Highway Claims

What are Highways Claims?
Accidents on the public highway occur all too often. Thankfully, in the majority of cases a slip or trip on the highway will only result in minor cuts and bruises. However, in some cases people suffer more serious injuries, including sprains and even fractures. 

A highway is any public road or right of way on land. It is the responsibility of the local authority or council to maintain and repair highways to ensure safe passage as reasonably practicable. This covers roads, footpaths, pavements, tracks and bridleways.

Some common examples of causes of accidents on the highway are:

  • unrepaired potholes
  • cracked, raised or uneven paving
  • untreated snow and ice

What can I do?
To make a successful claim for compensation you need to prove that the local authority or council were responsible for your accident. This means that the council has failed to take sufficient steps to maintain the highway in accordance with its legal duty.

It is important to report your accident to the council as soon as possible, preferably immediately after your accident. We recommend, if possible, taking photographs of the area where the accident happened and any hazard that you feel has caused your injury. If you have tripped over a hazard such as a defective pavement or pothole on the highway, we suggest using a ruler in your photographs to show how deep or high the defect is. We would usually not advocate pursuing a claim for compensation if the defect is less than 1 inch, as such defects are often to be found to be insufficiently dangerous to warrant intervention.

If there are any witnesses to your accident, you should try to make a note of their name, address and contact telephone number.

If you have suffered an injury such as a laceration or burn, it often assists to take photographs of the initial injury and during your recovery. Always keep a note of any expenses you incur as a result of your injuries, including copies of receipts and invoices where available, and visit a healthcare professional who can note down your injury and symptoms.

How can claiming for compensation help me?
Suffering an injury can have serious consequences for you and your family, with many people requiring time off work and having to survive on limited sick pay following an accident. Pursuing a claim will not only ensure that you are properly compensated for your injury, but will mean that you are reimbursed for any losses and expenses that you have incurred. This includes any lost earnings or future loss of earnings if your injury means that you have to take time off work or cannot return to work at all, as well as the cost of medical treatment and travelling to appointments.

Claiming compensation will also give you access to the best rehabilitation and treatment providers to maximise your recovery following the accident. The NHS provides excellent care at the acute stage following an injury, but long term rehabilitation can be lacking. Making a successful claim for compensation will mean funding is made available for a range of expert input where appropriate. 

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