Personal Injury Compensation Claims – tenacity pays off! £8,500 for pavement fall client

Dated:

We have successfully won a settlement of £8,500 for a client’s Personal Injury Compensation Claim despite her case being somewhat precarious to prove.

But not as precarious as the pavement our client fell onto as a 10 year old child on 15 August 2003, breaking her elbow and suffering months of pain as a result. It was her mother’s view, and ours, that Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council was negligent in not maintaining the pavement properly to prevent this minor fall from resulting in such distressing personal injury.

Many solicitors wouldn’t take on such a case – how do you apportion blame when most would regard this as a simple childhood mishap? Yet we had the tenacity to look into this personal injury compensation claim further, and what we discovered formed the foundations of an eventual very pleasing outcome – and not just for our client.

Our client was enjoying playing out at her grandmother’s home with a friend. During a typically boisterous children’s game, our client clambered over a low wall to drop to the pavement below. Unfortunately, she dropped into an open drain, lost her footing and fell, badly breaking her right elbow.

Pavement that caused personal injury to a child – image

This personal injury caused immediate intense pain, and our client’s mother rushed her to hospital where she had to be treated with morphine and had a plaster cast fitted to her right arm. Surgery was scheduled, then cancelled. It was 48 hours before this young girl in severe pain finally had pins inserted into her broken elbow to aid her recovery.

Her fall on the pavement meant she was in plaster for 6 weeks and had to have physiotherapy for 6 months. She missed 2 weeks of school and could not take part in her favourite PE lessons for 6 months as her arm was still very stiff and weak.

She had great difficulty in carrying her school bag and had to be supplied with a laptop to complete her schoolwork as she is right handed and was unable to write.

Her personal injury accident required 2 operations and many visits to medical professionals, including a Plastic Surgeon. This young girl- now in her teens and, like all girls her age, self-conscious about her appearance - has been left with a noticeable scar around her elbow and doctors cannot say if she might develop arthritis in the joint in later life due to this pavement fall.

Many solicitors would not have taken on this personal injury compensation claim but we swung into action and gathered our evidence. Many neighbours living in the same street as our client’s grandmother had not just noticed but complained to Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council about the defective pavement. But still Barristers were uneasy about taking the case to court – yet we got it through the court doors and on its way to a successful conclusion.

The hole was around 1ft deep and 2ft wide and several residents had suffered minor trips and sprained ankles because of it. It was described as 'an eyesore' and 'an accident waiting to happen' with some residents saying the defect had been visible on the pavement for some 10 to even 15 years.

We gained statements from the Council’s Highways Network Group Manager about the state of the defective pavement but continued with the personal injury compensation claim against Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council because of its failure to maintain or repair the highway, its failure to properly inspect the highway and its failure to respond to concerns and complaints about the dangerous pavement. The Council tried to defend the open drain as 'not a defect but part of the design of the pavement'.

Not only did we secure a welcome personal injury compensation claim payout of £8,500 for our client, the Council soon 'improved' the pavement – adamant that it was not a 'repair' – so that all residents who have complained about or been injured by the defective pavement might now enjoy a trip out locally without a trip that lands them in A&E!

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