Ms H was walking along a footpath in Chesterfield town centre and was outside Halifax Bank when she came across a drainage channel, around 12cm wide and 12cm deep, that ran across the pavement from the bank to the road. She did not notice that the channel was missing a piece of its cover (see image) and she tripped. She fell and injured her foot and ankle which made it impossible for her to walk further. She called her son who came and took her home.
Trip on defective pavement caused ankle injury
Three days later, the woman’s ankle was still very painful, and she attended her GP, who diagnosed torn ligaments and recommended physiotherapy and a steroid injection. She expected to recover in full around three months after the injection. Ms H contacted Graysons to see if she could make a claim for compensation and Tracey took up her case.
Council responsible for defective pavement
Tracey contacted Derbyshire County Council (DCC) and Halifax Bank, but both blamed each other for the defective pavement. In fact, the council owned the highway (and pavement) and had a statutory duty to maintain it under section 41 of the Highways Act 1980. A complaint about the state of the drainage gully had also been made just a couple of weeks before Ms H’s accident, but no action had been taken. Tracey issued court proceedings against DCC, who, upon receipt of the proceedings made an offer of £5,000 in full and final settlement. Ms H was happy to accept the offer.
If you have injured yourself on a public road or pavement and you feel it was not your fault, contact our personal injury experts now. We will arrange a free of charge meeting in which we can discuss your case and advise on the prospect of success. You can also find out more about accidents on public roads and pavements on our web pages.
Author: Tracey Dickinson, personal injury expert.