£7,000 compensation for man who tripped and ruptured muscle


Walking along a road in Surrey, a man returning home from work was surprised to trip over a raised pavement slab. This defect caused him to fall, break his left ankle and injure his right leg.

Slip Trip Fall Hazard

Walking along a pavement

The 46-year old man had just got out of his car and was walking to his house. He crossed over a grass verge and onto the pavement, where he tripped over a raised paving flag.

He staggered and stumbled to regain his balance, but unfortunately fell to the floor, landing on his knees.

Two kindly gentlemen helped him to his feet and he was able to get home. He immediately rang the council and reported the accident. They advised him that someone would come out and look at the area.

Ruptured muscle after he tripped

A visit to the hospital revealed that he had cracked a bone in his left ankle and he was given crutches. Constant pain led to him having an operation for ruptured and torn muscles, and he had to remain in hospital for 3-4 days after surgery.

He was also placed in plaster from his ankle to his hip joint for approximately 1 month and then in a race for a further 2 months. He had 28 staples placed in his leg, which have left a 12 inch scar from above his knee right down to his shin.

After the plaster was removed, the man had to undergo physiotherapy treatment for 3-4 months, whereas his injuries took some 9 months to heal.

As a result of the accident, the man had to take 5 months off work. On his return he had to work reduced hours and was provided with a driver to accompany him as he was unable to drive due to the injury.

During his leave from work he received his basic pay, but missed out on commission. This commission usually formed a substantial amount of his annual earnings.

Danger to pedestrians

On his behalf we wrote to the council as they were responsible for the defect in the pavement - this was a danger to pedestrians, such as the injured man.

The council had let pedestrians use the path when it was unsafe to do so and had failed to take adequate care for their safety.

The local authority used Section 55 of the Highways Act 1980 to argue that they had taken all reasonable care to maintain the highway in a condition that was safe for users. To do this the council needed to show that it regularly and consistently inspected and maintained the road - and have the necessary documents showing this.

Prior to contacting Simpson Millar LLP the injured man's case had been rejected by another solicitor. "However, once we were able to secure witness evidence which rebutted and cast doubt over the council's defence, we issued court proceedings," says Simpson Millar's Alison Mills who acted for the bailiff.

Settled ahead of trial

The matter was settled a couple of weeks before the trial was due to take place. Simpson Millar were successful in achieving a £7,000 compensation win.

"Our client was caused considerable pain and forced off work for 5 months," Alison observed. "We therefore feel we achieved a satisfactory result on his behalf."

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