Drain and Manhole Cover Accident Claim *
A drain / manhole cover accident claim arises when a person is injured in a public place * usually where a council or local authority failed to fix a defective or broken manhole cover or drain cover in a reasonable amount of time or where construction workers fail section off areas where they have removed manhole covers or failed to put them back when their work was done.
Most of the time, it is pedestrians who are involved in these accidents but they can also cause damage to vehicles and in some cases, drivers can sustain injuries. It is not uncommon for an employee to injure themselves due to an uncovered manhole or drain where adequate warning signs were not present. If you have sustained an injury following an accident it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible as your medical records will be needed when pursuing legal action.
Who is liable?
When making any kind of personal injury claim * it is important to determine who is liable for the cause of the accident. Following an accident in a public place it is likely that the local Council or Authority is responsible for the cause where the accident happened in a public place *. Councils and local authorities may be held liable in cases where it can be proven that they did not adhere to the duty of care expected of them. They should ensure that they are regularly maintained and check for any potential hazards or issues. Failing to do this may be seen as breach in their duty of care.
It is important to note that it you have sustained an injury on privately-owned land, it is the responsibility of the occupier of the property to ensure that there are no potential hazards which could cause an accident to occur. If it is found that the accident happened as a result of negligent on their part then they will be seen as liable for the accident under the Occupiers’ Liability Act.
If you sustained injuries throughout the course of your work it is likely that your employer may be found liable as they are responsible for your health and safety while at work.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995 states that the occupier of premises owes a duty of care towards any visitors. They should show a reasonable duty of care to ensure that they maintain the premises so that health and safety is the number one priority. They should put necessary precautions in place to make sure that nobody sustains an injury on their property. All occupiers are required to carry out regular maintenance within the boundaries of their property so as to reduce the chances of an accident occurring and to ensure that the site is safe and free from defects. This is known as occupiers’ liability. If an occupier has acted in a negligent manner which has led to the cause of the injury then a claim can be made against them.
All land owners are expected to be aware of any potential hazards and dangers. There should also be necessary precautions in place on how to act on any issues that may arise. If an occupier has failed to maintain a safe environment then they are likely to be seen as liable. It is important to note that, in any case, if it is found that the injured person contributed to the cause of their injuries, through contributory negligence, then they may not be eligible to make a claim.
- Breaks and fractures
- Injuries to the legs and feet
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Cuts and lacerations
- Brain Injury
- Injury to the spine
Improperly placed covers
Covers which are incorrectly placed are a common cause of trip and fall accidents. It is important that these covers are checked regularly to reduce the chances of an injury being sustained.
Unsuitable cover surfaces
It is important that the correct covers are used to reduce the risk of accidents occurring involving both pedestrians and vehicles. It an unsuitable cover is placed on the drain or manhole it is more likely that an accident will occur as the cover will not do the job intended.
Open or unmarked covers
Open drain or manhole covers are the leading cause of this type of accident as people may not be aware of the potential hazard unless they are clearly informed of this. If there are any unmarked or open covers, people should be advised of this. It is important that clear signage is used and that people are given notice of this in good time.
Raised cover surfaces
Raised surfaces are a common hazard associated with trip and fall accidents. People are unlikely to see this small step and may trip and fall leading to injuries being sustained.
Poorly maintained covers
It is up to either the Local Council or land owner to keep up the maintenance of drain and manhole covers. If they are poorly maintained they are likely to become rusty and become a potential hazard to pedestrians.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
If you would like to learn more about drain and manhole cover accident claims * you can contact our personal injury solicitors * on 01 649 9900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential discussion.
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.