When is a hole not a hole?
If you have a tripping accident its extremely important that you identify the thing that caused you to slip/trip/stumble straight away – it’s usually the thing you didn’t see.
It’s crucial in these cases that the correct defect is identified immediately. As soon as possible you should get in touch with our team and we will come out within 24 hours to measure and photograph the scene. We need to see it, and we need to measure it accurately so we can present your case properly. It’s also essential we see it so we can accurately describe it.
Cases can be won or lost by misidentifying the thing that cause the accident. At Treadstone Law we have unparalleled success at these types of cases.
How to make a successful claim…
1. Check the details
The surface defect that caused the accident must be reasonably serious.
As a rule of thumb, the raised paving stone or pothole needs to measure a minimum of an inch to be considered for compensation. Smaller defects do cause accidents, but the law tends not to hold councils responsible.
2. You only have three years
Secondly, if you want to make a claim, you need to do so within 3 years of the accident.
3. Is it ‘reasonably serious’?
It must have caused a reasonably serious injury – a grazed knee that heals up after a week or two probably won’t get much sympathy from a judge.
4. Keep everything
It’s essential that you see a doctor immediately, that all your injuries are recorded, and that you get a certificate for any time you need off work.
Collect as much evidence of the accident as you can.
Make a note of the weather conditions, street lighting and so on – anything that might have contributed to your fall.
Try and get the names and contact details of any witnesses, and write a letter to your local council to report the accident, keeping a copy for your records.
5. Bad service…
Any firm of solicitors (or god forbid a claims company) that tells you to photograph the site yourself doesn’t know what they are doing. This is the most important part of the case and it’s absolutely essential we see it and give you the right advice. A surgeon wouldn’t ask you to use his scalpel or an accountant his calculator ?
6. Case winning tactics…
Once we have seen it and measured it and photographed it – we can tell you how to win and how to get it repaired. Most solicitors don’t do what we do, that’s why we win the majority of tripping cases and they lose them.
Can you claim?
Your claim is not guaranteed to succeed, though, even if you have a serious fall and you do all these things.
Your claim can be rejected if the council can prove that they have a good system in place to inspect the pavement, and they have carried out these inspections on a regular basis.