Council And Local Authority Compensation Claims Guide

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Learn About Council And Local Authority Compensation Claims

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 23rd May 2024. In this guide, we’ll explain council and local authority compensation claims and payouts. 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 council/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 Council And Local Authority Compensation Claims?
    2. Making A Claim Against The Council For An Injury
    3. Examples Of Council Compensation Claims
    4. What Evidence Is Needed To Support Council And Local Authority Compensation Claims?
    5. Local Authority And Council Compensation Payouts
    6. Make A Claim Against The Council With Our No Win No Fee Solicitors

What Are The Eligibility Criteria For Council And Local Authority Compensation Claims?

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.

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.

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.

Woman recovers from fall in a public area

Examples Of Council Compensation Claims

There are certain accidents that could happen which could potentially lead to council negligence cases being started. If an accident that caused you injuries was the result of a council or local authority breaching a duty of care they owed you, then you may be eligible to start a claim against the responsible party.

Examples of accidents that could possibly lead to you suing the council include the following:

  • You tripped and fell on uneven pavement on a public pathway. The council were aware of this defective paving but failed to fix the issue within a reasonable timeframe, causing you to suffer an ankle injury when you tripped.
  • You had a road traffic accident which was caused by a deep pothole on a public road which a council or local authority is responsible. For instance, you may have been cycling and fell off your bike because of a pothole, even though it has been reported to the council responsible for the road before. This caused you to suffer a shoulder injury.
  • An accident may occur in a public area managed by a council if it’s poorly maintained. For instance, you may have slipped on a spillage in a leisure centre which was not addressed adequately by the council. Or your child may have been injured by playground equipment in a public park because it was poorly maintained.

You can contact our advisors for free today to ask questions you may have, such as “Can you sue the council?” after being injured.

What Evidence Is Needed To Support Council And Local Authority Compensation Claims?

Evidence is required for council compensation claims. When bringing forward your own case, you’ll need to provide proof of your injuries and how they were caused by a local council or authority breaching their duty of care.

Evidence for council claims may include the following:

  • Video footage that shows your accident taking place, such as CCTV footage.
  • Photographs of your injuries and the accident scene.
  • The contact details of any witnesses who can provide a statement about your accident.
  • Medical records that confirm the injuries you’re claiming for and the medical treatment you’ve received for them.

If your claim is being supported by a personal injury solicitor, then they can assist with gathering evidence. To learn more about what evidence could support your claim against the council or a local authority, or how one of our solicitors could help with your case, get in touch with our advisors for free today.

Local Authority And Council Compensation Payouts

You might be wondering how much compensation you could receive if you make a successful accident claim against a council or local authority. 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. Also note that the first entry is an estimated figure that is not based on the JCG.

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.
Brain Damage Moderately Severe£267,340 to £344,150There is a severe physical or cognitive disability, with a substance dependence on others and a need for full time care.
Psychiatric Damage GenerallySevere£66,920 to £141,240Marked problems have contributed to the injured person struggling to cope with education, work and life. As such, the prognosis will be very poor.
HandSerious£35,390 to £75,550Injuries like this reduce the hand to around fifty percent capacity.
WristSignificant Permanent Disability£29,900 to £47,810Injury causing permanent and significant disability where movement of a useful nature still remains.
BackModerate (i)£33,880 to £47,320There 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£19,100 to £39,070
Injuries cause functional impairment. However, major surgery is not required.
Pelvis and HipsModerate (ii)£15,370 to £32,450Injuries 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:

Carousel seats on a swing at a public park

More Help

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.

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    • 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.

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