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Footpath Injury Compensation

I was walking home at night when I stumbled and fell on a footpath, causing me to badly sprain my knee. Am I eligible to claim footpath injury compensation?

Question:

I was walking home at night when I stumbled and fell on a footpath, causing me to badly sprain my knee. Am I eligible to claim footpath injury compensation?

Answer:

You are entitled to claim footpath injury compensation if it can be proven that the footpath or highway where the accident occurred was poorly maintained, or otherwise presented hazards which could reasonably be expected to cause an accident. Poor footpath conditions can be due to uneven walking surfaces, obstructions caused by road or utility works, lack of sufficient lighting and other obstructions.

A “duty of care” generally falls on local authorities for keeping public footpaths and highways in a safe condition, but sometimes a utility company or road works sub-contractors carrying out work in a public area may be accountable – as they also have a duty of care towards the safety of pedestrians.

Since there are different parties who may be responsible for the safety of the footpath at the time when you sustained your injury, determining who is responsible for it can be problematic in some footpath injury compensation claims. For example, if your accident occurred on a footpath which had construction work carried out on it, the party responsible may not be immediately apparent.

Furthermore, there may be situations where you may be considered to have contributed to causing your accident. For example, if you were not wearing your eyeglasses at night, you may be considered to be partly negligent; and while you may still be able to claim for footpath injury compensation, the amount of your settlement may be reduced to reflect your own lack of care.

In order to determine who is liable for your injury and for practical assistance with your claim for footpath injury compensation, it is recommended to speak to a personal injury solicitor about the circumstances surrounding your accident at your earliest possible opportunity.