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How Much Compensation Can I Claim Against the Council Or Local Authority?

By Cat Soong. Last Updated 6th June 2022. In this guide, we talk about how to make council compensation claims. If you have questions about filing claims against the council for personal injury, this guide details everything you should know.

Council accident claims

Council compensation claims

This guide on making a claim against the council will consider the different situations in which you may have suffered your injury. For example, you may have experienced harm in an accident on council property, travelling on the pavement, or working for the local council.

Suffering a personal injury can be a traumatic experience for any person. Our local councils have a duty of care to keep us safe when on the roads, pavements, parks, municipal buildings and other public places that they are in control of.

However, that duty can be breached. If you’re injured as a result, whether you suffered a slip, trip or fall, sustained an injury in a public park, shopping centre or leisure centre, your claim may be justified.

This guide will provide crucial details on what’s needed to prove a public liability claim against the council, how accidents caused by negligence could happen, and the potential compensation award you could receive. Also, we aim to answer questions for those asking about how suing the council for negligence works. To do this, we’ll look at the steps you can take to build yourself a strong claim.

What’s more, we also provide details on how our No Win No Fee solicitors can help you recover the compensation you deserve without putting yourself at financial risk. To find out more about injury/insurance claims against the council for personal injury or starting a claim today, why not get in touch for free legal advice you can rely on:

  • Call us on 0800 073 8804
  • Use our claim online form to tell us about your local authority claim
  • Or chat with us now using the live chat function on your screen

Find Out More About Council Compensation Claims In The Sections Below

What Are Local Authority Or Council Compensation Claims?

Firstly, you might be wondering ‘what is a public liability claim?’. Essentially, it is a claim made by a member of the public against a person, company or local authority after being injured in a public place.

In cases where you have suffered an injury due to an accident that resulted from the council’s negligence, you may be able to claim against your local council for compensation.

There are various ways in which a council or local authority could be negligent. However, generally, they will have breached the duty of care they owed you causing you to sustain harm in an accident. We have provided examples of this further down in our guide.

There are also certain steps you must take in order to build a valid claim to help you get council compensation payouts. We have explored these in the section below.

Duty Of Care In Council Compensation Claims 

The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 sets out a duty of care for the person in control of a public place. Section 2 stipulates that they must do everything they reasonably can to prevent members of the public from sustaining harm.

The specific responsibilities will vary depending on the public place. However, generally, they should carry out regular risk assessments to check for any potential hazards. If any hazards are found, they must either remove or put measures in place to control the risk.

The local council has responsibilities to maintain areas such as public parks, pavements and some roads. If they found a fault with a maintenance hole and failed to fix it in a reasonable time leading to a member of the public sustaining an injury, they may be liable for the accident.

Examples Of Claims Against Local Councils

When making compensation claims against local councils, you must be able to prove that the injuries you sustained came about due to their negligence. Some examples of how negligence can contribute to accidents and injuries include:

  • Suing the council for uneven pavement: It is your local council’s responsibility to ensure that the pavements are safe. If you trip on an uneven pavement and suffer an injury as a result, the council may be found negligent, and you may be able to make a claim.
  • Suing the council for potholes: If the council is aware of potholes in the road, but the problem remains unsolved, this can cause significant danger to drivers of cars, bicycles and other vehicles.
  • Suing the council for unsafe housing: If you live in a council-owned property such as a council house or flat and they do not take the appropriate steps to ensure it is safe and habitable, this could pose a serious risk to you and your family. For example, mould growing on the walls can cause asthma and other respiratory illnesses if not attended to.

Generally, you can only make a personal injury claim against the council if they have breached their duty of care towards you, and you have been injured as a result. Read on for more examples and information about suing the council for damages, contact our advisors today.

Car Accidents

As part of the Highways Act 1980, the highway authorities are responsible for major roads such as motorways and larger dual carriageways. Whereas, the council or local authority is responsible for smaller roads.

A council may be negligent for a road traffic accident if they failed to fix faulty traffic lights that they became aware of after carrying out a risk assessment. As a result, the traffic lights may have displayed the incorrect information leading to a car accident collision and causing you to experience severe whiplash.

Get in touch with our team for more information on car accident council compensation claims.

Injuries Resulting From Poor Maintenance

Poor maintenance could occur as a result of the council or local authority failing to take practical steps to remove or control any risks they become aware of.

For example, councils are in charge of certain schools and they have a duty to keep the spaces they’re responsible for, safe for their intended purpose.

If they fail to do so, a child could sustain a head injury due to a piece of playground equipment breaking. Alternatively, someone could suffer a facial burn due to a faulty pipe at a council-run school, or someone could break a bone by tripping on uneven pavement.

For more information on suing the council for uneven pavement, contact our team of advisors. They can provide free legal advice and guidance on how to proceed with your claim.

Slips, Trips And Falls

A slip, trip or fall could occur if a pavement has been poorly maintained or there has been no signage placed near maintenance works to warn you of the danger.

As a result, you could sustain a broken foot or broken leg after falling. Contact our team for more information on council compensation claims and suing the council for uneven pavement.

Public Liability Claim Statistics

Data from the Compensation Recovery Unit provides an insight into the number of public liability claims made between 2017-2021. We have used the data to create the graph below.

council compensation claims

As you can see, the number of public liability claims has decreased. However, there are various factors to consider when determining the reason for this change.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that these figures don’t just relate to claims against councils.

What To Do If You Are Involved In An Accident And Need To Claim Against The Council Or Local Authority?

If you are involved in an accident that you believe to be the fault of the council or local authority you may wish to take the following steps to ensure you have a strong case.

  • Gather evidence: Evidence such as witness statements and CCTV footage could highlight whether the council acted negligently.
  • Medical evidence: If you sustain an injury, you should seek medical attention to ensure you receive the correct treatment. Also, medical reports detailing any diagnosis or treatment you received could be used to show the severity of your injuries. They can also highlight that the injuries you sustained were caused by the accident in question.

By taking these steps, it ensures you have evidence to support the events as described by your claim.

Additionally, you may wish to seek free legal advice from our team. Our advisors can provide more information on how to prove compensation claims against local councils.

If you do, you can choose to move forward with our experienced personal injury solicitors. One of our council accident solicitors could represent your council accident claim under a No Win No Fee agreement.

How To Sue The Council For Negligence

In order for council compensation claims to be valid, you must prove that someone acted negligently. When looking at whether negligence occurred, the following three factors will be considered:

  • Whether someone owed you a duty of care
  • Whether they breached the duty of care they owed you
  • If you sustained harm as a result of someone breaching their duty of care

If the three criteria above are demonstrated in your claim against the council, someone’s negligence may have caused the accident in which you sustained harm.

For more information on whether the council was liable for the accident that caused you harm, please get in touch with our team. They can discuss council compensation payouts and the process of suing the council in more detail.

Can I Make Council Compensation Claims If The Accident Happened Over 3 Years Ago?

This is a question we commonly get asked regarding council compensation claims. As per the Limitation Act 1980, personal injury claims, including those made against the council, have a typical limitation period of 3 years.

The three years may begin from the date the accident happened. Or, the date you became aware of someone’s failure causing or contributing to your injuries. However, in some cases, exceptions can be made, for example:

  • Those under the age of 18
  • For anyone who has a reduced mental capacity

For more information on the exceptions to the time limit and whether they could apply to your case, call our team on the number above.

Examples of Council Compensation Payouts for the UK

When seeking council compensation payouts for a personal injury, there are two possible heads of claim:

  • General damages – This relates to the impact of the psychological and physical injuries caused by the incident. Remember that if you’ve suffered multiple injuries from the accident, you could potentially claim for them under the same claim. Factors that can contribute to the amount you could receive includes the severity of your injury, your treatment plan and whether any permanent side effects were caused.
  • Special damages – This relates to any financial losses you’ve experienced due to the injury. Losses you can claim for include loss of earnings, healthcare costs, adjustments required to your home, travel expenses and care costs. Furthermore, you can also claim for future expenses you could experience. For example, if your injury is permanent, you could claim for future loss of earnings due to being unable to work. You would need evidence of these costs if you intend to sue the council for negligence. For special damages, this includes providing receipts, invoices, payslips and bank statements to illustrate the value of the financial losses.

Please bear in mind that, the claims process is different in Scotland and Ireland than in England and Wales. To learn more about potential payouts of council compensation, please contact us for free legal advice using the above details.

How Much Could I Receive From Council Compensation Payouts?

The amount of compensation you could get through successful council compensation claims can vary. Medical evidence may be used alongside the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to assess the severity of your injuries and help value your claim.

We have created a table using compensation brackets set out in the JCG to provide an idea of how different injuries are valued. These values demonstrate potential general damages awards, but it’s important to remember that the JCG only provides guideline compensation brackets. The actual amount you could receive when you claim against the council can vary. This is because every claim is unique. The below compensation brackets from the JCG are taken from the latest edition which is the sixteenth released in 2022.

Injury TypeSeverityCompensation BracketInjury Features
Kidney(a)£169,400 to
£210,400
Permanent and serious damage to both kidneys or where they have both been completely lost.
Psychiatric Damage GenerallySevere£54,830 to £115,730Marked problems have contributed to the injured person struggling to cope with education, work and life. As such, the prognosis will be very poor.
Bladder(c)£63,980 to
£79,930
Serious control impairment alongside pain and incontinence.
HandSerious£29,000 to £61,910Injuries like this reduce the hand to around fifty percent capacity.
Wrist(b)£24,500 to £39,170Injury causing permanent and significant disability where movement of a useful nature still remains.
BackModerate (i)£27,760 to £38,780There are various injuries included in this bracket such as a crush or compression lumbar vertebrae fracture leading to a substantial osteoarthritis risk alongside other issues.
ElbowLess Severe£15,650 to £32,010Injuries cause functional impairment. However, major surgery is not required.
Pelvis and HipsModerate (ii)£12,590 to £26,590Injuries like this usually involve some sort of surgery, such as hip replacement.
Asthma(d)£10,640 to £19,200Relatively mild asthma-like symptoms caused from exposure to harmful vapour.
ShoulderModerate£7,890 to £12,770Frozen shoulder that causes symptoms such as movement limitation and discomfort. Symptoms may continue for around two years.

As you can see, the potential council compensation payouts can vary depending on the specific nature of your personal injury claim. For a free estimation of what your claim could be worth, or to get more information on how to claim against the council, get in touch today.

No Win No Fee Local Authority Or Council Compensation Claims

We understand your injuries may have put you in a difficult financial situation. As a result, you may not want to pursue a claim with legal representation due to the costs often associated.

Instead, you may wish to pursue your claim without a solicitor. In doing so, there is no initial fee. However, as your claim proceeds, it may incur costs such as medical fees or court fees.

As an alternative option, you could work with one of our personal injury solicitors who can offer No Win No Fee services, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

A Conditional Fee Agreement is a contract between you and a No Win No Fee solicitor that provides several benefits, such as:

  • No upfront fee to pay your solicitor for them to begin working on your claim
  • Any ongoing costs that may incur are covered by the agreement
  • For unsuccessful council compensation claims, you won’t pay solicitor fees.

The contract also sets out any fees you’ll need to pay if your claim is successful. If you’re awarded compensation, a legally capped fee will be taken from your overall settlement. The fee is a way to pay your solicitor for the work they’ve done on your claim.

If you wish to claim against the council under a Conditional Fee Agreement with one of our solicitors, see below for how you can get in touch.

Start Your Public Liability Claim Against The Council Today

We hope our guide on council compensation claims has provided the information you need. However, if you need further clarification on anything mentioned in this guide, our team could help.

An advisor can provide free legal advice on your rights following an accident. Also, they can explore the steps you need to take to seek compensation. They could also go through different public liability claims such as housing disrepair claims or suing the council for uneven pavement.

Additionally, they could assess your claim to determine whether you’re eligible to claim. If your case is valid and has a chance of success, they can appoint one of our solicitors to represent your claim.

However, you’re not under any obligation to proceed with this service if you’re not yet ready to claim. For more information, please get in touch on the details below:

  • Call us on 0800 073 8804
  • Use our claim online form to tell us about your local authority claim
  • Or chat with us now using the live chat function on your screen

Helpful Links And Other Resources

Thank you for taking the time to read our guide exploring council compensation claims. We hope you’ve found it useful to learn more about how to claim against the council.

In this section, we’ve included some more of our guides you may find useful.

FAQ’s On Local Authority Claims

See the sections below for answers to commonly asked questions about local authority and council compensation claims.

Can You Sue The Council?

If the council has breached the duty of care they owed you causing you to sustain harm, you could sue the council for negligence. For example, the council may have failed to maintain the safety of the roads in their jurisdiction leaving unmaintained potholes. As a result, you may have sustained a severe head injury in a car accident.

How Long Does A Claim Against The Council Take?

When making a personal injury claim against the council, you will have three years to pursue your claim as per the Limitation Act 1980. The three years may start from the date of your accident or the date that you became aware that the council’s negligence caused or contributed to the harm you sustained. However, there are exceptions so call our team to find out more.

Can You Sue The Council For Stress?

If you suffered stress because the council breached the duty of care they owed you, you may be eligible to receive council compensation payouts.

How To Prove Compensation Claims Against Local Councils

To prove compensation claims against local councils, you can gather evidence to help strengthen your case. This evidence can include things like CCTV footage, witness contact details, and photographs of the injury. For example, if you are suing the council for uneven pavement, you could request CCTV footage of the accident, and take photographs of the uneven pavement.

For more information on how to claim against the council, contact our advisors today.

Please get in touch if you have any further questions regarding council compensation claims.

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