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Case Study

£10k compensation for claimant who tripped on uneven paving

The claimant’s details have been changed but this is indeed a true case

Phil Mulryne acted on behalf of Mrs K to pursue a personal injury claim when she tripped and fell due to a defect in the surface of the pavement.

The claim was put to the local authority who advised that the land where the accident occurred formed part of a private courtyard of an adjoining property.

Land Registry searches were undertaken to establish the owner of the property and  the claim was submitted to them.  Liability was denied on their part arguing that the defect was on the public highway and not on their land.

There was further correspondence between the parties on this issue and eventually the owners of the property accepted that the accident occurred on their land but they argued that the land was subject to a public right of way and therefore they were not responsible for any defects that had arisen on the pavement/footpath due to wear and tear.

As liability was denied court proceedings were commenced and a trial date allocated.

As a result of the fall Mrs K had suffered an injury to the joint of her right (dominant) thumb with a rupture of ligaments that required repair.  She made a good recovery from surgery but still had weakness in the thumb and had occasional pain with restriction of movement.

She had also suffered from an injury to her left wrist and left shoulder which recovered within a matter of a month or so.  She also had some cuts and bruising to her left knee which also resolved within a similar period.

The Claimant also had a short period off work following the accident which resulted in loss of earnings.  Also during her post-accident incapacity she required assistance with personal care provided by her daughter and husband for around 3 months and she required assistance with general housework to include cooking for around 2 months.  She also was unable to undertake the general household weekly grocery shopping tasks for around 2 months and these duties were carried out by her husband.

The Claimant’s personal injury damages claim was valued in the region of £8,250.00.  The loss of earnings/care and assistance  claim along with a claim for treatment costs and travelling expenses was assessed in the sum of £3,000.00.

It was clear that there was no guarantee that the Claimant’s claim would succeed  so these risks had to be factored in to the assessment of the claim when negotiating a settlement.  It was also possible that if Claimant’s claim was successful there would be a deduction for contributory negligence in that the Defendants would argue that the Claimant should have noticed the defect to the footpath and avoided it.

An offer was put forward in the sum of £11,250.00 by ourselves but this was rejected and the Defendants put forward a counter offer of £9,000.00 which was increased to £10,000.00 after the initial offer was rejected.

The Claimant instructed ourselves to accept the offer of £10,000.00 to represent a final settlement on her claim.

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