If you have been injured by council negligence, we'll help you move forward
In the United Kingdom, local authorities (LAs) and councils are responsible for maintaining safe environments for the public, including roads, pavements, parks, and public buildings.
By law, local authorities and councils must take steps to ensure the health and safety of anyone with access to these public spaces. If a local council fails in this duty, avoidable accidents will happen. If a member of the public is injured as a result, they may be entitled to claim compensation.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an injury where the council was responsible, we can help. If you were injured on council owned road, pavement, land or property, you may be entitled to make a claim. You can make a compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
This article will provide an overview of the process for making council or local authority injury compensation claims in the UK, including the steps involved and the evidence required to support a claim.
In this article
Am I entitled to make an injury claim against the council?
If you've been injured or diagnosed with an illness in the last three years and it wasn't your fault, you will be able to claim compensation.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
My injury was partly my fault - can I still claim?
Cases where the defendant and claimant are both partly to blame are actually quite commonplace in personal injury claims.
In our 2023 Public Liability Injury Claimant Survey, 17.45% of respondents believed they were partly responsible for their injuries, or were uncertain.
Even if you were partly at fault, you could still be able to claim compensation. 'Split liability' or 'contributory negligence' are terms used to describe these cases.
How long do I have to make a negligent council injury claim?
An injury claim will usually need to be made within 3 years of the date or your accident or injury.
For injured children, a claim can be started by a parent or guardian at any time before they turn 18. Thereafter, the injured individual has until their 21st birthday to make a claim on their own.
How much compensation can I claim for a council negligence injury?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the severity 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 injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
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Updated December 2023
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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 are awarded to compensate you for any costs or losses you've incurred or might incur as a result of your accident. These costs might include loss of wages, commission and any other income income, or any other out of pocket expenses.
Special damages may also be awarded for medical treatments or procedures that you might need to treat your injury, including diagnostic imaging tests, surgical intervention and pain management.
Can I claim for PTS or other psychological trauma?
If you have experienced psychological issues in addition to physical symptoms, you are not alone.
Our 2023 Public Place Injury Claimant Survey reveals the extent of psychological trauma, with 29.03% of claims involving a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.
Injuries in council-managed parks and other public spaces can lead to a distrust of public infrastructure and safety, and agoraphobia (fear of busy, public spaces).
A specialist solicitor will consider psychological harm when calculating your compensation. Psychiatric injuries are recognised in the official guidelines for compensation, and the cost of treatment and other mental health support should be included in your compensation award or settlement.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
What are local authorities?
'Local authorities', commonly known as 'local councils', are local government bodies, providing a wide range of services to local areas including:
- Sports and leisure facilities
- Social care and housing
- Schools and libraries
Councils are also responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of many public parks, pedestrian zones and other spaces open to the public.
Councils' have a legal duty of care
A duty of care is when a person, company or organisation has a legal obligation to safeguard the well-being of others. Schools owe a duty of care to their pupils.
Councils have a legal duty of care for any person present on council owned property or using council facilities.
Each Council must follow strict health and safety regulations in order to protect the general public from harm.
If you are injured as a result of negligence or a breach in the council's duty of care, or while working as an employee of the council, you may be able to make a personal injury claim.
What if I was injured as a council employee?
In the UK, all employers owe a 'duty of care' to their employees. In most cases, the council as your employer will be liable (responsible) if you are injured during the course of your work.
The HSE defines an employer's responsibility as:
"making sure that workers and others are protected from anything that may cause harm, effectively controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace."
In practice, the council has a duty to:
- Keep your workplace clean, tidy and safe.
- Provide you with suitable tools and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to enable you to do your job safely.
- Ensure you are fully trained to safely perform any tasks you are asked to do. You should also be fully trained in the use of tools, equipment and PPE.
Common injuries sustained from council negligence
Common injuries include:
- Slips, trips and falls due to poorly maintained areas
- Injuries in schools due to faulty of poorly maintained equipment
- Road accident injuries resulting from potholes or badly maintained roads
- Injuries at work while in the employment of the local council
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your 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.
How did your injury happen?
Injury claims against a council or local authority are commonly referred to as public liability claims. Click on the icons below to learn more:
How we can help you with your injury claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
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if you can claim
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If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee injury claim, we are open:
Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9:30am-5pm
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
Handled with the utmost professionalism... extremely kind, courteous and empathetic.
Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.