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Whose responsibility is the safety of public pavements?


Sometimes it seems that our public roads and pavements are riddled with potholes, posing very serious dangers to the cyclists and pedestrians who have to navigate their bumpy surfaces. With many thousands of miles worth of roads and pavements in the UK, it’s easy to understand how difficult the maintenance of these must be. However, local authorities do have a responsibility to keep us safe, and that includes providing roads and pavements that are free of serious obstacles. If you have been injured due to a trip or fall caused by a pothole, loose manhole cover, or broken paving slab, you may be entitled to claim personal injury compensation from your local authority. There are, however, some situations in which the local authority wouldn’t be responsible.


When is the local authority not responsible for the maintenance of public pavements?

Certain roads in the UK are designated as ‘private roads,’ which means that the responsibility for their upkeep falls into the hands of either the person who owns that road or the people who own the houses which line it. The people who own these roads do not have the same responsibility to make them safe for the public, as you can imagine no one has the responsibility to make their own homes and gardens safe for public use. However, if you have injured yourself on a dangerous private pavement, you may still be able to claim personal injury compensation, depending on the exact circumstances.

The second situation in which the local authority may not be responsible for your injury on a public pavement is when a gas or other maintenance company is working on the road and has created an obstacle. It is their duty to create safe passage for the public, so if you have been injured as a result of their activities, you may be able to claim personal injury compensation from them.


Claiming personal injury compensation

If you’d like to find out more information about personal injury compensation and discuss your particular situation with a qualified advisor, call Accident Advice Helpline today. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and our advisors will be able to let you know exactly who you should claim from, how likely you are to be successful, and how much compensation you could potentially receive. For a very quick guide to your possible eligibility, take our 30-second claim calculator test online.