CWU member receives £20,000 compensation for back injury in public car park


Simpson Millar has won £20,000 compensation in a personal injury claim for a Communication Workers Union (CWU) member, who suffered a back injury after slipping on a displaced paving slab in a public car park.

Accident Report Personal Injury Claims

Our client, a Royal Mail employee, was delivering mail in Guildford, Surrey. She was walking across a public car park managed by Guildford Borough Council, when she tripped on a displaced paving slab.

As a result of the trip, our client sustained a soft tissue injury to her back and suffered continuous pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

On our client’s behalf, the CWU instructed Simpson Millar to proceed with a personal injury claim for damages.

Under the Limitation Act 1980, personal injury cases for damages must be brought within 3 years of the incident occurring. After 3 years, the case will have reached its ‘limitation’. Our client’s case was received with only 6 months until the limitation period for a personal injury claim expired, so we worked quickly to initiate the claim.

We wrote to Guildford Borough Council alleging breaches of their duties under section 41 of the Highways Act 1980.

This included causing the paving slab to protrude by 1.5 inches so as to cause a tripping hazard and failing to inspect, maintain or repair the area. We also alleged a failure to warn our client or members of the public by signs, cones or markings, of the presence of the defect.

As our client had a long-standing pre-existing history of back pain, Guildford Borough Council attempted to reduce the compensation payable to our client.

We managed to issue protective proceedings to ensure our client’s claim still remained within the limitation period. We then managed to quickly obtain an admission of liability from Guildford Borough Council.

We successfully argued a substantial compensation award of £20,000 for our client’s back injury, despite our client’s pre-existing back condition.

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