I Tripped Over in the Street, Can I Make a Claim for Compensation?


If you tripped on a raised paving slab and suffered an injury, then you may be entitled to personal injury compensation.


Cleaner Tripped Over

The 59-year-old cleaner was walking down the road. As she did, she tripped on a paving slab and fell over, injuring her wrist when she hit the pavement.

At first, the woman suspected that she had broken her wrist. We arranged for her to receive a medical examination to strengthen her case, we found that it was a soft tissue injury. Soft tissue injuries are still as damaging as breaking a bone but often people do not pursue compensation for them.

Local Authority Responsible

On investigation, we found out it was the responsibility of the local authority to maintain the road that she fell on. They failed to honour the duty they had to the public and in particular the cleaner, which resulted in her injury.

The local authority also failed to put out any signs, notices or barriers to alert the woman to the potential tripping hazard. The failings of the council meant that the area had become dangerous.

Simpson Millar LLP Settles the Case

After contacting the local authority, Simpson Millar LLP received word that they had admitted responsibility for the woman's injuries. However, because her accident happened in the daytime and she had not noticed the defect on the road earlier they said she contributed to her own accident. Contributory negligence means that the person responsible for your accident does not take full responsibility. They take responsibility for a proportion of the incident. In this case, the local authority wanted to reduce their responsibility to the cleaner by 25%, meaning she would only get 75% of the compensation she was owed.

Simpson Millar LLP thought this was too much and negotiated on the woman's behalf. On behalf of the cleaner, we were able to reduce the amount of contributory negligence down to 15%. We advised her that this was not a totally unreasonable offer and that she would receive 85% of any compensation awarded to her because of her accident.

On our advice, the lady accepted the offer of 15% contributory negligence and was awarded £4,000 for her injuries.

Top Tips

  • Take pictures of the place where you fell
  • Follow the advice of your solicitor – contributory negligence may be the best option for you at the time
  • If you have legal expenses insurance attached to something else, such as your home insurance, report the accident to them immediately

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