How To Sue Your Local Council – A Guide To Claiming Compensation

Have you been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault? Do you have reason to believe that your local council was to blame? If so, there’s a chance that you could be eligible to receive compensation for your suffering.

In this article, we’ll explain how you could access this compensation by making a personal injury claim. To successfully sue your local council, you’ll need a strong set of supporting evidence to prove their liability, which may include photographs of the scene and cause of the accident, witness statements and a medical report from an independent expert. 

how to sue your local council
How to sue your local council

However, making a claim against the local council can be particularly difficult. If you’re worried about the risk involved in making a claim, did you know that having a solicitor handle your case could significantly boost your case’s chances of success? 

By getting in touch with our team today, one of our advisors can give you a free consultation on your situation, offering specialist legal advice and support. What’s more, if they feel that you have grounds to make a claim, they’ll connect you with our panel of personal injury lawyers to begin working on your case immediately.

With years of experience, our trusted panel of personal injury lawyers can work with you to help secure the maximum compensation that you deserve. By expertly navigating the claims process on your behalf on a No Win No Fee basis, you won’t have to pay them a penny if they don’t win your case for you. 

So, with nothing to lose and a payout to possibly gain, why not see what we could do to help you?

Select a Section

  1. How To Sue The Local Council – A Guide To Claiming Compensation
  2. Why Would You Sue The Local Council?
  3. What Is The Local Council’s Duty Of Care?
  4. How Can The Local Council Breach Their Duty Of Care?
  5. Local Council Stats
  6. What Should I Do If I’m Injured In A Public Place?
  7. What Is The Average Payout For A Public Liability Claim?
  8. No Win No Fee Local Council Claims
  9. How To Find A Quality Personal Injury Lawyer
  10. Contact Us About Your Claim
  11. Extra Materials

How To Sue The Local Council – A Guide To Claiming Compensation

In attempts to help you understand how you could be able to sue your local council, we’ll cover some commonly asked questions, such as:

  • How can I sue the local council for negligence?
  • Can you sue the local council for incompetence?
  • Can I sue the council for emotional distress?

Next, to guide you through the process of making a claim, we’ll begin by establishing some fundamental points, including:

  • Why you may want to sue the local council
  • What the local council’s duty of care is
  • How the local council can be in breach of their duty of care
  • What the average payout is for a public liability claim

In addition, we’ll offer our expertise to boost your claim’s chances of success, providing advice on things such as:

  • What you should do if you’re injured in a public place
  • How a No Win No Fee agreement could help you
  • How to find a quality personal injury lawyer to handle your case

Whatever your situation, if you believe that the local council was responsible for your suffering, please continue reading to see how you could make a claim against them for their failings.

In the meantime, by getting in touch with our team today, one of our advisors can give you a free consultation on your situation, offering specialist legal advice and support. What’s more, if they feel that you have grounds to make a claim, they’ll connect you with our panel of personal injury lawyers to begin working on your case on a No Win No Fee basis.

So, with nothing to lose, why not see what we could do to help you?

Why Would You Sue The Local Council?

Have you been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault? Do you have reason to believe that your local council was to blame? If so, there’s a chance that you could be eligible to receive compensation for your suffering.

For a valid claim to be established, the following criteria must be met:

  • The local council owed you a duty of care
  • The local council was in breach of this duty of care
  • This breach caused you to suffer as a result

In simple terms, if the council failed to uphold their duty of care and caused you harm as a result, meaning that your suffering was preventable, then they could be held liable for their negligence.

However, making a claim against the local council can be particularly difficult and liability is often refuted. Some steps that you can take if you fall victim to an incident that you believe the council to be responsible for include:

  • Making a record of the scene of the incident 
    • If a defect such as a pothole caused the incident, it may help to photograph it comparatively to show its size. Using coins or tape measures in the image can help determine its depth.
  • Collecting any witnesses’ contact details
    • These could be used if statements are needed to evidence your case
  • Seeking medical attention for any injuries that you sustained
    • This should make a record of the incident in your medical notes
  • Sourcing a solicitor to handle your case for you
    • A personal injury lawyer could boost your case’s chances of success as well as maximize the compensation that you receive. However, it isn’t a legal requirement to instruct a personal injury solicitor.

Please be aware that personal injury claims have time limits within which victims are entitled to take legal proceedings. Typically, this limitation period is 3 years from the incident date or the date that you discovered that the local council was responsible for your injury. 

To learn more, please get in touch with one of our specialist advisors today for a consultation that you can trust.  Alternatively, please continue reading to learn more about different types of public place accidents that the local council could be liable for.

Pavement Accidents

Have you tripped on a pothole or uneven paving slab while walking down the street? Have you slipped on an ungritted walkway while emerging from a public building? 

Much of local councils’ responsibility falls under highway maintenance, including public roads and pavements. Whatever your situation, if the local council failed to prevent you from harm as their duty of care expects them to, you could be able to make a claim against them for your suffering.

For surface defects, you can typically establish grounds for a claim if they’re more than 40mm in depth. However, if you’re unsure whether you could have a valid claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today so one of our advisors can give you a free consultation on your situation.

Accidents On Public Roads

Have you struck a hazardous pothole while driving along the road? Have you been involved in a road traffic accident caused by a council vehicle?

The Highways Act 1980 outlines responsibilities that the council has in order to maintain the safety of public roads in Britain. Following this legislation, councils can construct a defence for themselves if they can prove that they put appropriate provisions in place to maintain this safety as is reasonably expected of them. 

But this means that these types of claims can be particularly difficult to make. The provisions that must be in place include:

  • Safety measures to tackle adverse weather like ice and snow that could affect surfaces
  • Undertake regular inspections for surface damage and the like in accordance with the volume of traffic and type of use
  • Address and remedy any known potential hazards as quickly as possible, alerting them to road users in the meantime

Leisure Centre And Library Incidents

Have you tripped on a loose gutter at your local swimming pool? Have you slipped on the ungritted staircase of your local library? 

As leisure centres and libraries are also types of council-operated public places, you could be able to make a claim against them if you were injured as a result of their negligence. 

As mentioned above, in order to have a valid claim, the council must have failed to put appropriate provisions in place to maintain your safety. For those in control of public places, this responsibility is outlined by law under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, which you can learn more about in the next section.

What Is The Local Council’s Duty Of Care?

Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, those in control and therefore responsible for managing public places must all follow public liability regulations. If you’ve suffered an injury in a public place incident and believe the council’s failings to adhere to these regulations were responsible, then you could be entitled to compensation for your suffering. 

Public places such as highways (roads), footpaths (pavements), parks, leisure centres and libraries are all operated by the council. Therefore, they are responsible for putting appropriate provisions in place to maintain users’ safety as is reasonably expected by law.

Whatever the circumstances of your public place incident, you could sue your local council providing you have reason to believe that their negligence was responsible for your suffering. 

For some examples of how the council could breach their duty of care, please see the next section or speak to one of our specialist advisors for information and support on your situation.

How Can The Local Council Breach Their Duty Of Care?

Public places such as highways (roads), footpaths (pavements), leisure centres and libraries are all operated by the council. Therefore, they are responsible for putting appropriate provisions in place to maintain users’ safety as is reasonably expected by law.

There are many reasons why the council could be responsible for causing you to suffer, such as:

  • Negligence
    • For example, reports of a surface defect on a public highway may be neglected, resulting in a preventable accident being caused by it
  • Poor maintenance
    • Failing to put safety measures in place like gritting to deal with adverse weather conditions that could make surfaces hazardous

Whatever the circumstances of your public place incident, you could sue your local council providing you have reason to believe that their negligence was responsible for your suffering. 

To learn more about how to sue your local council, please get in touch with one of our specialist advisors today for a consultation that you can trust.  Alternatively, please continue reading to learn more about accident statistics in council-operated public places and what to do if you find yourself in this situation yourself.

Local Council Stats

In this section, we’ll present you with some statistics for accidents in council-operated locations. 

Recently, local councils have been subject to significant funding cuts, making it increasingly difficult for them to properly maintain the public places under their control. In respect to this issue, poor maintenance can often lead to hazards arising, with some examples including:

  • A pothole on a public highway 
  • A defective paving slab on a public footpath
  • A dangerously displaced fence post in a public park
  • A loose handrail outside a public library
  • A cracked floor tile in a public swimming pool

To gain an insight into how different types of accidents in Britain are caused, we can take a look at recent reports from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Some of the most common include:

  • Slips and trips 
  • Being struck by a moving object 
  • Falling from a height

Whatever the circumstances of your public place incident, please continue reading to learn about the steps that you could take if you fall victim to a public place accident, or speak to one of our specialist advisors today.

What Should I Do If I’m Injured In A Public Place?

If you’ve sustained an injury in a public place through no fault of your own, please follow these steps as mentioned above. They should not only benefit your wellbeing but also help you evidence your case and ultimately secure the compensation that you deserve for your suffering.

  1. Make a record of the scene of the incident 
    • If a defect such as a pothole caused the incident, it may help to photograph it comparatively to show its size
    • If the incident took place in a building, then staff may have an accident handbook to fill out to log the accident
  2. Collect any witnesses’ contact details
    • These could be used if statements are needed to evidence your case
  3. Seek medical attention for any injuries that you sustained
    • This should make a record of the incident in your medical notes
  4. Source a solicitor to handle your case for you
    • A personal injury solicitor possesses the knowledge of the law that may make the difference when making a claim.

Whatever the circumstances of your public place incident, you could sue your local council providing you can prove that their negligence was responsible for your suffering. 

To learn more about how to sue your local council, please get in touch with one of our specialist advisors today for a consultation that you can trust. Alternatively, if you’d like some general information about how much compensation you could be entitled to for a public liability claim, please continue onto the next section.

What Is The Average Payout For A Public Liability Claim?

If you’ve been injured in a public place accident and wish to sue the local council responsible for it, you may be wondering how much compensation you could be entitled to. 

Compensation for personal injuries is typically awarded according to two categories of damage; general damages and special damages.

General damages payouts aim to compensate victims for any physical or psychological trauma that they’ve suffered as a result of the council’s negligence. In this respect, anything from the pain of your injury to the emotional distress that you’ve experienced could be covered as part of your settlement.

Payouts for general damages are calculated according to the extent of the claimant’s suffering. To determine this, an independent medical assessment is usually carried out in order to evaluate both the current and future suffering caused. If you decide to find legal help, then this is one of the many things that your solicitor will arrange for you.

To learn more about this, please get in touch with one of our specialist advisors today for a consultation that you can trust. In the meantime, please see the following sections of this article for estimated payout examples and information on how you could claim back any financial shortfall that you’ve been caused by the council. 

Calculating General Damages With A Personal Injury Claim Calculator

Given that personal injury claims calculators can sometimes provide you with generalised compensation figures rather than accurate estimates, we recommend a consultation with one of our specialist advisors instead. Please call today to discuss your circumstances and see how much you could be entitled to.

In the meantime, please see the table below for some example compensation brackets from the Judicial College Guidelines for personal injuries (including psychiatric):

InjuryNotesAward
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (moderate)You will be expected to fully recover without lasting disabilities£7,860 to £21,730
Fracture of index fingerYour fracture will heal fast but grip will be impaired £8,550 to £11,480
Partial or total loss of index fingerThe injury to your index finger will cause disfigurement and dexterity issues£11,420 to £17,590
Minor shoulder injuryInjuries with minor symptoms and that heal fully within a short space of time.Up to £7,410
Back (severe)You will have damage to your spinal cord and nerves, causing severe pain and disability£85,470 to £151,070

Special Damages

Special damages could be claimed to compensate any financial losses that the local council has caused you to suffer or potentially encounter in future, such as:

  • Medical fees
  • Travel fees
  • Care costs
  • Income loss

The aim is to restore you to the financial position you were in before the accident, as well as taking into account any future losses.

To successfully recover special damages, you’ll need to supply evidence, such as bank statements, bills, invoices, and even bus tickets.

No Win No Fee Local Council Claims

Our panel of personal injury lawyers can navigate the claims process on your behalf on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning you won’t have to pay them a penny if they don’t win your case for you. 

For those who are new to No Win No Fee agreements, they’re simply a fairer way of using legal help. There aren’t any upfront costs to pay and there’s no need to worry about hidden fees either. Therefore, you can rest assured that any financial risk typically associated with the process of making a claim is eliminated.

If your solicitor wins your case, then a payment typically referred to as a ‘success fee’ will be deducted from your compensation. However, this is a small percentage of your payout which is capped by law to prevent any nasty surprises. 

How To Find A Quality Personal Injury Lawyer

Making a claim against the local council can be particularly difficult. If you’re worried about the risk involved in making a claim, did you know that having a solicitor handle your case could significantly boost your case’s chances of success? 

At this point, you may be wondering how to find a No Win No Fee personal injury lawyer for you.

Since law firms can operate virtually, there’s no need for you to scour your local area for a solicitor near you. Instead, you can find the best legal help remotely. What’s more, online reviews can help you compare services to see which best suits your needs. 

Why not take a look at our reviews page today to see how well our clients rate us?

Contact Us About Your Claim

By getting in touch with our team today, one of our advisors can give you a free consultation on your situation, offering specialist legal advice and support. What’s more, if they feel that you have grounds to make a claim, they’ll connect you with our panel of personal injury lawyers to begin working on your case right away.

With years of experience, our trusted panel of personal injury lawyers can work with you to help secure the maximum compensation that you deserve. By expertly navigating the claims process on your behalf on a No Win No Fee basis, you won’t have to pay them a penny if they don’t win your case for you. 

So, with nothing to lose, why not see how we could help you?

Extra Materials

Thank you for reading our guide on how to sue your local council. We hope you’ve found it useful.

 

Guide by Mav

Edited by Bil