Council Or Local Authority Injury Claims Guide

By Megan Cullen. Last Updated 19th January 2024. If you have been injured following an accident that occurred due to a local council or another type of local authority breaching their duty of care, then you may have grounds to claim compensation.

In this guide, we will explain the duty of care you are owed and the criteria you must meet to make a personal injury claim.

We’ll also discuss potential council compensation payouts and how these are calculated. Additionally, we will discuss the evidence that could be used to help support your claim.

Read on to learn more about claims against local authorities. If you would like to ask an advisor any questions about these types of claims, or potentially receive support for your case, then you can contact our team on the phone or online. You can reach us by:

Council Compensation Claims

Council Compensation Claims Guide

Select A Section

  1. Who Is Eligible To Receive Council Compensation Payouts In The UK?
  2. Council Compensation Payouts
  3. How Long Do You Have To Claim Against Your Local Council?
  4. Common Types Of Accident Claims Against Local Councils
  5. Claims Against Local Authorities – Gathering Evidence
  6. Council Compensation Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
  7. More Advice For Victims Of Council Accidents

Who Is Eligible To Receive Council Compensation Payouts In The UK?

If you’ve been injured in an accident that occurred on land or property owned by a council or local authority, then you may be wondering if you are eligible to make a personal injury claim. To have a valid claim, you must be able to meet the following criteria:

  • You were owed a duty of care.
  • This duty of care was breached.
  • As a result of this breach, you were injured.

Anyone in charge of a public space, such as a council or local authority, owes a duty of care under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. They must take steps to ensure your reasonable safety while you are using that space for its intended purposes.

If you work for the council or a local authority, your employer owes you a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They must take reasonably practicable steps to ensure your safety while you are working.

If you can prove that you suffered an injury due to a council or local authority breaching their duty of care, you may be able to make a personal injury claim.

To learn more about suing the council for negligence, please read on or contact our team of advisors for free.

Yellow Sign In Front Of Stairs. Caution Wet Floor Is Written On Sign.

Council Compensation Payouts

Compensation in claims against local authorities, such as pothole claims against the council, will depend on a few different factors. One of these is the extent of the pain and suffering. The amount calculated to address this is known as a general damages payment.

Legal professionals can use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them calculate compensation for a successful claim. This publication was last updated in 2022.

The figures in the table below have been taken from the JCG, but your own circumstances will affect how much you could be eligible to receive.

The top entry of this table does not come from the JCG.

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Type of injury Information Compensation award
Multiple Severe Injuries Plus Special Damages Several severe injuries plus special damages such as medical expenses. Up to £300,000+
Moderately Severe head injury Brain damage and permanent disability £219,070 to £282,010
Less Severe head injury Change in cognitive function £15,320 to £43,060
Severe back injury (i) Spinal cord and nerve damage £74,160 to £160,980
Moderate back injury (i) Could involve compression or crush fractures of vertebrae with future osteoarthritis and ongoing pain £27,760 to £38,780
Severe neck injury Incomplete paraplegia or permanent spastic quadriparesis In the region of £148,330
Serious leg injury Long term disability £39,200 to £54,830
Moderate leg injury Chronic pain £27,760 to £39,200
Serious shoulder injury Damage to the brachial plexus and ongoing disability £12,770 to £19,200
Moderate shoulder injury Non permanent Soft tissue injuries but lasting for up to 2 years. £7,890 to £12,770
Minor shoulder injury (i) Painful soft tissue injuries but full recovery in less than two years £4,350 to £7,890

Some council compensation payouts will also include an amount known as special damages. This is where any financial impact of your injuries is addressed. Here are some examples of costs you could reclaim under a special damages payment if eligible:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Travel costs
  • Damage to property
  • Medical expenses

Make sure you keep receipts and other forms of evidence to prove these expenditures. Get in touch if you need any free guidance.

How Long Do You Have To Claim Against Your Local Council?

If you are eligible to claim compensation from the council, then you must start legal proceedings within the time limit. For personal injury claims, this is generally 3 years from the date of the accident as set out in the Limitation Act 1980

However, in certain circumstances, there are limitation period exceptions. For example:

  • The time limit is suspended for those who lack the capacity to claim for themselves, and during this time, a court-appointed litigation friend can act on their behalf. However, if the injured party regains this capacity and a claim against the council was not already made for them, they will have 3 years from the date they recover to start the process. 
  • The time limit is frozen for those who are injured while under the age of eighteen. A litigation friend, appointed by the courts, can claim on their behalf while it is frozen, or they can claim for themselves when the time limit begins on their eighteenth birthday. 

For more information on time limits for claiming personal injury compensation, contact our team of friendly advisors today. They can answer any questions you might have about the claims process, and may be able to connect you with a solicitor from our panel.

Common Types Of Accident Claims Against Local Councils

There are many different kinds of spaces that your local council may be responsible for. If they fail to adequately maintain these spaces, this could result in an accident or injury.

Here are a few examples of incidents in council-run spaces that could result in injuries:

  • Slips, trips and falls due to uneven pavement. For example, if the council were aware of cracked, broken or uneven paving tiles and a broken bone because you tripped over it.
  • Wet floors in council-run leisure centres. The council should ensure that spillages are cleared up in a timely manner or put up signs signifying a wet floor. Additional measures may be needed near pools and in changing rooms, such as special flooring.
  • School accidents. For example, your child could suffer a head injury due to building disrepair if an object falls from a height, such as a ceiling tile. Councils should ensure that any maintenance is carried out as soon as reasonable if repairs are reported. In the meantime, the school may take steps, such as closing a particular area until it is repaired.

If you have any questions about council compensation claims, please contact one of our team members. They can discuss the situation that resulted in your injuries and assess whether you have good grounds to claim against the council.

Bandage Being Applied To Child's Leg In Public Park.

Claims Against Local Authorities – Gathering Evidence

Claims against the council for personal injury must be supported with evidence. The evidence must prove that it was a breach in the duty of care owed to you that caused your injuries.

Examples of evidence include:

  • Photographs of the scene or your injuries.
  • Medical records.
  • Witness contact details.
  • CCTV, mobile phone or dashcam footage.

You may wish to hire a solicitor to help you claim against the council. A solicitor could gather witness statements and advise you on what other evidence could support claims against the local authorities.

Free legal advice about claims against the council for personal injury is available by calling our advisors.

Council Compensation Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

Now that we have discussed how to sue the council for negligence, you might be interested in learning about the benefits of hiring a No Win No Fee solicitor. They can ensure all bases of your claim are covered and help you gather evidence.

Through offering you a Conditional Fee Agreement, which is a type of No Win No Fee contract, your solicitor usually will not ask for an upfront payment and ongoing fees are typically covered too. Your solicitor takes a legally capped success fee from your compensation if your claim succeeds.

Furthermore, when suing the council for uneven pavement or any other accident, you won’t have to pay your solicitor for their work if your claim is unsuccessful.

Get in touch if you would like an expert solicitor from our panel to assist you during the council compensation claims process. They could work with you on the basis of a No Win No Fee. Speak to our advisors for more information.

Below are a few ways you can contact us about suing the council:

  • Call our free advice line at any time on 0161 696 9685
  • Complete the callback form at the top right corner of this page
  • Pop up to an online advisor using our live chat function

Man's Hands Folded On A Table With Pen, Notebook, Gavel And Scales.

More Advice For Victims Of Council Accidents

Please get in touch at any time if you have any further questions about council compensation claims.