Council or Local Authority Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an unjury where the council was responsible we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an unjury where the council was responsible and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming council or local authority injury compensation:

Introduction

Local authorities, commonly known as local councils, are administrative bodies in local government. They provide a wide range of services to local areas including:

  • Sports and leisure facilities
  • Libraries
  • Transport
  • Waste disposal
  • Public areas
  • Schools
  • Social care

Each council is responsible for the regulation and maintenance of these services. They follow strict health and safety regulations in order to protect the general public from harm.

If you have been injured on property owned by a local authority, or while working as an employee of the council, you may be able to make a compensation claim. Quittance's panel of solicitors have significant relevant experience with local council compensation claims and will advise you how best to proceed based on your circumstances.

Man on crutches

Do I have a council or local authority injury claim?

You should be able to make a council or local authority injury claim if your injury happened:

  • within the last three years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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Injury claim eligibility - Common questions

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a council or local authority injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Can I still claim if I didn't report the council or local authority injury?

If you did not report the accident it can make it more difficult to pursue a council or local authority injury claim, but a claim may still be possible. This will depend on the circumstances of your case and on the other evidence available.

How much compensation can I claim for a council or local authority injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your council or local authority injury will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your council or local authority injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after a council or local authority injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a serious ankle injury can be £35,000

For a more minor hand injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £3,000.

However, if you have a serious ankle injury and a more minor hand injury, you would typically receive £35,000 + a reduced percentage of £3,000.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.

What is the average injury compensation for a council or local authority injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following a council or local authority injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your council or local authority injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

Can I claim for prescription costs?

Special damages?are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the council or local authority injury injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.?

Should I set up a personal injury trust?

If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a council or local authority injury injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?

Council or local authority injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a council or local authority injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your council or local authority injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does an injury claim against the council take?

How long it can take to secure compensation from a council can vary significantly.

For example, a simple liability accepted public place accident claim might be concluded in a month or two. If the council or local authority denies liability, it could take substantially longer. Normally a public place accident claim should take 6 to 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, read: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your council or local authority injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Common injuries sustained from local council negligence

In order to claim compensation against a local council, claimants must prove that their injury was sustained as a result of negligence of the local authority. Negligence means that the local authority failed in their duty of care to keep areas safe from risk of injury. Common injuries include:

To prove that the local authority was negligent, evidence such as photographs or witness statements often help with claims.

What can I claim compensation for?

A compensation claim against the local authority take in to account:

  • Pain and suffering caused at the time of the injury
  • Long-term impact on quality of life
  • Psychological damage
  • Loss of income due to incapacitation
  • Any incurred medical costs

Making a claim as an employee of the local council

If someone is injured while in the employment of a local authority, for example a refuse collector, they may be able to make a compensation claim for employer negligence. If they are injured at work, they will need to prove that their employer failed in their duty of care. The council may have failed to give adequate health and safety training, or failed to provide the necessary Personal Protection Equipment.

No win, no fee - the facts

No Win, No Fee is an agreement with your solicitor (known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) that means that you can make a council or local authority injury claim with:

  • no upfront legal fees
  • no solicitor's fees payable if your claim is not successful
  • a success fee payable only if your claim is successful

No Win, No Fee is the most common way to make a compensation claim.

Our no win, no fee guarantee

If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your council or local authority injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my council or local authority injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my council or local authority injury claim?

If your council or local authority injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Is there a catch?

The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.

Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Council or local authority injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a council or local authority injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the council or local authority injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your council or local authority injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a council or local authority injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim council or local authority injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a council or local authority injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert