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UK Street Injury Claims

In the UK, street injury claims entitle you to recover compensation when you have sustained an injury due to an avoidable trip, slip or fall in the street. Not all street injury claims in the UK are made against local councils – some shopkeepers or shopping complexes also have responsibility for common paved areas – and proving “absolute” negligence is often complicated. For practical advice about making UK street injury claims for compensation, speak with an experienced solcitior on our freephone injury claims advice service.

Claim for being Hit on the Head by a Shop Sign Remains Unresolved

May 5, 2017

A woman´s claim for being hit on the head by a shop sign remains unresolved despite the negligent shop´s owners admitting responsibility for her injuries.

In May 2014, Petula Chapman (61) from Truro in Cornwall was visiting her son – Ian – in Penarth, South Wales. The couple went into town together, and were just leaving the Euronics electrical appliance shop on Windsor Road, when the sign above the entrance to the shop was caught by a gust of wind and fell – hitting Petula on the head.

Petula was knocked unconscious by the impact of the shop sign and suffered multiple fractures to her shoulder, wrist and both legs. She also sustained three broken ribs and spinal injuries in the accident. Both she and her son – who was also struck by the falling shop sign – were taken to hospital by ambulance. Ian´s injuries were not considered serious and he was soon discharged.

The incident was captured by the shop´s CCTV, and the shop´s owners – Kitchener & Thomas Ltd – admitted responsibility for Petula´s and Ian´s injuries. However, although the company has settled Ian´s personal injury claim, Petula´s claim for being hit on the head by a shop sign remains unresolved. She has now filed a High Court writ claiming £200,000 compensation.

According to court papers, the accident has left Petula with mild brain damage and serious disabling injuries. In her claim for being hit on the head by a shop sign, she alleges she is unable to work and needs constant care. The writ adds that Petula has developed significant psychological problems and depression which complicate the effects of her brain injury.

The legal representatives of Kitchener & Thomas Ltd have not commented on the issuance of the writ, but the fact that it has been issued would imply that the company is disputing the value of the claim for being hit on the head by a shop sign. If no resolution is found soon, the settlement of her claim will be determine by a judge at the High Court.

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Taxi Injury Claim Resolved for Six-Figure Settlement

April 21, 2017

A former train driver´s taxi injury claim has been resolved for a six-figure settlement after the taxi driver´s negligence was established by solicitors.

In December 2013, Gareth Jones (41) and his brother were returning from a night out near their home town of Machynlleth, Powys, when Gareth was hit by a taxi as he crossed the A489. The force of the impact knocked Gareth several feet down the road and he was rushed to hospital with multiple injuries, including a serious brain injury.

The serious brain injury has left Gareth with reduced mobility and in need of full-time care. He has been unable to return to his job as a train driver and is unlikely to ever be able to lead an independent life. On Gareth´s behalf, his partner – Tracy – sought legal advice and made a taxi injury claim against the taxi driver who had hit him.

The taxi driver denied liability and no charges were brought against him following a police investigation. However, Gareth and Tracy´s solicitors established he had been driving too quickly for the conditions on the night of the accident and pursued the taxi injury claim. Eventually, the taxi driver´s insurance company agreed to a six-figure settlement of the claim.

The settlement of the taxi injury claim will mean that Gareth and Tracy can move to house better suited to Gareth´s needs and in which he will enjoy a better quality of life. Speaking with her local newspaper after the taxi injury claim had been resolved, Tracy said:

“This collision has turned our entire world upside-down.,” said Tracey. “Gareth went out that night with his brother, but came home a completely different person. For the driver to deny that he was at fault is an insult to our family – if he had paid more attention to the road, he would have seen Gareth.”

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Claims for Injuries due to Defective Street Lighting Increase

October 31, 2016

Claims for injuries due to defective street lighting have increased in Northern Ireland according to the province´s Infrastructure minister Chris Hazzard.

Mr Hazzard was responding to an Assembly question from East Belfast UUP MLA Andy Allen when the minister revealed that there were sixteen claims made against the Department of Infrastructure last year in which defective street lighting was primary responsible for an injury being sustained.

Settlement of the claims for injuries due to defective street lighting amounted to £59,000 – a fifteen-fold increase from two years ago when there were just three claims settled. The figure represented a three-fold increase from 2014/15, when twelve claims for injuries caused by defective street lighting were settled.

The minister said there may be other claims made against the Department of Infrastructure in which defective street lighting was a contributory factor, but it was not possible to identify these in the department´s database. The minister also agreed that the figures related only to compensation settlements, and that there may be other legal and administrative costs to account for as well.

Defective street lighting is a hot topic of debate in the Northern Ireland Assembly. In 2015, members of the Assembly raised concerns about the number of complaints relating to defective street lighting they were receiving from their constituents. It was found that 17,888 street lights were not working and that around a third of all the province´s street lights were turned off at night to save money.

More than £2 million was spent fixing the defective street lighting, and a further £1 million was added to the department´s budget in June for investment in cost-saving LED street lighting. The minister said that of 48,000 street light outages reported over the last 12 months, 42,500 have already been repaired. The replacement of the existing street lighting with LED lights is an ongoing project that is expected to conclude next year.

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Girl Awarded Compensation for a Scrambler Bike Injury

August 19, 2016

A young girl who was permanently scarred when hit in the face by a motorbike´s handlebars has been awarded £90,000 compensation for a scrambler bike injury.

The unnamed seven-year old girl from County Armagh suffered the injury when she was just four years of age in May 2013. As she was playing with friends outside her grandparent´s house, a passing motorcyclist caught the little girl´s cheek with the handlebars of his scrambler bike.

The impact of the handlebars caused a hole to be cut in the girl´s cheek and she suffered significant dental damage. The girl also developed a fear of noises from motorbike engines and suffered nightmares as a result of her accident.

Through her mother, the girl claimed compensation for a scrambler bike injury against the owner of the vehicle and the Motor Insurers Bureau. Liability for the girl´s injuries was admitted, and the case went to the Belfast for the assessment of damages.

At the assessment hearing, Mr Justice Stephens was told that the girl had become fearful and clingy at the sound of nearby scrambler bikes, and would scream if motorbikes passed near her house in the first few weeks after her accident.

After assessing the scar that still remains from the accident, Judge Stephens said that “when the plaintiff smiles, expressing happiness and enjoyment, the impact of the smile is spoilt by the scar becoming markedly indented.”

Describing the girl as “relatively shy”, the judge commented that she had been left with an obvious scar in a prominent position that she would become very conscious of as she grew older. He suggested that plastic surgery would not reduce the effect of the scar because of its location.

Mr Justice Stephens awarded the girl £90,000 compensation for a scrambler bile injury, adding that his assessment of the award was based on both the physical and psychological injuries she had suffered in the past and was likely to suffer in the future.

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Claims for Injuries from Potholes in Inverness Exceed £600,000

November 3, 2015

The Inverness Courier has revealed that more than £600,000 worth of claims for injuries from potholes in Inverness have been made in the past six years.

According to the Inverness Courier, a total of £610,000 of claims for injuries from potholes and uneven pavements have been filed against the Highland Council in the past six years. However, only £106,000 has been paid in compensation during that time – leaving the council with an outstanding liability of more than half a million pounds.

The Inverness Courier published details of some of the claims for injuries from potholes after acquiring specific data via a Freedom of Information request to the Highland Council. The largest outstanding claim in terms of value concerns a resident who fell due to a pothole in Baron Taylor Street in Inverness City Centre in February 2012. Having sustained a serious back injury, the accident victim made a claim for £147,591 compensation; but is still waiting after three and a half years for his claim to be resolved.

Other outstanding claims for injuries from potholes and uneven pavements in Inverness include:

  • A claim for £25,615 for a leg injury suffered in a fall in a pothole in January 2013 on Fortrose´s Tavern Road.
  • A claim for £15,387 was made in July 2014 after a pedestrian suffered a serious facial injury due to falling over a pothole in Southside Road.
  • A claim for £3,637 was made in June 2014 for another back injury sustained due to a trip and fall accident in Inverness City Centre.

In its 2014/2015 annual report, the Scottish Maintenance Road Condition Survey ranked Highland Council third-worst of the thirty-two Scottish local authorities for the condition of its roads. Last year around 6,000 road and pavement maintenance faults were reported to the Highland Council – although these figures are likely to include multiple reports of the same fault from different members of the public.

Responding to the significant number of outstanding claims for injuries from potholes, a council spokesperson said: “In 2014/15 the council set aside funding to be used in identifying and testing better ways to achieve a shift towards more potholes being repaired permanently rather than temporarily and also to identify cost effective and sustainable recycling techniques for more substantial repairs to road construction”.

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Woman Settles Claim for Hit and Run Injury Compensation

September 11, 2015

A beauty therapist, who suffered leg injuries when she was knocked down by a drunk driver, has settled her claim for hit and run injury compensation.

In the early hours of News Years Day in 2014, Necole Stewart (20) and her friend Alisa Howden (19) were crossing George Street in Perth to attend a friend´s party, when they were hit by a car driven by Neil Wylie (52) who was returning home after a twelve-hour drinking spree.

Necole was thrown into the air by the impact of the collision, and badly lacerated her leg as she landed in the road. Alisa suffered a broken nose and concussion. Both women were taken to hospital, where Necole received sixteen stitches and Alisa was admitted for thirty-six hours before being discharged.

Wylie had not stopped after hitting the two friends, and police launched an appeal to trace the driver in the hit and run accident. After hours of reviewing CCTV, Wylie was eventually located and charged with dangerous driving under the influence of alcohol, fleeing the scene of an accident and failing to report it afterwards. He was given a twenty-two month custodial sentence by the Perth Sheriff Court in May 2014.

Both women sought legal advice and made a claim for hit and run injury compensation. With liability uncontested due to Wylie being found guilty of causing the accident, Alisa´s claim was settled for an undisclosed amount earlier this year. Necole alleged that she had suffered a psychological injury as a result of the accident, and held out for more injury compensation than was being offered to her.

Following a protracted period of negotiation, Necole agreed to settle her claim for hit and run injury compensation for £10,000 – after which she told her local press: “I’m just so grateful Ailsa and I are OK and thankful to everyone who helped us.”

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Judge Reduces Compensation for Pedestrian Accident

December 30, 2014

A Belfast woman´s settlement of compensation for a pedestrian accident has been reduced by 60 percent to account for her own contribution to her injuries.

Stacey McCaughey (24) was hit by a car in the early hours of September 26th 2010 while walking along the Carrickmannon Road in Ballygowan with some friends – all of whom had been drinking heavily at the nearby Chestnut Inn.

Stacey spent four days in intensive care after being thrown over the top of the car that hit her, and received treatment for a frontal lobe contusion, a spinal injury and multiple fractures. Four years after the accident, Stacey still suffers from headaches, moods swings and memory loss.

After speaking with a solicitor, Stacey claimed compensation for a pedestrian accident against the driver of the vehicle that hit her – Brian Mullan – alleging that Mullan was driving too fast for the road conditions.

Mullan contested the claim for pedestrian accident compensation; arguing that Stacey had been drunk and wandering aimlessly across an unlit road with no consideration for her own safety.

His description of how the accident occurred – that he swerved to avoid the group of friends but could not avoid hitting Stacey – was verified by a forensic engineer and the police confirmed that Mullan was completely sober at the time of the accident.

However, at Belfast High Court, Mr Justice O´Hara found in Stacey´s favour. The judge stated that the onus had been on Mullan to drive at an appropriate speed in order that he would be able to stop in time to avoid any obstruction on the road ahead.

However, Judge O´Hara also found that Stacey had contributed to the accident and the extent of her injuries “by walking in the middle of a dark, unlit road while drunk and incapable of being alert to traffic”.

Mr Justice O´Hara said that he had assessed Stacey´s compensation for a pedestrian accident at £110,000 but, due to her own contributory negligence, he was reducing the amount by 60 percent – thus making the final value of the award £44,000.

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CCTV Proves Liability in School Crossing Accident Claim

April 8, 2014

Liability in a school crossing accident claim has been admitted by the negligent party´s insurance company after CCTV evidence showed their client was responsible for causing serious injury to a lollipop lady.

Sixty-one year old Eleanor Harman had to undergo life saving surgery for brain injuries she sustained when being hit by a car while helping schoolchildren cross the road outside of her home in South Shields, Tyneside. Eleanor subsequently spent three months in a high dependency unit after the 2011 accident, and now has post-traumatic amnesia for which she needs around-the-clock care.

The driver of the vehicle which struck her – Margaret Boyles – was given a £90.00 fine and four penalty points for driving without due care and attention; but when Eleanor´s husband made a school crossing accident claim for compensation, her insurance company denied liability and tried to claim that Eleanor was partly responsible for her injuries.

Fortunately, Eleanor´s home has a CCTV installation, and video evidence from the camera was able to ascertain that liability for the accident was solely attributable to Boyles. The driver´s insurance company subsequently admitted that their client was responsible and Eleanor´s claim for school accident crossing injury compensation is now before a judge for the assessment of damages.

The cost of care, further expert treatment, therapy and equipment to help Eleanor live as much an independent life as possible is likely to exceed £3 million. A verdict on how much compensation Eleanor´s school crossing accident claim is resolved for is expected soon.

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Changes in Procedures for Personal Injury Claims Introduced

August 6, 2013

Further changes to the procedures for personal injury claims were introduced on 1st August which should result in the quicker settlement of lower value claims when liability is not in dispute.

The Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012 introduced a number of changes to the procedures for personal injury claims in April 2013 – most significantly the way in which “No Win, No Fee” injury claims are handled.

Since April, claimants have been personally liable for solicitor´s “Success Fees” and “After the Event” insurance premiums but have received an uplift in the value of General Damages awarded in personal injury compensation settlements to account for this.

On August 1st, the Civil Procedure Rules (CPRs) governing court action in England and Wales were also amended to assist in reducing the time it takes to settle personal injury claims with a value of up to £25,000 when a single party is responsible for an injury occurring and liability is admitted by that party.

The new procedures for personal injury claims in England and Wales will see negligent parties and their insurance companies allowed just one day (from 21 days) from receiving a “Letter of Claim” to acknowledge its receipt, and thirty days (from 90 days*) to inform a solicitor whether or not liability is accepted or the claim is going to be contested.

Any negligent party or insurance company who fails to adhere to these guidelines will not be able to take advantage of the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal and will face higher costs in defending the claim.

Exceptions to the Procedures for Personal Injury Claims

These measures should significant reduce how long it takes to resolve a claim for personal injury compensation where  the total value of the claim is more than £1,000 and less than £25,000; however there are a number of exceptions to the new procedures for personal injury claims:-

  • Public liability claims against an individual – for example if you have been injured in an accident in a neighbour´s home due to their negligence.
  • Any public liability claim in which you or a member of your family has contracted a disease – for example if you suffer food poisoning after eating in a restaurant
  • Any claim in which either the defendant or the claimant is bankrupt or has died, or where a claim is made against more than one party
  • Where an injury is sustained in an accident outside of England or Wales – for example while on holiday
  • Claims in which the defendant is uninsured or untraceable – for example hit and run accidents
  • Any claims for medical negligence or clinical malpractice
  • Mesothelioma claims for compensation

The changes to the Civil Procedure Rules do not affect the Statute of Limitations relating to how long you have to make a claim for personal injury compensation after the date of knowledge that an injury has been sustained, and only apply to injuries diagnosed on or after 1st August 2013.

If you have any questions regarding how the changes in procedures for personal injury claims may affect you, it is recommended that you speak with a personal injury claims solicitor at the first possible opportunity.

 (*) Employers and insurance companies providing Employer Liability Insurance will have forty days to conduct an investigation into your work injury claim and advise your solicitor whether or not liability is accepted.

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Haringey Council Act to Reduce Pavement Pothole Injury Claims

May 31, 2013

A North London Council has announced that it will be revising the frequency at which it inspects and repairs potholes in its streets in a bid to reduce pavement pothole injury claims.

Haringey Council´s decision to invest more money into maintaining its streets and pavements follows a seven-figure compensation settlement paid to Kyle Bullock earlier this year after the Australian charity worker suffered brain damage due to tripping and falling over a seven-centimetre pothole in the pavement on Lightfoot Road, Hornsey.

An investigation following the accident revealed that Haringey Council´s policy of inspecting its roads once every six months – and only attending to potholes of six centimetres depth or more – was producing a false economy; as the money that was being saved in road maintenance was being used to settle pavement pothole injury claims and insurance claims from motorists whose vehicles were being damaged by the poor condition of the road.

A spokesperson from Haringey Council announced that the roads within the borough would be inspected more frequently; with action being taken within six days (rather than the current twenty-eight days) on potholes with a depth of three centimetres or more. The improvements to the roads and pavements within Haringey are expected to be completed within six months at a cost of £109 million.

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Claim for a Pedestrian Hit by a Car Resolved Out of Court

May 13, 2013

A student´s claim for a pedestrian hit by a car has been resolved in an out-of-court settlement which is believed to exceed £1 million.

Lee Edge (21) from Kings Heath in Birmingham made an injury claim for a pedestrian hit by a car through his mother – Sandra – after he was struck by a car when he was twelve years of age in January 2005.

Lee has suffered with poor memory, fatigue and difficulty concentrating since his accident, but achieved sufficiently high grades to attend college where he now studies Business Administration.

The driver of the vehicle that hit Lee was later convicted of driving without due care and attention at Solihull Magistrates Court in 2005, and a claim was made against the car driver´s insurers to compensate Lee for the trauma he had suffered.

The final out-of-court settlement of the claim for a pedestrian hit by a car has not been disclosed but, due to the nature of Lee´s injuries and the opportunities he has lost, it is anticipated that Lee will receive a settlement in seven figures.

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Lollipop Lady Resolves Claim for Hit and Run Injuries

February 23, 2013

A lollipop lady, who was run over by a female driver who then left the scene of the accident, has resolved her claim for hit and run injuries for a four-figure sum.

Karen Littler (49) from Wigan, Lancashire was helping children cross the road outside of the school she was assigned to in Ashton-in-Makerfield in March 2012, when she was knocked over by a Honda Insight driven by Ceris Lovett.

Ms Lovett failed to stop to see if Karen was alright and continued driving. A motorist, alert to what had happened, followed Ms Lovett and recorded her registration number before reporting it to Greater Manchester Police.

Karen was taken to Wigan Infirmary where she was treated for severe bruising down the left hand side of her body, while Ms Lovett was apprehended by police and later convicted of driving without due care and attention by Wigan magistrates.

Karen made a claim for hit and run injuries directly to Lovett´s car insurance company who, despite the conviction of their policyholder, failed to respond in an appropriate time frame to Karen´s request for compensation. Eventually Karen sought professional legal assistance and court proceedings were issued.

Karen has now received an undisclosed settlement of her claim for hit and run injuries.

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New Court Planned for Personal Injury Claims in Scotland

October 8, 2012

A new court is to be established in Edinburgh which will deal exclusively with personal injury claims in Scotland in line which recommendations made in Lord Gill´s review of the Scottish court system.

The 2009 review found that personal injury claims in Scotland – which can currently be heard in the Court of Sessions if their anticipated value is in excess of 5,000 pounds – were taking too long to process and the system was becoming too expensive to maintain.

The news was greeted with general approval by trade union organisations and solicitors, who believe the new system will result in fairer and more consistent levels of personal injury compensation in Scotland when claimants have been injured in accidents at work, on the roads and in places of public access through no fault of their own.

Despite statistics showing no real increase in the number of personal injury claims in Scotland, one leading solicitor was quick to refute suggestions that the new court was needed because of a growing “compensation culture” in Scotland.

“‘Compensation culture’ is just a phrase that has been created to put people off making claims and save the insurance industry money” he said. “You don’t stop claims by preventing people who are injured seeking just redress. You stop claims by preventing accidents in the first place.”

Legislation next autumn is expected to confirm the establishment of the new court and it is anticipated that its venue will announced as Edinburgh´s Parliament House – where personal injury claims in Scotland are already heard by Court of Session judges, but who in future will be replaced with experienced Sheriffs.

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Shopping Centre Injury Claims Mount Up at Highcross

June 28, 2012

Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester is establishing a reputation as the most hazardous shopping centre in England, with four more shopping centre injury claims having been made since Gweneth Bowler successfully sued the shopping complex in December 2011 after fracturing her shoulder due to a slip on a wet surface.

Earlier this month, an unnamed Leicestershire woman was awarded 3,700 pounds after slipping and fracturing her ankle on the same access bridge between the shopping centre car park and the John Lewis store, while three claims remain outstanding due to slip injuries sustained in the shopping centre car park.

During Gweneth Bowler´s hearing in December, a Leicester City Council health and safety official had testified that the bridge´s surface represented a slip hazard due to poor drainage and inadequate cleaning. The recommendations of the council – including the improving the drainage system in the car park – were put into place earlier this year and no accidents have subsequently been reported.

Despite Highcross admitting liability for the two resolved shopping centre injury claims, no comment was available on the outstanding claims for shopping centre injury compensation – including a serious injury to a 40 year-old female shopper who required emergency surgery for a broken femur after a slip in the shopping centre car park.

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300,000 Pounds Settlement for Pedestrian Brain Injury Victim

October 21, 2011

The family of a father of two, who sustained brain damage when hit by a speeding car, has agreed a 300,000 pounds road accident injury compensation settlement with the negligent driver´s insurers.

Zahid Hussain (30) of Blackburn, Lancashire, was crossing the road near his home in March 2007 when he was hit by a silver Volkswagen Golf and was left fighting for his life after sustaining four fractures to his skull and swelling on the brain.

Although Mr Hussain has partly recovered from his injuries, he still suffers cognitive and psychological problems and has been forced to move from the family home in Blackpool to his parent´s home in London.

In the High Court in London, Judge Alison Hampton QC heard that the two parties had reached an agreement on the amount of compensation that should be paid and, approving the settlement commented that “I hope the money can be put to good use, and in the best interests of the claimant.”

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Pensioner Receives 3,100 Pounds following Pothole Trip

September 2, 2011

A pensioner, who fractured his wrist when tripping over a pothole, has accepted an offer of 3,100 pounds in personal injury compensation from Basildon Council.

Terence Wakefield (78) from Wickford, Essex, was visiting his local market in June 2010 when he tripped over a three inch pothole in the street. Extending his hand to break his fall, Terence landed heavily on his wrist and broke it.

Mr Wakefield spent the following six weeks with his arm in plaster and had to have extensive therapy on the wrist when the plaster was removed – during which time he was unable to ride his bicycle or partake in many of his regular hobbies.

Terence brought a claim for personal injury compensation against Basildon Council, who were responsible for this section of the public footpath and, admitting liability for their negligence, settled Terence´s claim in the amount of 3,100 pounds.

Despite the settlement, it has been alleged by the victim that there are still twenty or more potholes in the vicinity of Wickford Market, and he knows of three similar claims against the council who are yet to fulfil their obligations and maintain a safe passageway for pedestrians.

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Undisclosed Compensation Settlement for Manhole Cover Trip

June 10, 2011

A man, who sustained injuries to his legs when tripping over a sewer manhole cover, has won an undisclosed compensation settlement from Sheffield City Council.

Keith Unwin (62) of Gleadless, Sheffield, was walking across grassland to get to his garage in February 2010, when he tripped over a broken sewer manhole cover and badly injured his legs and shins.

Complaining to Sheffield City Council that the grassland was poorly maintained, Keith was told that the authority was not responsible for his injuries and was advised that an alternative footpath existed which he should have used to access the garage.

However after obtaining legal advice, and photographs of overgrown footpath which also suffered from broken street lighting, the authority admitted liability and agreed the undisclosed compensation amount.

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Boy’s Compensation To Be Used To Repair Scarring

January 17, 2011

A young boy, who was knocked down and injured on a pedestrian crossing, is to receive 14,000 pounds in compensation even though the negligent driver who caused his injuries is both uninsured and disqualified from driving.

Liam Brickell, (7) of the Wirral, Merseyside, was just three years of age when the accident happened. Liam and his mother were crossing a road near their home, when the motorist failed to observe a red traffic light and hit both of them.

Liam was badly bruised and sustained cuts all over his body. Many of the cuts have developed into permanent scars, including a six inch gash on the back of Liam’s head. Liam also suffered from frequent and painful headaches for six months following the accident.

The compensation, which is to be paid by the Motor Insurers Bureau, will enable Liam to have plastic surgery to remove the majority of his physical scars, but the psychological damage that was caused by this reckless driver may take much longer to heal.

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