Council and Local Authority Claim *
Councils and Local Authorities are administrative bodies in local government who, as part of their jobs, ensure the health and safety of members of the public in the local area. They provide many different services such as schools, maintain public areas, sports facilities and transport services. Each local authority is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their area and the services which they provide. They have a duty of care to members of the public to ensure that their health and safety is a priority. In order to do this, they are expected to carry out frequent assessments of the services that they provide to help them identify and eliminate hazards which could potentially lead to an accident in a public place *. It is also their responsibility to make people aware of these risks and hazards as this could reduce the risk of an accident * occurring. If you have been injured on a property * owned by a council or local authority you may be entitled to make a claim if it was caused as a result of negligent behaviour on their behalf.
How To Make A Claim Against The Council For Negligence
These claims can be made by both members of the public and employees of the county councils. Local authorities also have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of their employees during the course of their work. Outlined in the Safety, Health and Welfare Act 2005 are certain duties which an employer has to ensure that their employees are safe while carrying out their job. These duties include;
- Managing activities in a way which prioritises health and safety
- Providing adequate training and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is necessary to carry out the required work
- Ensuring that the working environment is safe and practical for the work that has to be carried out
- Ensuring there are safety measures in place to help prevent accidents and injuries
Failing to follow these duties can lead to injury * which the employer may be found liable for. It is important that there are also practices and procedures in place on how to deal with various situations such as the occurrence of a workplace accident *.
3 Step Claims Process *
1. Contact a personal injury solicitor *
Firstly, it is important to get the right legal advice. Contact a solicitor as soon as you can to get advice on what to do next. Going it alone, may hurt your claim in terms of timing and settlement. A solicitor will be best placed to help make the right moves at the right time.
2. Provide required information and documentation to your solicitor
Your solicitor will advise you of all documentation that you need. You may be asked to provide the following information:
- Details of how the accident happened
- Pictures of where the accident happened, clearly showing the cause of the accident.
- Details of expenses incurred, such as medical expenses and details of lost wages
Your solicitor will then submit your claim to the Injuries Board. Once the application form is submitted, the Injuries Board has a period of nine months to review your case. Once assessed both you and the council will be notified of the suggested compensation amount to be paid. Recent figures from the Injuries Board show that the average assessment time currently sits at 7.1 months.
3. Focus on your recovery, while we focus on settling your case
While you focus on recovery, your solicitor will work to bring your case to a close and update you along the way so that you know where you stand at every step of the process. You will discuss PIAB settlement suggestion and together decide whether to accept or reject the suggestion. If you accept and the council accepts, your case will be closed. If you or the council decide to reject, then you will move to legal proceedings. Your solicitor will be with you each step of the way to help you navigate this stage.
Note that, most cases are settled before having to enter a courtroom. Many cases are settled in a settlement meeting before having to go to trial.
How long do I have to make a claim against the council?
There are legal time limits involved when you seek a personal injury claim *. These time limits are called the statute of limitations. This statute is an act set in place to highlight the length of time a person has to bring a claim forward following an accident.
Generally, a person has two years less a day from the date of knowledge to bring a claim forward.
Any claim that is made after the two-year period from the date of incident/date of knowledge is said to be statute-barred. This means that the claim is no longer actionable.
Please note that this may not be the case, depending on your circumstances. If you are unsure about how long you have left to make a claim, contact a personal injury solicitor * to learn more.
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cuts and lacerations
- Injuries to the legs and feet
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back injury
- Head Injuries
- Neck injuries
- Ankle injuries
City councils have a responsibility to make people aware of any potential hazards which could potentially cause an accident. Adequate signage should be in place if there is maintenance work being carried out. Failing to warn people of this potential danger could mean that they do not have enough time to react in this situation and may sustain injuries * as a result.
Poor Road Conditions
Poor road conditions are generally a leading cause of road traffic accidents *. Claims against city councils are commonly made as a result of potholes or uneven road surfaces which are a potential hazard for vehicles. These conditions should be repaired in a timely manner or there should be correct signage in place to make people aware of this until the issue can be resolved. This could lead to injuries such as whiplash or broken bones *. It is important to note that if you come across a pothole that could potentially cause an accident, you should report this to your local council or authority in order to have this repaired.
This is a common cause of accidents in a public place *. Poor maintenance could cause equipment to break, drains and manholes to be left unsafe or could lead to pipes becoming faulty and worn over time. It is important that maintenance is carried out on a regular basis in order to prevent this from happening.
A trip and fall on a footpath * is a regular claim made against city councils where the pedestrian pathways are not maintained as they should and also in cases where repairs are not made to footpaths in a reasonable time after they have been reported to the council.8
Lack of Training
All employees should be provided with the necessary training that is required to carry out their job. This helps to reduce the risk of an accident occurring and allows them to carry out their job in a safe manner. This training should be provided to them by their employers who have a duty of care to ensure their health and safety at all times during the course of their work.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
To talk in more detail about any aspect of this topic, you can contact our injury solicitors * on 01 649 9900 or email email@example.com to tell us about your council and local authority claim *.
With over 30 years’ experience, Tracey Solicitors ensure not to overwhelm you with legal jargon and can provide you with legal advice and guidance with your best interest at heart, in a language that you can understand.