Over the last four years it seems two councils in Devon paid out in the region of £2.5m in injury compensation for accidents on their watch. A BBC freedom of information request showed that Torbay Council paid out £400,000 and Plymouth City Council paid out around £2.1m between 2010 and 2013, with the highest single payout around £105,000.
Plymouth City Council said that three out of 10 claims were successful and that they would only pay out if liable. Totals paid ranged from £638,000 in 2011 (79 claims) to around £300,000 in 2012 for 68 claims. A ‘footway surface defect’ in 2010 led to the council’s largest payment of £105,000 for an individual who sustained a back injury. In Torbay, the council’s highest payout was around £37,000 after an individual fell into the harbour, sustaining neck and back injuries. Total pay-outs in 2011 were around £118,000 for 15 claims.
Local authorities will not usually pay out if they can prove they have acted reasonably and a representative from Stones Solicitors in Exeter commented that ‘compensation culture’ was a myth, saying, “I haven’t noticed a huge increase in the number of claims coming through.”
Have you been injured due to council negligence?
If you are injured whilst walking, cycling or travelling on a public road or footpath, or in another public area maintained by the council, you could claim compensation. Your local authority has a duty to maintain roads, footpaths and other public areas to ensure they are safe for use – this could include council-owned play parks. For example, if your child is injured due to a faulty climbing frame at a play park maintained by the council, they could be held liable and you could receive a payout. In any case, it’s a good idea to seek advice from a professional personal injury lawyer.
Claiming compensation for your accident
Whether you have suffered a slip or trip on a public footpath or your child has been injured at a council-owned play park, you could consider claiming compensation – Accident Advice Helpline can help. Our expert team of personal injury lawyers are here to offer confidential, no-obligation advice, so whether you’re sure you want to make a claim or are just looking for more information, we can advise you. We work on a 100% no win, no fee* basis, so there are no expensive upfront fees to pay. Call us today and we’ll usually be able to tell you within 30 seconds whether your claim is viable.
Source: BBC News