Slips, trips, and kids – it’s not always their fault!
Slips and trips are – and always have been – an everyday hazard. Especially for children, who don’t always have the experience to anticipate the possibility of danger. And they don’t always look where they’re going. So, too often, they have to learn the hard way. But it isn’t always their fault. Kirsty Broadway – of our Bristol office – has been dealing with several such cases lately, two of which are on-going…
In the most recent – just last month – an 8 year-old girl was crossing a road on her way home from school when she fell after tripping in an un-repaired pothole. Although she was bruised and distressed, the consequences could have been a lot worse had the accident happened on a busier road. A closer inspection revealed eight significant potholes in the vicinity. Residents claim that they’d been reported to the local council, but that no repair work had been carried out.
It could, quite reasonably, be argued that the council had ample opportunity to make these repairs and thus remove a potential (and real) accident hazard. I’m taking action on behalf of the family to ensure that the dangerous condition of the road is attended to and does not cause further injuries to children and other pedestrians.
Another case I have is a boy of 16 who tripped over a pothole in a park in Stockport while out with his friends. It was just before his GCSEs. He fractured his right thumb, which meant that he needed a scriptor to help him with his exams. This undoubtedly contributed to him achieving much lower grades than anticipated which, in turn, prevented him from going to college to train as a PE teacher. He’s now doing an engineering course in motorbike mechanics. Liability is denied by the council, so we are gathering witness evidence in order to proceed.
And back in March last year, another 16 year-old boy was walking along a pavement (backwards, waving to his girlfriend) when he tripped in an open utility grid and wounded his head. He had to have a number of stitches which left permanent scarring, leading people to believe he’d been fighting. Damages were approved by the court in October and have recently been received. Liability was split 50/50 between the Council and the utility company, and the claimant accepted a 5% reduction for contributory negligence. But he was still awarded nearly £3250 net.
Councils must be brought to account to compensate those who are injured as a result of their negligence. There’s no excuse for complacency where the public is concerned. Yes, accidents do sometimes happen, but our local authorities have a duty of care to the public. And we see every week the harm and injury they can cause – turning our clients’ lives upside down.
Please don’t hesitate to contact P&B for advice on slips and trips – it’s one of our specialist fields. We will talk through the incident with you and discuss rehabilitative care and compensation.