Compensation Claims Against The Council For Personal Injury Explained

By Stephen Michel. Last Updated 23rd May 2024. Are you looking into making claims against the council for a personal injury? An important factor when making a personal injury claim is proving that your injury was caused by third-party negligence. This article will show how, under specific circumstances, you may be able to sue the council for negligence.

It will also explain the claims process, show what you might be able to claim compensation for and highlight the benefits of using No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors. To learn more, please get in touch with us using the details below.

  • You can call us at any time on the phone number above.
  • You can get through to one of our advisors using the Live Chat function that’s now on your screen.
  • Alternatively, you can contact us via our website.

Roadworks on a public street

Select a Section

  1. Do Local Councils Have A Duty Of Care?
  2. Can I Sue The Council For An Injury?
  3. What Can I Sue The Council For?
  4. How To Make Claims Against The Council For Personal Injury?
  5. How Long Do I Have To Sue The Council?
  6. Average Compensation Payouts For Claims Against The Council For Personal Injury
  7. No Win No Fee Claims Against The Council For Personal Injury
  8. Get More Help With Personal Injury Claims

Do Local Councils Have A Duty Of Care? 

One of the important factors about making council personal injury claims is showing how the council has a duty of care towards you. Certain third parties have a legal obligation called a duty of care. This means that they need to adhere to specific requirements in order to protect your health and safety. As explained below, if they breach this duty and it leads to your injury, you may be able to claim compensation.

Examples of instances where you may be able to make compensation claims against local councils include:

  • Making pothole damage claims if you’ve been injured while driving on a road that is owned by the council. If the council was aware of the hazard but failed to take reasonable steps to fix it, and you were injured as a consequence, you could claim.
  • Injuring yourself on council property due to a negligent oversight on their part, such as you leaning on an unsafe railing. This could lead to you receiving slip trip and fall compensation. 
  • Falling downstairs due to water being on the floor with no warning signs present, even though the council was aware of the spillage.

Later on in the article, we’ll explain the types of environments controlled by local authorities where you may have been injured due to their negligence. We’ll explain how you could make a claim against the council.

It’s important to bear in mind that if the council or local authority is specifically responsible for the upkeep or maintenance of a particular area, you may be able to receive compensation if you are injured there and it isn’t your fault. This includes public spaces, such as parks and roads. The local council’s duty of care, as with any occupier of a particular space, is detailed in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.

Can I Sue The Council For An Injury?

To make claims against the council for personal injury, you need to be able to prove that they’ve been negligent towards you. To do this, as with any personal injury claim, you need to prove the below three:

  1. Firstly, that the third party had a duty of care towards you.
  2. Secondly, that they breached this duty of care.
  3. Thirdly, that this led to your injury.

In this regard, council compensation claims are designed to compensate you because of the pain and suffering caused by their negligence. If you’re able to prove that they’ve been negligent, you could receive compensation for the decline in your quality of life caused by the incident.

It’s important to also bear in mind the personal injury claims time limit. There is a specific time limit for when you can make pothole claims or any claim against the council in most cases. You generally have three years from the date of the injury or three years from the date you became aware of the injury being caused by negligence to begin claims proceedings. This is established in The Limitation Act 1980.

However, there are exceptions to this limitation if you’re under 18 or lack the mental capacity to claim, for example. Call our advisors to find out how long you might have left to claim.

Can You Sue The Council For Stress?

It isn’t just physical trauma that could result in you successfully making claims against the council for personal injury. You can receive compensation for any pain and suffering caused by an incident resulting from third party negligence. This includes both the physical and psychological trauma caused by the local council personal injury.

With that in mind, if you’re looking into slip and fall cases payouts in the UK, for instance, you could’ve been affected by psychological trauma as well as physical injuries. Examples of psychological injuries that can be included in claims against the council for personal injury include anxiety, depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

As with any claim, it’s important that you have medical evidence to show that the incident caused the injuries you’ve suffered. To learn more about what you need to prove this, please contact our advisors at a time that works for you using the details above.

What Can I Sue The Council For?

You may be wondering under what instances can you sue the council for a personal injury. As previously described, with any area owned by the local council, it is ultimately their responsibility to reasonably maintain a secure enough environment to be used safely. Examples of the type of accidents that could potentially lead to you suing the council for negligence include the following: 

  • If you’ve fallen or slipped due to a pavement trip hazard on a public pathway, then the council responsible for this pathway may have breached their duty of care. As part of its duty of care local councils should ensure that pavements that they are responsible for are properly maintained. However, the council must have been aware of this defect and failed to fix it within a reasonable timeframe. If they were unaware of the issue, you might not be able to claim.
  • Certain accidents on public roads could lead to a claim against a council. For instance, you may be claiming for pothole damage from the council due to injuring yourself after driving over a pothole that could have been fixed prior to the incident since the council was aware of it. 
  • If you’re injured by a trip and fall in a playground or public park, you may possibly have grounds to make a claim if the area was poorly maintained. As part of their duty of care, councils should take reasonable steps to ensure public areas they are responsible for are properly maintained. Therefore, identifying and addressing any hazards in the area is a task that should be fulfilled.

For more advice on when suing the council may be possible following an accident that injured you, contact our team of advisors for free today.

How To Make Claims Against The Council For Personal Injury?

Evidence is required when suing the council for injuries you suffered in a place that they’re responsible for. Your evidence will need to show you’ve been diagnosed with the injuries you’re claiming for by a qualified medical professional. It also needs to show that your injuries occurred because the council you’re claiming against breached a duty of care they owed you.

Examples of evidence that could support you when suing the council for negligence include the following:

  • The contact information of any witnesses who can provide a statement about your accident.
  • Photographs of the accident scene and any visible injuries you suffered.
  • Any video footage that shows your accident, like CCTV footage.
  • Medical records that confirm the injuries you suffered in your accident and how they’ve been treated.

If a solicitor is supporting your personal injury claim, then they can assist with gathering evidence. For more advice about gathering evidence, or to ask questions you may have, such as “Can you sue the council after being injured in a public place?”, contact our advisors today.

How Long Do I Have To Sue The Council?

When suing the council for negligence, you must generally start your claim within the three-year personal injury claim time limit. This is set under the Limitation Act 1980. However, in some circumstances, the time limit will be suspended.

These include:

  • If a person is injured prior to turning 18, they cannot sue the council. However, a litigation friend could be appointed to seek council compensation payouts on their behalf. If a litigation friend has not been appointed, once the claimant turns 18, they will then have three years to start a claim against the local council.
  • If a person who lacks the mental capacity to claim suffers an injury, the time limit is suspended unless they regain their mental capacity. However, a litigation friend could be appointed to sue the council on their behalf. If a litigation friend did not start a claim to sue the council, the person would have three years after regaining the capacity to start a claim.

Call our advisors for more information on making compensation claims against local councils.

Personal injury solicitor and client discussing a contract for a claim against a council

Average Compensation Payouts For Claims Against The Council For Personal Injury

You may be wondering what you can claim due to, for instance, making a pothole claim through the council. There are two potential heads of claim when making claims against the council for personal injury. General damages relate to the decline in your quality of life as well as the physical and psychological damage the accident caused. Special damages, meanwhile, relate it to the financial losses caused by the injury.

The Judicial College can help provide you with an idea of what you could receive through general damages. They analyse previous payouts, comparing the amount received to the nature and severity of the injury. Due to this, they’ve created reliable compensation brackets. We use these when on the phone with you, so we’re able to provide you with as reliable a compensation estimate as possible.

Below is a list of injuries and their respective compensation brackets to give you a better idea of what you could receive for claims against the council for personal injury. The Judicial College has provided these figures.

Injury/severityNotesCompensation bracket
Multiple serious injuries plus special damagesIf you're eligible to claim against a council for multiple serious injuries, then you may receive a payout that covers all of these as well as any related special damages, such as loss of earnings.Up to £200,000+
Neck - severe (iii)Chronic conditions and significant permanent disability from fractures, dislocations, tendon ruptures or severe soft tissue damage. £55,500 to £68,330
Brain injury - less severe (d)Although a good recovery, not all normal functioning may have returned. For example, there could be persisting issues with memory, mood and concentration. £18,700 to £52,550
Hand (f) - Severe fractures to fingersSevere finger fractures that could result in partial amputations, along with reduced functioning. Up to £44,840
Back - moderate (ii)Backache caused by ligament and muscle disturbance, exacerbation of an existing back problem from soft tissue injuries, or prolapsed discs. £15,260 to £33,880
Ankle - moderate (c)Less serious disabilities and residual scarring from fractures and/or ligamentous tears.£16,770 to £32,450
Wrist (c)Some permanent disability, such as pain and stiffness from less severe wrist injuries. £15,370 to £29,900
Shoulder - moderateDiscomfort and movement limitations symptoms lasting about two years from frozen shoulder. Non-permanent soft tissue injuries with non-minimal symptoms lasting beyond two years. £9,630 to £15,580
Hip and pelvis - lesser (i)A significant injury does not cause much of a residual disability, such as a fracture that heals completely within two years. £4,820 to £15,370

Council Compensation Payouts – What Else Can You Claim For

The table above does not feature special damages. This is an amount that is awarded according to a claimant’s financial losses, if applicable.

For example:

  • You may have been unable to work due to your injury and lost out on earnings
  • You may have needed to pay for treatment or medication
  • You may have needed to buy mobility aids or pay for your home to be adapted

Our advisers can guide you on what could be included in compensation claims against local councils and inform you about other relevant losses you could claim for.

Please reach out for any questions or to learn more about suing a council for negligence and common council compensation payouts in UK claims.

No Win No Fee Claims Against The Council For Personal Injury

A No Win No Fee agreement is often referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement. You can have an agreement like this with a personal injury lawyer or a solicitor. However, you may not know what the benefits of using their services are.

Benefits include:

  • Not paying legal fees during the claims process. 
  • Legal fees being paid only upon your claim being successful. This means that the personal injury solicitor will take a small, legally capped portion of the compensation to cover these costs. 
  • They don’t request legal fees from you if your claim isn’t successful. 

With that in mind, our advisors offer free legal advice, are available 24/7 and can inform you in just a few minutes if you’re able to claim.

They can then put you through to a lawyer or solicitor who can work with you on a No Win No Fee basis. Their experience could potentially lead to you receiving thousands of pounds in compensation. 

  • You can call us at any time using the phone number above. 
  • You can get through to one of our advisors using the Live Chat function on your screen. 
  • Alternatively, you can contact us via our website.  

Get More Help With Personal Injury Claims

To learn more about making claims against the council for personal injury, use the links below. 

To claim compensation against the council for injuries caused by roads and pavements, view the Government website. 

The Department for Transport provides reported road traffic accident statistics for Great Britain. View their website to learn more. 

If you’ve suffered a broken bone and would like medical guidance, visit the NHS website. 

Why not check out more of our personal injury claims guides below:

To know more about making claims against the council for personal injury, please contact our team using the details above.