Drain or Manhole Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a drain and manhole cover accident, we can help.

Whether your injuries were caused by a slip or trip, fall or other incident, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about how the accident happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will then identify who is legally responsible. Based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses they will also work out how much money you can claim.

We can help you make an public place accident claim, on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Claiming compensation for a drain or manhole cover injury

If you have slipped, tripped or fell because of a poorly-maintained drain or manhole cover, you may be entitled to claim injury compensation. Your accident must have been caused by someone else's negligence, and must have happened within the last 3 years.

Missing manhole cover

Introduction

Defective, loose or missing manhole covers can cause serious injuries to pedestrians. The most common types of injury caused by manhole accidents are leg injuries, including fractures, breaks and sprains.

Drains and manhole covers must be regularly maintained to ensure they are safe and fit for purpose. If the person or organisation responsible has failed to carry out regular safety checks and repairs, and you are injured as a result, you may have a right to claim compensation.

You will have an even stronger claim if the responsible party was made aware of the defective drain or cover before the accident, and they failed to act promptly to fix the problem or at least put up warning signs or other temporary safety measures.

Who is responsible for drain and manhole maintenance?

Your solicitor will investigate and confirm who is responsible for the drain or manhole cover that caused your injury.

My accident happened on public property

Generally, the responsibility for maintenance of drains and manhole covers on pavements, roads and in other public places falls on the local water and sewerage authority.

Water and sewerage companies serving the UK include:

  • Anglian Water
  • Southern Water
  • Thames Water
  • Yorkshire Water
  • Welsh Water
  • United Utilities

The local authority or water company must carry out regular safety inspections, and carry out repairs and maintenance as appropriate. If the organisation has failed to indentify or promptly repair a trip or fall hazard, they may have breached their duty of care towards members of the public and are therefore negliegent.

My accident happened on private property

Drains on privately-owned land must usually be maintained by the owner or occupier of that property. For example, the freeholder or management company of a block of flats would be responsible if you tripped on a defective drain cover on the property.

It is usually still possible to claim for injury compensation if you were (knowingly or unknowingly) trespassing at the time of the accident.

My accident happened at work

Your employer owes you a duty of care to provide a safe work environment. Employers must take reasonable steps to protect staff from reasonably foreseeable harm, including slips, trips, falls and other accidents caused by defective drains on the property.

If the accident occurred while you were at work, you should report the accident to your manager or employer as soon as you can. Details of the accident should be recorded in your company's accident book.

If you are injured working on someone else's premises, you should also report the accident to them.

Read more:

Work accident compensation claims

Do I have an injury claim?

AN injury claim should be possible if your injury happened:

  • in the last 3 years, and;
  • someone else was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
Check my claim

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 an injury claim on their own behalf.

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

What if I was diagnosed months after the drain or manhole injury?

Depending on how your drain or manhole injury happened, the three-year time limit may only start from the date you are diagnosed and learn of the cause of your injury. In some cases, this can be months or years after the cause occurred.

Making a defective drain or manhole cover injury claim

If possible, photographs of the scene should be taken as evidence of the incident and specifically of the state of repair of the drain or manhole cover.

The names and addresses of any witnesses should be gathered as they may be requested to provide a statement to support the claim.

Do I need to have seen a doctor when I was injured?

Not necessarily. If you have suffered a sprain or soft tissue injury after tripping over a loose drain cover, you may have decided not to see a doctor at the time of the accident.

Your solicitor will review all the available evidence (such as CCTV, witness statements and complaint letters or emails) and confirm whether your claim is likely to succeed. Your solicitor will also arrange for an independent medical assessment.

The results of the examination will be valuable medical evidence should you decide to claim and, more importantly, you may not be aware of the full extent of your injuries.

Slips and trips involving drains can often result in head injuries. Head trauma can often seem minor initially, but without proper treatment and monitoring can have serious consequences. Your solicitor will ensure your compensation reflects the full extent of your injuries.

Read more:

Slip and trip compensation claims

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

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 an 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 severe leg injury can be £75,000

For a less serious hand injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £3,500.

However, if you have a severe leg injury and a less serious hand injury, you would typically receive £75,000 + a reduced percentage of £3,500.

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 an 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 an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

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

Will I have to pay tax on my drain or manhole injury compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following a drain or manhole injury injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.

Can I see the complete Judicial College tables?

The table above (excerpted from the Judicial College Tables) shows the most common drain or manhole injury claims. To see the complete list see: Judicial College Injury Tables.

Calculate my injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an 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 injury claim could be worth now:

How much can I claim?

How long does a manhole cover injury claim take?

How long it can take to process a manhole cover accidents claim can vary significantly.

A simple liability accepted public place accident claim can settle in a matter of weeks. However, if liability is denied a claim can take considerably longer. On average a public place accident claim takes 6 to 9 months. See: How long will my claim take?

How else can a solicitor help me?

Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.

Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and 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.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

Less than 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 decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.

Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.

Read more:

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

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 an 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.

No win, no fee guarantee

If you have been injured and it was not your fault, we can help you make a no win, no fee injury compensation claim.

What do I pay if I win my 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%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. 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.

How we can help you

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.

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
  • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

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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:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.

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:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an injury claim?

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

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

Can I claim for an 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 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

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

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.

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?

I need the money now - what are my options?

If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Chris Salmon, Director

Author:
Chris Salmon, Director