Council And Local Authority Compensation Specialists

100% No Win No Fee Claims
Nothing to pay if you lose.

  • Free legal advice from a friendly solicitor.
  • Specialist solicitors with up to 30 years experience
  • Find out if you can claim compensation Call 0800 073 8804

Start My Claim Online

How Much Can I Claim Against The Council Or Local Authority?

By Cat Way. Last Updated 1st December 2023. In this guide, we’ll explain council compensation payouts and claims. If you have questions about filing a claim against the council for an injury, this guide details everything you should know. And if you want to take legal action, our No Win No Fee solicitors can help.

Under personal injury law, our local councils have a duty of care to take reasonable actions to keep us safe when on the roads, pavements, public parks, municipal buildings, leisure centres and other public places that they are in control of.

However, that duty can be breached. If you’re injured as a result of such a breach, you may have grounds to claim compensation from the local compensation/authority responsible.

To speak to an advisor about claims against a council, you are welcome to contact our team online or on the phone. If our advisors determine you have a strong case, they may be able to connect you with our No Win No Fee solicitors for support. To get free legal advice from us, you can contact us through the following methods:

  • 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

To learn more about council compensation claims, please keep reading. You can also watch our video which gives you the key points from the guide:

Browse Our Guide

  1. What Are The Eligibility Criteria For Suing The Council?
  2. Making A Claim Against The Council For An Injury
  3. Examples Of Council Compensation Claims
  4. What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Claim?
  5. Local Authority And Council Compensation Payouts
  6. Make A Claim Against The Council With Our No Win No Fee Solicitors
  7. FAQs On Council Compensation Payouts And Claims

What Are The Eligibility Criteria For Suing The Council?

To pursue a civil claim against the council, your case must meet the eligibility criteria. This means that you have to be able to prove that:

  • The council failed to uphold their duty of care.
  • This failure caused your accident.
  • You were injured as a result.

A duty of care is a legal responsibility for someone else’s health and safety. Who owes you a duty of care and the steps that they are required to take varies depending on what circumstances you’re in.

For example, if you are a council employee, then the duty of care owed to you is outlined by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA), whereas the council’s duty of care to the general public is outlined by the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 (OLA). We’ll discuss each of these later on in the article.

For more information on suing the council, contact our team of advisors today. Or, read on to learn more about council compensation payouts.

Time Limits For Claims Against The Council

To be able to successfully sue a council for negligence, you will need to start your claim within the time limit for personal injury claims.

This time limit is generally three years from the date of the accident. As some injuries may not be immediately apparent or can develop over time, your time limit can also begin on the date you became aware of your injuries. This will usually be the date you were medically diagnosed and became aware of the relation your injuries have to your accident. This comes from the Limitation Act 1980.

The three year time limit will not apply to you if you:

  • Were under the age of 18 at the time of your accident: in this case, your time limit will begin on your 18th
  • Lacked mental capacity at any point within the three years: in this case, the time in which you were lacking capacity will not be counted against your time limit.

In both situations, a litigation friend could help you by suing the council for negligence on your behalf before you are eligible yourself. Please reach out to an advisor to see if you are within your time limit or see if you are eligible for an exception.

Examples Of Council Compensation Claims

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:

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.

council compensation payouts uk

Advice On Council Compensation Payouts In The UK

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 and 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.

How To Make A Claim Against The Council For Pothole Damage

Potholes are one potential cause of road traffic accidents and pavement accidents. However, you must ensure that you meet the personal injury claims eligibility criteria when suing the council for an injury you suffered due to pothole damage.

Additionally, if you meet the eligibility criteria to make a personal injury claim against the council, you must also be able to prove that the council were aware of this pothole damage and that they did not take steps to resolve the issue within a timely mannerly. Later in this guide, we will discuss the types of evidence that could be used to help support your compensation claim.

You can contact our advisors today if you have any questions about how to make a claim against the council for pothole damage. They could also provide you with free advice and potential council compensation payouts.

Accidents In Schools

Schools have a duty of care to ensure their pupils are reasonably safe whilst on their premises. However, in some instances, the council could be liable for any injuries your child sustains in a school accident. That’s because there are different types of schools that are run by councils, i.e. community schools and some grammar schools.

In these circumstances, the council has a duty to maintain school premises and ensure the health and safety of pupils so far as is reasonably practicable. Should the council fail in their duty of care and your child has an accident and is injured on school grounds, you may have grounds for suing the council for negligence.

Below are some examples of how the council could be at fault for a school accident:

  • Not correcting defective pavement, resulting in a trip accident.
  • Failing to maintain children’s playground equipment, such as fixing steps on a ladder, causing a fall accident.
  • Council staff, such as a cleaner, failing to signpost a recently mopped floor, leading to a slip or fall accident.

If you have other questions about council compensation claims, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of friendly advisors. You can contact us at any time for free.

Accidents In Social Housing

If the council maintains your housing, they have a duty of care to ensure your property meets the standard requirement of living. Furthermore, necessary repairs should be carried out if you report any potential housing disrepairs or hazards to the council.

Failure to do so would be an act of council negligence. If you suffer harm as a result, you may have grounds to begin the council compensation claims process.

Below are some examples of how social housing accidents could happen:

  • Faulty electric wiring causes an electric shock.
  • A loose roof slate falls off and hits you on the head, causing a traumatic head injury.
  • A defective floorboard may result in a trip accident, and you could suffer an ankle injury.

Our expert council housing solicitors could assist you if you are considering suing the council for negligence. Contact our advisors today to see if you could be eligible to work with them.

What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Claim?

When suing the council, it’s important to make sure that you have enough evidence to support your claim. Evidence can help shed light on a number of areas of your claim; for example, the right evidence can illustrate who is responsible for your injuries, how your accident occurred, and the ways in which your injuries will affect you going forward.

Some examples of evidence that you could use to help claim council compensation payouts in the UK include:

  • Photographs: Pictures of your injuries or of the accident site, such as an uneven pavement, could help support your claim.
  • Witness statements: If you take down the contact details of potential witnesses, this allows their statements to be taken at a later date.
  • CCTV footage: If your accident was captured by a CCTV system, you may be able to request this footage and use it as evidence in your claim.
  • Medical records: Your medical records can demonstrate the severity of your injuries, and can provide more information on the treatment you will need in the future. 

These are just a few examples of the kinds of evidence you could use to support a personal injury claim. To learn more about how to sue the council, read on or contact our team of advisors.

Local Authority And Council Compensation Payouts

You might be wondering how much you could receive in terms of council compensation payouts for UK claims. Unfortunately, we can’t offer an average payout. This is because all claims are different. However, we can provide further information on what a payout could consist of, and how they are calculated.

There are two heads of compensation you could receive if you successfully claim against the council. The first is general damages, which covers your mental and physical injuries, as well as the way they affect you going forwards. 

When solicitors calculate this head of claim, they may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is a document that contains guideline compensation brackets for a number of different injuries. You can see some examples of these brackets illustrated below, but please note that these are not guaranteed amounts.

Injury TypeSeverityCompensation BracketInjury Features
Multiple Severe Injuries + Special DamagesSevereUp to £500,000+Severe injuries combined with substantial financial losses, which could include the cost of mobility aids, home adjustments, and lost earnings.
Moderately Severe Brain Damage (b)£219,070 to £282,010There is a severe physical or cognitive disability, with a substance dependence on others and a need for full time care.
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.
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.

What Else Can Council Compensation Payouts Include?

After successfully suing the council for negligence, your settlement may also include special damages. This head of claim refers to the financial losses you experience as a result of your injuries. For example, this head of claim may cover the cost of:

  • Travel
  • Housekeeping
  • Counselling
  • Prescriptions
  • Childcare
  • Lost earnings

However, in order to claim under this heading, you must be able to prove your losses. To do this, it could be helpful to keep any relevant bills, invoices, or receipts. 

To learn more about suing the council for negligence, read on. Or, contact our team of helpful advisors today to get started.

Make A Claim Against The Council With Our No Win No Fee Solicitors

Now that you have more information on how to sue the council, you may be wondering how a solicitor could help you through the council compensation claims process. There are many benefits to working with a solicitor; For example, they can help you strengthen and support your case by gathering evidence, taking witness statements, and ensuring that all areas of your claim are covered.

Our solicitors offer their services under a kind of No Win No Fee arrangement known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). When you enter into this kind of agreement, you aren’t required to pay any upfront fees in order for your solicitor to begin work on your case. Furthermore, you do not need to pay them for their services if your claim fails.

If your claim succeeds, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your compensation award. This fee is a small percentage which is legally capped.

To find out if you could be eligible to work with one of our solicitors, or to learn more about compensation claims against local councils, contact us today:

More Help

FAQs On Council Compensation Payouts And 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 claiming 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.

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.

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

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.

    Contact Us

    Fill in your details below for a free callback

    Meet The Team

    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.