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What Is The Pavement Slab Trip Height For A Personal Injury Claim?

By Max Miyagi. Last Updated 9th May 2022. Did you know that if you’ve been injured following a slip, trip or fall caused by a pavement defect, you could be entitled to claim compensation? While some falls result in minor injuries, it’s also possible for the victim to sustain serious injuries which take many months, or longer, to fully recover from. If that’s the case, when would you be entitled to claim and who would you sue? Well, in this guide, we’re going to look at the legislation regarding the maintenance of public highways and the pavement slab trip height that is required before claims can be made.

Pavement trip hazard height guide

Pavement trip hazard height guide

As well as raised paving slabs, a claim might be possible for trips caused by potholes, raised tree roots and broken kerbstones. In general, to be able to seek compensation, the defect that caused you to fall will either need to be larger than 1 inch high or 1 inch deep. Therefore, we’ll look at how you can prove this was the case and then look at when a local authority could be liable for the defect that caused your accident.

Legal Expert offers a no-obligation consultation of any claim you’re considering. Our advisors also provide free legal advice on your options. If your claim has a chance of success, they could refer you to a personal injury solicitor who’ll manage your case on a No Win No Fee basis.

To begin your claim with Legal Expert today, please call us on 0800 073 8804. Otherwise, please continue reading to find out more about when pavement accident claims are possible.

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A Guide To Pavement Slab Trip Hazard Heights For Personal Injury Claims

In this guide, we’re going to answer some common questions about claiming for trips and falls caused by damaged pavements, including:

  • What is the legal height of a trip hazard in the UK?
  • How do I sue a council for injury?
  • How much compensation will I get for a fall?

Councils inspect roads almost every day of the year, identify problems and correct them. However, if a defect is missed and you trip on it and injure yourself, then you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim for compensation. It’s not quite as straightforward as that though. By law, there are a number of things you’ll need to prove when claiming for a fall of this nature which we’ll look at throughout this guide. One of them is the pavement trip hazard height. For personal injury claims, this is generally 1 inch or more. That means a pothole needs to be at least 1 inch deep or a paving slab would need to be 1 inch higher than the rest of the path to have a chance of making a claim.

As we go through this guide, we’ll look at the local authority’s legal obligation to maintain highways. We’ll also look at what injuries can occur following a fall, when you could claim and how much compensation you could be entitled to recover.

Importantly, we’d advise you to start your claim as soon as possible. That’s because there’s a personal injury claims time limit in which you need to make your claim. For adults, this is generally 3-years from the date of the accident. While that might seem a long time, your solicitor will require time to collect evidence. If you’d like to begin your claim today, please call the number at the top of the screen.

What Is A Pavement Slab Trip Accident?

There are many different types of defects on a pavement which could cause you to trip and injure yourself. They include:

  • Raised paving slabs.
  • Raised drain covers.
  • Sunken paving slabs.
  • Damaged or missing kerbstones.
  • Sunken utilities access points.
  • Tree roots growing through the pavement.

To be eligible to claim for a trip on the pavement you’d need to demonstrate that:

  • You were owed a duty of care. This will generally be the case if your accident happened on a public highway.
  • That an accident took place because the party responsible for the pavement breached their duty of care i.e. a defect hadn’t been repaired.
  • And that you were injured as a result of the accident.

If you can prove that the above is true, then one of our personal injury lawyers could help you begin a claim. We’ll explain what evidence you could supply to support a claim later on.

Following any type of fall, there are a number of different injuries that could be sustained. These include:

  • Cuts and bruises.
  • Soft tissue injuries including sprains and strains.
  • Fractured bones.
  • Head injuries (including concussion).
  • Back injuries.
  • Neck injuries.

Later in this guide, we’ll provide some example compensation amounts that could be paid for different types of injury. Don’t worry if you don’t see your injury listed, you could still be entitled to claim. Please call and explain what happened and how you suffered so that an advisor can let you know your options.

How High Does A Pavement Defect Need To Be For You To Make A Claim?

While it’s possible for a pavement defect of any height to cause you to fall and sustain an injury, you’re unlikely to be able to claim compensation unless it is more than 1 inch in height (based on previous decisions by the courts).

As described earlier, there needs to be a difference between the top or bottom of the defect and the normal level of the pavement. That would mean a raised paving slab would need to be at least 1 inch higher than the rest of the pavement before you’d be able to begin a claim.

Pavement Accidents Caused By Poor maintenance

Over the coming sections, we’ll look at claiming because the local authority hasn’t repaired a pavement defect. However, you might also be able to claim compensation if a footpath, pavement or road has been poorly maintained. In such cases, tree roots might’ve broken concrete and caused trip hazards of over an inch to appear. If you’ve tripped on such a hazard, it’s possible you could seek compensation for your injuries. Please call an advisor to discuss your options for a claim of this type.

Who Could A Pavement Trip Hazard Claim Be Made Against?

In most circumstances, your claim will usually be against the local authority. That’s because, according to the Highways Act 1980, they have a duty of care to maintain footpaths, roads and walkways in their area. Therefore, if a defect has not been repaired in accordance with their duty to maintain the road (see the next section for more details), the claim would be made against the local authority.

In some cases, though, you might need to bring a claim against a business or building owner if they are responsible for the land on which you were injured. In some towns, you may see paving stones used to identify the highway boundary. This would mean accidents on one side of the boundary would be against the local authority but if the defect was on the other side, then the landowner would be responsible.

What Responsibility Do Local Authorities Have To Maintain Pavements?

Under the Highways Act 1980, local authorities and councils have an obligation to maintain public roads, walkways and pavements that are contained within their boundaries. The idea is to keep the highway in good condition and free from any obstructions that could cause a member of the public to become injured.

It’s true that no road will ever be completely flat or free from obstruction because, over time, tree roots will grow, and the surface will be subject to general wear and tear. Eventually, they will become uneven. However, the local authority needs to have plans in place to deal with certain defects that occur.

They must have a suitable inspection system in place on all footpaths, roads and pavements. A more frequently used route will need to be inspected more often. For instance, a high street pavement will need to be inspected much more often than a quiet cul-de-sac pathway.

The local council has a duty to then react to any defects identified by inspection or by reports from members of the public. There is a duty to repair any defect within a reasonable timeframe. For busier roads and larger defects, the timeframe for repair will become more urgent.

Could A Local Authority Or Council Defend Against A Pavement Trip Hazard Claim?

Put simply, the answer to this question is yes. In accordance with the Highways Act 1980 (section 58), a council or local authority could argue that they’ve got a good inspection routine for the road on which your accident happened. They could also try to show that they’d inspected the road in accordance with their routine, on a regular basis, and not recorded the defect.

That said, having a specialist personal injury solicitor on your side could mean they’ll argue on your behalf that the inspection routine is inadequate and that you should still be compensated. Please call and speak with an advisor to discuss any concerns you may have about your claim.

Top Tips For Trip Hazard Accident Claims

Evidence is crucial to any successful personal injury claim. You need to be able to prove that the raised paving that led to your injury was a sufficient trip hazard height for you to potentially receive compensation. Therefore, top tips for trip hazard accident claims evidence gathering includes:

  • Photographing the raised paving or trip hazard that led to your injury. You should always use a ruler or tape measure to show the height of the trip hazard.
  • Gathering the contact details of any witnesses. Your solicitor can then contact them to get a statement as part of the claims process.
  • Looking into potentially getting CCTV footage of the incident.
  • Photographing your injuries. This can help depict the severity of them.
  • Receiving treatment from a doctor or other medical professional. Their report of your injuries can be used as medical evidence as it will highlight aspects including your prognosis, your treatment plan and if any permanent damage has been caused.
  • Reporting the incident to the council or other relevant faulting party. However, make sure you have sufficient pictures of the accident site before contacting them as they may fix the defect as a matter of urgency.

If you have any queries about making a fall from height claim, you can contact our team for free legal advice at a convenient time for you. We can tell you in just one phone call if you’re eligible to claim.

Pavement Trip Hazard Accident Compensation Calculator

Now that we’ve looked at personal injury claims for falls caused by defects above the required pavement slab trip height, we’re going to look at compensation amounts. While we can’t provide personalised compensation estimates here, as every claim is different, we can provide the table below. It shows compensation amounts listed in a legal document called the Judicial College Guidelines which is used by lawyers and courts to value claims.

Type Of InjurySeverity CompensationDetailed Information
Neck InjurySevere£42,680 to £52,540Fractures, dislocations and severe soft tissue injuries that result in permanent significant disability and chronic conditions. The amount will be based on factors like time to recovery or managable status and amount of treatment required.
Back InjuryModerate£11,730 to £26,050This bracket covers injuries like muscle or ligament damage causing backache and prolapsed discs requiring laminectomy. The extent of the injury, amount of pain caused and amount of treatment required will help determine the compensation amount.
Back InjuryMinor£2,300 to £7,410Soft tissue injuries where a full recovery occurs, with no surgery required, within 2 to 5 years.
Shoulder InjuryFracture£4,830 to £11,490A fractured collarbone injury. The amount awarded will be based on factors including the extent of the fracture, residual symptoms, level of disability and whether the disability will be permanent or not.
Hip InjuryModerate£24,950 to £36,770This bracket is for a significant injury to the hip but where any disability, even though permanent, will not be major.
Arm InjuryFracture£6,190 to £18,020This bracket covers simple fractures of the forearm.
Wrist InjuryFractureUp to £6,970 This award is generally made for simple Colles' fractures in the wrist.
Leg InjuryFractureUp to £11,110The award in this case is for a simple fracture of the Fibula or Tibia bone in the leg. Ongoing symptoms such as aches, pains and restricted movement will be used to determine the level of award.
Knee InjuryModerate£13,920 to £24,580Injuries such as a dislocation or torn meniscus are covered in this category. Factors such as weakness, wasting and instability will be used to determine the amount awarded.

As you’ll notice, each claim is based on the severity of the injury. Therefore, it’s imperative that your solicitor can demonstrate the exact nature of your suffering. As part of the claims process, our solicitors will arrange for you to visit a local specialist for a medical assessment. During the visit, they will examine your injuries and ask a number of questions. They will then prepare a report which will outline what injuries were sustained, how they’ve affected you and whether they expect any long-term symptoms to persist.

Once you’ve spoken with an advisor, and your claim has been assessed, we should be in a position to provide you with a more accurate compensation estimate.

Special Damages In Pavement Accident Claims

In the previous section, the table listed compensation amounts known as ‘general damages’, which is designed to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by your injuries. On top of that, your solicitor can also ask for ‘special damages’ to be awarded. This is compensation used to cover any financial losses incurred as a result of your injuries. Here are some examples of special damages you could include in your claim:

  • Medical Costs.
    While you’re likely to receive free treatment on the NHS for your injuries, the costs of prescriptions or over the counter treatments can still build up. That means you could include these costs in your claim.
  • Care Expenses.
    If you require the support of a carer while recovering, you could include any associated costs in your claim. That could include the fees of a professional carer or the time of a friend or loved one who supported you.
  • Travelling Costs.
    It’s quite likely that you’ll incur fuel, parking or other travel-related costs while recovering. They could come from GP appointments, hospital visits or trips to the pharmacy.
  • Damaged Property.
    If any item of your property is damaged in your fall, you could ask for the cost of replacing or repairing the item. For instance, damaged clothes, mobile phone or jewellery could all be included.
  • Lost Income.
    If you lose any salary while taking time off work to recover (or attend medical appointments), you could include the loss in your claim. If you suffer long-term injuries that will affect your ability to work, you could ask for future lost earnings to be considered too.

It’s important to provide evidence for any financial losses. Therefore, try to keep any bank statements, receipts or wages slips that could substantiate your claim.

No Win No Fee Pavement Slab Trip Height

We know that our clients want to pursue justice and seek compensation but not have to worry about the costs of hiring a legal specialist. That’s why our solicitors offer a No Win No Fee Agreement, called a Conditional Fee Agreement, for all cases they take on.

The main benefits of a Conditional Fee Agreement are:

  • There is nothing to pay upfront so your claim can begin quickly.
  • You don’t have to pay any fees during the course of your claim.
  • If the claim fails, you won’t have to pay any fees at all.
  • Should your solicitor win your claim, you won’t have to send a payment to them as they’ll receive a small percentage of your compensation called a success fee. This is capped by legislation.

If you’d like to know more about No Win No Fee Agreements or would like to check if you’re eligible to claim, speak with a member of our team today.

Why Choose Us To Make A Pavement Trip Hazard Claim?

We hope that you’ve found this guide both helpful and informative. We also hope you’re now considering using Legal Expert to make your claim. If that’s the case, here’s a little bit more information about how we work:

  • Our specialist claims advisors provide free claims advice and a no-obligation assessment of any claim.
  • The claims line is open 24-7.
  • Our team of specialist personal injury solicitors have decades of experience.
  • We pride ourselves in offering No Win No Fee agreements for all claims we take on.
  • Your solicitor will provide you with regular updates throughout your case. They’ll be on hand to answer any questions and to explain any complex legal jargon that crops up.
  • Our solicitors will always work as swiftly as possible while trying to secure the maximum amount of compensation possible in your case.

For more information, or to begin your claim, please contact an advisor today.

Start Your Pavement Trip Hazard Claim

Hopefully, you now understand the pavement slab trip height that’s required before you can make a personal injury claim. If you have read this guide and decided you’d like to seek compensation with Legal Expert, here are the best ways to get in touch:

  • Call our specialist advisors on 0800 073 8804 for free claims advice.
  • Provide details of your accident claim by sending an email to
  • Ask us to call you back when it’s convenient by completing our online claims form.
  • Or connect with a member of our online team via our live chat channel.

We can help you begin your claim 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Remember that we provide free legal advice and a no-obligation assessment of any claim. Should your claim have a chance of success, we could introduce you to one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

Where To Learn More

You’ve now come to the end of this guide that set out to define the pavement slab trip height when making personal injury claims. To assist you further, please take a look at the relevant guides and resources listed below.

Local Authority Claims – Information and guidance on making seeking council compensation payouts when injured on their property.

Slips, Trips And Falls At WorkThis guide explains when you could be eligible for compensation following a fall at work.

Broken Bone Accident ClaimsInformation on accidents that could lead to a broken or fractured bone and when you could claim compensation.

Report A PotholeThis government portal allows you to let your local authority know about the location of potholes in your area.

Highways EnglandThe organisation who maintain, operate and improve the motorways and major A roads in England.

NHS Broken Bone InformationGuidance from the NHS on how to tell if you’ve suffered a broken bone and when you’ll need treatment.

Guide by Hambridge

Edited by Billing

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