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Claiming for tripping over an obtrusive tree root

You may have heard that you can only take legal action if your accident was caused by another person, so is claiming for tripping over an obtrusive tree root possible? Actually, the answer is yes — at least in some circumstances. It all hinges on where the accident occurred and who was responsible for maintaining that land.

Reasonable expectations

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that a claim for tripping over a tree root in the woods is unlikely to be successful. That’s because you should expect trees there and it’s really up to you to be careful. If you are walking down a public street or through a car park, however, a protruding root might catch you by surprise, so those responsible for looking after such spaces have a responsibility to make sure there are no such hazards.

Who is responsible?

Most of the streets we walk around day to day are looked after by local councils and it is their responsibility to make sure they’re safe — that’s part of the reason we pay Council Tax. Other areas, like car parks or the paths around supermarkets, might be privately owned. The good news is that when you claim with an organisation like Accident Advice Helpline, you don’t need to know who is responsible from the start. Our solicitors will help you find that out. As soon as you pick up the phone, you’ll be able to speak to an advisor who can tell you whether or not your claim is likely to be valid.

Things to do

To increase the chances of successfully claiming for tripping over an obtrusive tree root, you should try to get some photographs of the root that show why it’s a problem. If there are witnesses to you tripping or if you encounter anyone else who has stumbled on the root, get their details for your solicitor. Make sure you see a doctor about your injuries and, if possible, get photographs of them. You may also need to have an independent medical assessment but if so your solicitor will arrange this for you and it will be very straightforward.

Where to begin

If you want to make a claim, the first thing to do is pick up the phone and speak to our staff. They’ll talk through the situation with you and you won’t need to make a decision straight away, though your claim will need to be made within three years of the accident happening. They can give you an idea of how much your claim might be worth, making it easier to decide if it’s worth the effort — and because we operate on a no win no fee basis, you won’t have to pay any money up front.

Should you decide to go ahead, we’ll put you in touch with a solicitor who will look after the whole process for you. We know claiming can be stressful so we always aim to keep things simple and give you all the help you need.