Your local council is responsible for controlling some public spaces you may encounter daily. They have a legal obligation to maintain their premises to a suitable standard and ensure public safety for their facilities. If they breach this obligation, and you suffer a personal injury because of this, you may be entitled to compensation. In this comprehensive guide, we look at public liability claims against the council.
We discuss what types of accidents could lead to an eligible public liability claim against the local council and the types of evidence needed to support your personal injury claim.
Moreover, we discuss the compensation you could potentially receive if your claim is successful and the benefits of pursuing your claim under a No Win No Fee agreement.
If you’d like to make a claim, then we can help. We can review your case for free and advise you on your options. You can contact our team of advisors directly through one of the following free services:
- Telephone 0113 460 1216.
- Fill in your details on our Make A Claim page.
- Try using our live chat box.
Jump To A Section
- Can You Make Public Liability Claims Against A Council?
- Accidents That Could Lead To You Making A Public Liability Claim Against The Council
- Evidence That Could Help In A Council Compensation Claim
- How Much Compensation Could You Receive From A Council Compensation Claim?
- Why Claim Against The Council On A No Win No Fee Basis?
- Learn More About Public Liability Claims Against Councils
Public liability claims against the council may be made if it is proven that the council breached their duty of care which led to your injury.
Accordingly, you must meet the eligibility criteria to prove the council’s negligence. The criteria are:
- A third party (in this case, the council) owed you a duty of care.
- This duty of care was breached due to the council’s actions or inactions.
- Because of this breach, you were injured.
According to the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, any occupier in at least partial control of a public space owes a duty of care. This means occupiers must take measures to ensure the reasonable safety of anyone who uses their space for its intended purpose. Adhering to their duty of care can involve assessing potential risks and minimising hazards to reduce the chance of a member of the public injuring themselves whilst using their space lawfully.
In these terms, reasonable safety relates to the appropriate steps those in control of the space should take to follow health and safety procedures.
Due to this legislation, a public liability claim may be made against the council if you were injured in a space that they control, as long as you can prove they breached their duty of care. We look at this in more detail below.
If you believe your council’s breach of duty was the reason for your personal injury, please continue reading. Or, you can contact us directly to enquire about making a public liability claim today, where our team of advisors can assess your case for free.
Since the local council controls numerous spaces, the types of accidents that could happen due to council negligence differ and vary.
The public spaces that councils usually control include:
- Public parks.
- Sports facilities and leisure centres.
- Public schools.
- Public roads and footpaths.
- Public transport, though not all councils operate the likes of buses and trains
- Rubbish collections and disposals.
The types of accidents that can happen in these spaces are numerous. Here are a few examples of public place accidents and the potential injuries you could suffer, caused by council negligence:
- Injuries caused by faulty facilities. E.g. you or your child could injure yourself whilst using a defective swing in a public park that has not been recently checked.
- Slips, trips and falls. E.g. you trip and fall on a raised slab on a public footpath due to the footpath not being well maintained.
- Cuts and lacerations. E.g. you suffer an injury at a public swimming pool caused by damaged floor tiles that have not been repaired.
- Crushing injuries. E.g. a piece of lifting equipment in a public gym fails because it is faulty, and despite it being reported the issue was not fixed in a timely manner.
Public liability claims against the council can be challenging because it may be difficult to prove their negligence. The council cannot be deemed negligent if a hazard was not reported, as they did not know about the potential risk. Thus, the council may only be found negligent if either they were aware of the hazard but chose not to resolve this issue or warn others in a timely manner. Or, if there are no regular maintenance checks or risk assessments in place.
This is why we at Personal Injury Claims Care are here to make the process as easy as possible. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us today about your claim against the council.
Because proving council negligence can be challenging, gathering as much evidence as possible to support your public liability claim is essential.
Evidence you can gather can include:
- Requesting CCTV footage. This could clearly illustrate how the injury occurred.
- A dated diary that captures your symptoms and treatment since your injury. Recording your emotions can be important in supporting your general damages claim.
- Copies of letters detailing the medical care you have received. Having this can highlight the severity of your injury, further supporting your general damages claim.
- Photographs of your injury and the accident site as it happened. Particularly if the photographs can show the cause of the injury. E.g. where a piece of equipment is faulty.
- Contact details from any witnesses. Witnesses can provide an account of events that supports yours.
Please bear in mind that if you connect with our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors, they can help you gather the evidence you require for your public liability claim. If this help is something you need, please reach out to us today.
The compensation awarded following a successful public liability claim against the council is split into general and special damages. Both categories address different effects your injury has had on you.
Firstly, general damages compensate for the physical and psychological pain you have gone through because of your injury. When claiming compensation for general damages, the following elements are examined:
- The decrease in your quality of life.
- Your loss of enjoyment and happiness.
- The severity of your injury.
- The treatment you need.
- Your expected recovery time.
The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) and an independent medical report obtained as part of the claim are documents that your solicitor may refer to when helping them evaluate your general damages sum.
The JCG contains guideline compensation brackets for all sorts of injuries at different severities. Below, we have included a handful of injuries that may be relevant to an accident in a council-owned space. The figures in the table are, however, just guideline figures, as each personal injury claim is judged on an individual basis.
Below, you can find guideline compensation payouts for personal injury, such as public liability claims against the council.
Injury Severity Compensation bracket Comments
Arm Injuries resulting in permanent and substantial disablement (b) £39,170 to £59,860 Serious fractures in one or both forearms where disability will be permanent.
Simple (d) £6,610 to £19,200 Simple fracture of one forearm.
Hand Total or effective loss of one hand (c) £96,160 to £109,650 Applies to a hand which was crushed and thereafter surgically amputated or where all fingers and most of the palm have been traumatically amputated.
Severe fracture to fingers (f) Up to £36,740 These may lead to partial amputations and result in deformity, impairment of grip, and disturbed sensation.
Moderate (h) £5,720 to £13,280 Crush injuries, penetrating wounds, soft-tissue type and deep lacerations.
Leg Very serious (ii) £54,830 to £87,890 Injuries where multiple fractures have taken years to heal, required extensive treatment, and have led to serious deformity.
Moderate (iv) £27,760 to £39,200 Complicated or multiple fractures or severe crushing injuries, generally to a single limb.
Knee Moderate (ii) Up to £13,740 Lacerations, twisting, or bruising injuries, where there is continuous aching or discomfort, or occasional pain.
Ankle Moderate (c) £13,740 to £26,590 Fractures and ligamentous tears which give rise to less serious disabilities such as difficulty in walking on uneven ground.
Back Minor (c) (i) £7,890 to £12,510 Where a full recovery takes place without surgery within about two to five years.
How Do You Claim Special Damages In A Personal Injury Claim?
Special damages make up for the expenses incurred because of your injury. However, you must have proof of the costs you have incurred.
The financial losses that you can claim back under special damages consist of the following:
- Lost wages.
- Medical care.
- Travel expenses.
- Care cover, such as childcare costs.
- Necessary renovations to your home, such as an added stairlift.
You can prove these expenses by keeping hold of any:
- Travel tickets.
- Bank statements.
Our team of advisors are happy to answer any questions regarding what you could claim compensation for in public liability claims against the council. And below, you can find out more about working with the No Win No Fee solicitors from our panel.
Once we establish that you have an eligible public liability claim against the council, you may want to proceed on a No Win No Fee basis. This can be offered through a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
Many people find benefits in claiming under a CFA. With this type of agreement, you will not have to pay any solicitor fees:
- As your claim progresses.
- If your claim fails.
This means you do not have to pay any money to claim against the council, unless you receive compensation.
In a successful public liability claim, your solicitor will keep a percentage of your awarded compensation as their success fee, which is always capped by law.
If you choose to process your public liability claim with us at Personal Injury Claims Care, we will work hard to ensure your priorities are met. With years of expertise in claiming against the council, our panel of solicitors can provide support through every step of the claims process.
To see if you can make a public liability claim against the council today, get in touch with us through one of our free services:
- Telephone 0113 460 1216.
- Fill in your details on our Make A Claim page.
- Try using our live chat box.
We hope you have found this guide useful. Please see some of our other guides that offer similar content regarding public liability claims against councils:
- Read about how to find serious injury solicitors.
- Learn how to prove a personal injury claim.
- Find out the time limit for making personal injury claims.
Additionally, these other pages may be useful for you if you want more advice about public liability claims against the council:
- Follow the government’s instructions to making a claim against the council.
- Read advice from the NHS if you think you have a broken bone.
- Visit the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) for advice on how to prevent accidents.