Raised kerb costs NW local authority £5,400 in compensation after hectic negotiations


A man who tripped on a raised kerb and broke his hand has been awarded compensation of £5,400 from Halton Borough Council.

The incident happened on the evening of 8 December 2010 while our client was en route to the credit union building in Widnes: an area administered by Halton Borough Council.

Getting ready to cross St Mary’s Road, our client tripped on the kerb edge, which was raised dangerously higher than the pavement edge.

The trip caused him to fall forward into the road and his ring finger was hurt. Although the basic injury resolved 2 months later, our client was left with a distal radius fracture, only fully recovering almost 2 years after the accident.

The victim was able to provide photographic evidence of the damaged kerb, and we wrote to Halton BC in its capacity as the highway authority responsible for the area.

Among a number of breaches of the Highways Act 1980, the defendant was alleged to have caused or permitted a defect to be present which created a hazard and a danger to pedestrians using the pavement.

Although the council admitted liability, it nevertheless made its own allegations of contributory negligence, insisting that our client should have been looking down at the paving when preparing to cross the road.

In turn we disputed this, but left an opening for negotiations on receipt of medical evidence. Once the evidence was secured, Halton BC made an initial offer of £4,030, less 15% for contributory negligence.

When we rejected this, the offer rose to £5,000, also net of contributory negligence. Once again this was disputed, and compensation was finally set at a gross sum of £6,000, or £5,400 net of 10% contributory negligence.

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