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How much compensation can i claim for a Drain or Manhole Accident?

Missing Drain And Manhole Accident Injury Claims

drain and manhole cover accidents

drain and manhole cover accidents

Slips, trips and falls, as well as other injuries caused by missing drain and manhole cover accidents, are more common than you may think in the UK. When you go out for a walk or are on your way to work, you expect to be able to walk up and down the pavements without suffering an injury due to a missing manhole cover, or a drain which has been left open. However, these accidents and injuries can be common.

Problems can occur when a local authority or other responsible party takes too long to repair a defect in the pavement, or when a work crew leave a drain or manhole exposed. The most common injury resulting from this are slips, trips and falls. You may be entitled to slip, trip and fall compensation if a utility company fails to place guard rails when works are in progress or if they do not replace the manhole or drain cover after works are complete (or between work sessions).

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Who Is Responsible For Maintaining Drain And Manhole Covers?

Look down and pavement or road and you will see that imperfections and defects are quite common in the UK. Local authorities, such as councils, assess and repair any imperfections as quickly as they can. A particular concern is always levelling off manhole covers so they are flush with the surrounding pavement and are securely in place. Even with this attention to detail, drain and manhole cover accidents happen on a daily basis and can cause a variety of different injuries.

The answer as to who is responsible for maintaining these covers and ensuring that they are correctly placed depends on where the manhole or drain cover is. If it is a manhole cover for a local water and sewage authority, then repairing, replacing or maintaining manhole and drain covers in public places, then it is their responsibility. If the manhole or drain is on private land, then the owner or occupier of the land is responsible for maintaining the cover.

Drain And Manhole Covers Causing Slip, Trips And Falls

Some injuries caused by drain and manhole cover accidents can be relatively minor, such as bruises, cuts and smaller lacerations or bumps. However, you could also suffer a more major or significant injury. These can lead people to have to change their entire life, working around their injuries. A missing or badly placed drain or manhole cover can cause accidents such as a pedestrian falling into the hole, or a cyclist hitting the cover or hole with their bike. If the cover is on the road, it can even cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle causing a variety of moderate to serious injuries to themselves, other road users or pedestrians.

If you have had a slip, trip or fall on a pavement, street or road due to a missing or badly placed drain or manhole cover, you may be entitled to claim compensation for any resulting personal injuries. Other places where you could have suffered an injury caused by a missing drain or manhole cover include;
Public car parks, supermarket car parks and those for shopping centres,
Hospital car parks and grounds,
Garden centre car parks and grounds,
Leisure complexes (such as bowling alleys, swimming pools and other similar places),

If you have suffered a slip, trip or fall in one of those areas, see our guide to slip, trip and fall injury claims.

Can I Make A Drain And Manhole Cover Accident Claim?

In order to bring a claim after a slip, trip or fall injury following an accident which was caused by a drain or manhole cover placement, there are certain conditions and criteria which must be met. If you wish to bring a claim against a body, such as a council or local authority, you need to meet specific very specific criteria.

Time limits: firstly your compensation claim must be made within three of the date of the accident (or three years from when the injury presented itself). This limit applies if you are 18 years old or over. If the slip or fall happened to a person under the age of 16, this three year period starting from the date of the claimants 18th birthday. If you have any children under the age of 18 who have had an accident, you can make a claim on their behalf.

Defects: if you had a slip or fall due to a drain or manhole without a cover, or where there is a defect, this defect must be at least 1 inch deep. Generally, this is the case due to the depth of the hole it should cover.

Drain And Manhole Cover Accident Claims Against The Council

If you wish to bring a claim against the council, you must have had suffered an injury. Emotional distress or psychological trauma is insufficient for you to bring a case for compensation. If you have been injured in an accident such as this, you must seek medical advice as soon as possible. Take medical notes and if possible or appropriate, take photos of the injury. Having these records will strengthen your case against the council.

If you are unsure whether your injuries are sufficient enough to sustain a compensation claim, talk to the experts at Legal Expert today. We will review your case, your injuries, medical notes and case viability, to establish whether or not you have a case.

As well as taking a photograph of the injuries you have sustained, also take photographs of the manhole, manhole cover, or drain. If possible, use a ruler or other implement to provide scale. It could be that between your accident and the start of your claim this section of pavement, street or the road is repaired.

During your case, the Council will need to show the courts that (under section 58 of the Highways Act 1980) they have an adequate maintenance system in place and that inspections are carried out on streets, roads and pavements on a regular basis.

Drain And Manhole Cover Accidents On Private Property

Your slip or trip could also have happened on private property, such as land now owned by the council or a private house that you were visiting. If you suffered an accident or injury due to a manhole cover or drain here your claim would be against either the landowner themselves or the owner/ occupier of the property. This depends on which party is responsible for property maintenance.

The Next Steps To Make A Manhole Cover Accident Compensation Claim

Reporting the accident: If your accident happened whilst you were at work, the first step is to record your accident in your employer’s accident report book. If possible you should also take photographs of the accident. This helps to build a body of evidence around the incident which can help you claims case at a later stage. In the photo, try to show the general condition of maintenance of the drain or manhole cover.

Witnesses: If there are any witnesses to the accident, whether at work or on the street, ask people for their names and addresses. These may be needed later to provide a witness statement to support your compensation claim.

Medical treatment: as with any accident you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If your injuries are more severe you may need to seek medical advice before the other steps. The medical report will also help to provide evidence if you choose to make a compensation claim in the future. Once you have seen the paramedic, hospital doctor, or GP, you should obtain a copy of the medical report.

If you have a head injury. Slip, trip and fall injuries can sometimes result in head injuries. If you have had a head injury, the trauma might seem minor at first. However, if you do not have the right treatment and are monitored, these accidents can have serious and long-term consequences.

How Much Can I Claim For A Drain And Manhole Cover Accident?

How much compensation you can claim following an accident caused by a missing manhole cover or defective drain can vary due to the severity of your injuries, the long-term prognosis of your condition and how long they will take to heal. The amount you can claim will also be influenced by what caused the accident and even where it took place.

Below we have a table with some of the types of injuries which you may have sustained, and the amounts of compensation which are commonly paid out for these.

InjurySeverityAmountNotes
QuadriplegiaSevere£246,750 - £307,000Also, known as Tetraplegia
Brain damageModerate£32,725 - £166,600Final settlement is affected by the injuries effect upon factors such as concentration, cognitive ability, memory and general senses (sight, hearing etc.)
Brain damageModerate - Severe£166,500 - £214,350Up to and including brain damage which causes partial paralysis.
Neck injuryModerate£6,000 - £29,250Settlement will be dependent upon actual neck damage suffered, loss of movement and pain levels/
Neck injurySevere£34,575 - £112,750Settlement is dependent upon the severity of break as well as other ongoing factors.
Back injuryModerate£9,500 - £21.100Amount is dependent on lasting pain and the severity of the initial damage.
Back injurySevere£29,475 - £122,350Dependent several factors including, amount of pain, severity of damage and long-term effects.

Talk to Legal Expert today to discuss your claim and begin the process of getting you the compensation which you deserve.

What Can You Include In Your Claim?

We will work hard on your behalf to ensure that you get the right amount of compensation for your accident and injury. We will talk through your case with you, ensuring you get the maximum level of compensation to which you are entitled. As well as compensation for the severity of your injury, your claim can also include other financial amounts such as;
Loss of earnings.
Medical expenses, such as private healthcare and medications.
Travel expenses, such as travel to and from medical examinations.

If you receive a letter offering you a settlement directly from the other parties representatives without taking legal advice, be cautious. It can be the case that people often accept compensation amounts which are lower than they would otherwise have been able to get.

No Win No Fee Slip, Trip, And Fall Accident Claims

Also known as a conditional agreement, a no win no fee is a contract between you and your solicitor. It means that if you make a claim which is not successful, you won’t have to pay your solicitor for their work. However, if you do win your claim, your solicitor’s fee will be paid by the person or body you are making a claim against. Generally, this will be their insurance company.

We will take you through the no win no fee process and explain how the agreement works in our initial consultations with you.

How Legal Expert Can Help You

Slips, trips and falls, as well as other accidents and injuries, are much more common than many people think. A simple trip or fall caused by a misplaced or broken drain or manhole cover can result in a variety of different injuries. These injuries can range from the moderate through to the severe. Life-changing injuries can prevent people from working for extended periods of time, if not preventing them from working at all.

Our clients choose to work with Legal Expert due to our professionalism, experience and expertise. Our expert team of solicitors are on hand 24/7 to provide you with initial advice and information. They will begin by reviewing your case in an initial no obligation consultation. This informal talk will help us to establish the basis of your case and whether we think you have a chance of winning. Take advantage of our highly professional compensation claim services on a no win no fee basis. At Legal Expert, we are dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve.

Contact Legal Expert Today To Start Your Claim

Talk to our solicitors today. You can talk to us by calling 0800 073 8804 and speaking to us directly. Alternatively, you can use our online enquiry form to start your conversation or send us an email about your case.

Useful Links

Slips, Trips and Falls
Information from Lincolnshire fire and rescue about slips, trips and falls.

Slip, trip and fall compensation claims
Find out more about how we can help if you have had a slip, trip or a fall and need compensation.

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