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Slip, Trip Or Fall Claims

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Tripping or Slipping injuries, after a fall on a pavement, on the road or in a shop, or tripping over an obstacle in public or at work; or slipping on a wet or oily floor. Often, it is on a pavement.

The Law

A pavement does not have to be as smooth as a bowling green and the courts have upheld that the public must expect a certain degree of undulation in paving slabs or tarmac pavements. Indeed, the courts have also decided what actually constitutes a trip edge and the result is approx. 1 inch or 25mm. If a paving slab is less than 1 inch proud of the next slab or piece of concrete or tarmac, then the court will usually decide that the pedestrian has not been paying attention, picking their feet up, or watching where they were going. This is the case even if the defect is difficult to see.

Council Duties

The courts have also decided that every council is under a duty to inspect all of the roads within its borough, some more so than others. City centre pedestrianised areas for example, will need to be inspected more often because a lot of people will be walking from shop to shop, carrying bags, whereas countryside paths may only see a handful of walkers per week. Monthly inspections are recommended for town centres, other busy urban shopping areas perhaps every 3 months, suburbs 6 months or so and rural streets only once a year.

Possible Defences To A Claim

Often housing areas and quiet suburbs are also designated to have only one annual inspection, and it is then for the court to decide whether the council has adopted a reasonable system of inspection. If the last inspection was within a year of the trip, it is likely the court will say that inspection programme was reasonable for that area. The courts will obviously not impose that the council inspect every street in its borough every single week, as it would cost the ratepayers too much and would be too onerous as a duty upon the council.

Other Falls Or Trips

When you visit any place whether as a customer, with work or in a social sense, the place where you visit must be safe and secure. If you are injured because you trip over wires or cables, skid on some grease, wet or oil, slip on ice which ought to have been dealt with or the ceiling falls on you, the building’s owner or occupier has a legal duty to protect you from harm and so you are likely to have a legitimate claim.

Our Service

  • We will arrange to obtain the necessary photographic evidence to prove the state of the pavement, or the existence of the obstacle or whatever it was that caused the trip
  • If you are off-work and worried about your household expenses, mortgage, etc. we will look to ensure you receive an early payment to cover any immediate expenses
  • If you have sustained serious injuries, we can liase with your employers and ensure you have appropriate treatment so as to aid your recovery.