It was dark and he did not see that there was an uncovered drain in his path.  His foot fell into the open drain and his whole body fell into the wall to the side of it, injuring his right shoulder.

The open drain had no warning signs, and it was not fenced off in any way.

The client saw his doctor who advised using heat spray and taking painkillers, which the client did.  However, after several months, the client was still in pain.

The client worked as a landscaper and found the work very difficult to do after the accident, having to take on lighter duties for a few weeks.  The pain affected him particularly when he was driving his van and he often had to stop and get out to do shoulder exercises.

The client contacted Graysons and Robert took on the case.  He contacted Medway Council claiming that it had been negligent and had breached its duties under the Highways Act 1980 by failing to repair the highway, which was dangerous to pedestrians.

The council denied liability for the accident.  It said the path had been inspected two weeks before and two weeks after the accident, but no report was made of a defect until about a month after the accident, when Southern Water, the body responsible for the drains, made note of it in a report related to a missing cover further down London Road. Photographs given in evidence show a missing cover in the location where Robert’s client fell.  Also, the uncovered drain was visible on Google Street View at the location of the accident during the month of the accident.

The client says that the accident occurred when he was walking to the shop from his ex-partner’s house.  In denying liability, the council said that no defect was present on the day of the accident and it averred that the client must have known about the defect when walking to his partner’s house and said that the defect is the type that can manifest immediately, as opposed to deterioration of the fabric of the highway which tends to occur over time.

The council was unwilling to negotiate on the matter and Robert issued court proceedings. Judgement was given in favour of Robert’s client.  The judge found that the council had not taken action to discharge its duties of care and remedy the defect. Compensation was awarded to Robert’s client.

If you have an accident in a street or other public place, and you think that someone else is to blame, contact our personal injury experts who will discuss your case with you, free of charge, and if we can take on the case, we will offer you a no-win, no-fee arrangement. You can find out more about making a personal injury claim on our web pages.

Author: Robert Burton, personal injury executive.

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