Baby is safe after mother-to-be wins settlement for highway tripping accident


A Warwickshire woman forced by pregnancy to delay medical treatment for a highway tripping accident has won her claim for compensation against a local authority.

Pavement Injury Fixed

At around 3pm on 12 October 2009, our client parked her car on Shandos Street. As she got out of the car and walked towards a hairdressing salon, she encountered a large hole in the pavement and tripped. In falling she sustained soft tissue and muscular damage to her right ankle.

Under normal circumstances, our client would have sought immediate medical attention for what proved a painful injury. However, the case was held up by the fact that, because the woman was pregnant at the time, she was advised not to undergo immediate examination or treatment.

The victim nonetheless instructed us to write to the local authority concerned, Warwickshire County Council, alleging breach of statutory duty and various breaches of the Highways Act 1980.

As the highway authority overseeing the area in question, the council is responsible for pavement maintenance and repair. However, on this occasion it had caused a defect to be present which created a danger to anyone using the sidewalk, while leaving the defect unrepaired and clearly failing to take sufficient care for pedestrians' safety.

The matter was further complicated when the defendant proved reluctant to deal with the claim. However, a witness came forward to confirm that she had complained to the council about the condition of the pavement and kerbs some time before this accident occurred. This made it hard for the defendant to argue that it had no prior knowledge of the problem.

Once our client had safely had her baby, we were in a position to conclude the claim and obtain compensation, which was agreed at £1750.

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