By Megan Cullen. Last Updated 28th November 2023. 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:
Select A Section
- Who Is Eligible To Receive Council Compensation Payouts In The UK?
- Council Compensation Payouts
- How Long Do You Have To Claim Against Your Local Council?
- Common Types Of Accident Claims Against Local Councils
- Claims Against Local Authorities – Gathering Evidence
- Council Compensation Claims With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- More Advice For Victims Of Council Accidents
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.
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.
|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.
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.
When making a claim against the council for your injuries, you will need to prove that they were responsible for your injuries due to them breaching their duty of care.
There are various types of cases that could lead you to suing the council for your injuries. These could include:
- Pavement accidents – for example, you could trip over a raised paving slab and suffer a knee injury. If the council were aware of this paving defect and did not fix the issue within a reasonable time frame, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim.
- Pothole accidents – If the council were aware of a pothole in the road and did not fix it within a reasonable time frame, this could lead to a road traffic accident where you suffer a neck injury.
- Accidents in council-run buildings – Such as a library or leisure centre. For example, if there was a spillage in a leisure centre that had not been cleaned or clearly signposted, this could cause you to slip and suffer an elbow and ankle injury.
To discuss your specific case and receive free advice, you can contact a member of our advisory team. They could also answer any questions you may have regarding council compensation payouts in the UK.
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.
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
- GOV on Pavement Injuries – Here’s what the government have to say about injuries on the pavement.
- Government services – HSE information – Here is some information provided by the HSE on local government.
- Reporting incidents – HSE – Information about work accident reporting.
- Report a pothole – if you have had an accident due to a council or local authority pothole report it here.
- Accident at a Leisure Centre Claims – If you’ve been injured in an accident at a leisure centre, read our guide to find out how you could claim compensation.
Please get in touch at any time if you have any further questions about council compensation claims.