How To Claim For Falling In The Street

If you sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident on a public path, you may want to know, ‘Can I claim for falling in the street?’ While you are in public places, including on pavements and footpaths, you expect to be reasonably safe due to the legislation in place to protect your safety. 

This legislation also sets the eligibility requirements if you are in a public accident and would like to launch a personal injury claim. Additionally, if you are interested in making a public liability claim, you may like to know how much compensation you could be entitled to. We explain how compensation could be awarded for a successful claim for a public place accident. 

If you satisfy the eligibility criteria and decide to pursue a claim for falling in public, you may like to instruct a personal injury solicitor to help you through the claims process. We conclude this guide with a look at the benefits of having the support of a personal injury solicitor who provides a No Win No Fee service. 

Direct any questions you have about claiming for accidents in a public place to a member of our advisory team. To discuss claiming compensation for a fall:

  • Call 020 8050 2736
  • Fill in our claim online form to request a call back. 
  • Ask about claims for slips, trips and falls in our live chat. 

Cobbled pavement with a person walking on it.

Select A Section 

  1. Can I Claim For Falling In The Street?
  2. What Are Common Causes For Falling In The Street?
  3. How Do I Claim For A Fall In The Street?
  4. How Much Compensation For Falling In The Street?
  5. Can I Claim For Falling In The Street On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  6. Read More About Claiming For A Fall In The Street

Can I Claim For Falling In The Street?

Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 and the Highways Act 1980, pavements and highways used by members of the public must be kept in such a state of repair to keep those using the space reasonably safe. This is the duty of care that is owed to you while on pavements and footpaths. A duty of care is a legal obligation placed on organisations and individuals, to avoid causing foreseeable harm.  If you fall over in the street and sustain an injury, you might have grounds to claim compensation. 

However, if you are asking, ‘Can I claim for falling in the street?’, you must be able to prove that you meet the eligibility criteria. This means that you need to prove that:

  • A party such as the local council or a highway authority owed you a duty of care to ensure your reasonable safety. 
  • They breached this duty, for example, they failed to repair a dangerously sunken pavement slab after it had been reported but not repaired in a timely manner. 
  • You sustained injuries when you fell due to the sunken pavement. 

How Long Will It Take For My Slip Trip And Fall Claim To Settle?

There isn’t a specific amount of time it can take to reach a settlement for your slip, trip and fall claim. This is due to the differences between pavement accident claims. Complexity, evidence and whether the other party accepts or denies liability impacts how long personal injury claims take to settle. 

Additionally, you must file your fall compensation claim within the three-year personal injury claim time limit (there are some exceptions to this). Contact a member of our advisory team to find out more. 

What Are Common Causes For Falling In The Street?

There are various ways a member of the public could suffer injuries in a fall in the street. These include:

  • Uneven and broken pavement. For example, the local council may be aware that a footpath they are responsible for is broken and uneven. As part of their duty of care, they must ensure it is responsibly safe. However, they do not repair it. As a result, you trip and sustain an ankle injury along with a broken wrist. 
  • Slippery or icy surfaces. A supermarket responsible for the pavements on its property should ensure safe passage in icy and snowy conditions, for example, by putting down grit. If it did not act in a timely manner to reduce risks, you could suffer injuries slipping on ice, such as a spinal cord injury or head injury.
  • Protruding tree roots. The local authority or council failed to deal with the issue of protruding tree roots that have pulled up all the pavement area near a park. You could sustain injuries in a trip and fall over the roots suffering multiple facial fractures. 

Not all falls that happen in the street or on damaged pavement will mean that the local authority or another organisation is responsible for the injuries you have sustained. If responsible parties can prove that all reasonable measures were taken to ensure it was not dangerous, then a claim is unlikely.

The local authority may be responsible for repairing broken pavement.

How Do I Claim For A Fall In The Street?

If you can claim for falling in the street, you will need to gather sufficient evidence to submit as part of the personal injury claims process. This needs to prove liability for the injuries you sustained during the slip, trip and fall

Examples of evidence that could be helpful for fall compensation claims include:

  • Witness contact details. If anyone saw you falling over in the street, you could note their contact information so they can give witness statements later in the claims process. 
  • A copy of your medical records. If you seek treatment following a public place accident, you can request a copy of your medical records. These can help illustrate the nature of your injuries and the prognosis. 
  • Copies of correspondence between yourself and the local council or highway authority. For example, if you reported a broken light to the council, you may have a copy of this, which can be used to support your claim. 
  • Accident photographs and videos. For example, if you tripped on an uneven pavement, you could take a photograph of this. Be sure to capture the length and depth of the defect with a measuring ruler. You could also submit photographs of any visible injuries, such as swelling and bruising. Additionally, you can request accident footage, such as from CCTV. 

Call an advisor to discuss what evidence you could submit in support of your public liability claim. 

An evidence folder to support a pavement trip claim.

How Much Compensation For Falling In The Street?

If you sustain injuries falling over in the street and make a successful claim, your settlement could consist of two parts. These are general damages for the physical pain and emotional harm caused by the accident and special damages for any incurred costs. 

 When valuing general damages for a public liability compensation claim, those with the responsibility for doing so, such as legal professionals and personal injury solicitors, may refer to the compensation guidelines published by the Judicial College to help them. 

The top row looks at how compensation could be awarded for very severe multiple injuries and related costs. The following rows provide a few figures from the 17th edition of the JCG that could be relevant to slip, trip and fall injuries. As all public liability claims are different, the table does not represent how much you will get. Additionally, the top row is not taken from the JCG. 

InjurySeverityNotesCompensation Guideline
Multiple Severe Injuries and Special DamagesVery SevereSettlements may compensate for multiple injuries and related costs, such as lost wages.Up to £500,000+
Brain DamageModerately SevereA serious disability with substantial dependence and need for constant professional care.£267,340 to £344,150
Back InjurySevere (ii)A back injury that causes loss of sensation, mobility impairments, sexual difficulties and impaired bladder and bowel function. £90,510 to £107,910
Arm InjuriesPermanent and Substantial DisablementSignificant permanent functional or cosmetic disability has occurred due to serious forearm fractures (to one or both).£47,810 to £73,050
Arm InjuriesLess SevereThe claimant has experienced or is expected to experience a substantial recovery from significant disabilities.£23,430 to £47,810
Wrist InjuriesLoss of FunctionThe claimant has completely lost function in their wrist.£58,710 to £73,050
Wrist InjuriesSignificantThese injuries cause a significant, permanent disability. However, the claimant has some useful movement.£29,900 to £47,870
Injuries to the Hips and PelvisSevere (iii)This guideline includes injuries that cause leg instability and will require a hip replacement (now or in the future).£47,810 to £64,070
Ankle InjuriesSevereSignificant residual disability, such as ankle instability and a severely limited ability to walk has occurred due to injuries requiring extensive treatment.£38,210 to £61,090
Fractures Involving the Nose or Nasal ComplexSerious/MultipleFacial deformity, difficulty breathing or with the nerves and tear ducts and permanent airway damage due to serious or multiple nose fractures.£12,990 to £28,220

Special Damages For A Public Liability Claim

You might also be eligible to recover your out of pocket expenses under special damages. Your public liability settlement may include compensation for your:

  • Loss of earnings. 
  • Care costs, such as a nurse. 
  • Domestic help, such as a cleaner. 
  • Medical expenses, such as medication costs. 
  • Mobility aids purchase or rental. 

As part of the public liability claims process, you will need to submit evidence of your expenses to recover the costs. You could save your payslips, and receipts and request bank statements to help prove your expenses. 

Direct any questions about how personal injury compensation could be awarded to a member of our advisory team. 

Can I Claim For Falling In The Street On A No Win No Fee Basis?

If you are eligible to claim for injuries sustained falling over in the street, you might like to have a public lialibity solicitor to support you through the claims process. One of the personal injury solicitors from our panel could help with your public accident claim. Generally, our panel offer a No Win No Fee service under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

When your personal injury solicitor works under a CFA, they:

  • Don’t charge you upfront for work on your public liability case. 
  • Also won’t take ongoing payments. 
  • Only take a small percentage of your award if your claim for an accident in a public place succeeds. This success fee is legally limited. 
  • Won’t ask for a payment towards their services if your claim fails. 

If you need any further information about public accident claims, please contact one of our advisors. To discuss claiming for a fall in the street:

  • Call 020 8050 2736
  • Request a call back using our claim online form. 
  • Ask, ‘Can I claim for falling in the street?’ in our live chat. 

A client asks a solicitor, 'can I claim for falling in the street?'.

Read More About Claiming For A Fall In The Street

A few more guides about public liability claims:

External resources that might interest you:

  • Details about statutory sick pay from the government, including rates and eligibility. 
  • Guidance on administering first aid from the NHS. 
  • Information about preventing injuries from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. 

If you would like to find out if you can claim for falling in the street, speak to an advisor about a free consultation.