What Is The Legal Height Of A Trip Hazard UK?

In this guide, we will review the legal height of a trip hazard in regard to personal injury claims. Trips, slips and falls can happen just about anywhere. On some occasions, you may suffer nothing more than a slight fall. But sometimes, they can lead to serious injuries that require an extensive period of recovery.          

If you fell over and injured yourself because of somebody else’s negligence, you may be thinking about claiming compensation. However, in this country, claims need to be based on trip hazards or a certain height. In this guide, we will also explain who might be liable for your accident, in what scenarios you might be paid compensation and how much could be claimed.

How can Advice.co.uk help?

What is the legal height of a trip hazard guide

What is the legal height of a trip hazard guide

Advice.co.uk can support you if you would like to talk about your accident. We provide a free telephone consultation where you can explain what happened. An advisor will review the evidence and give free advice on whether you could claim. 

If there is a good chance of success, we could pass your case to a personal injury solicitor from our panel. If they agree to take your claim forward, they will work for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

To discuss your eligibility to claim today, please call us on 0161 696 9685 or fill out a callback form. Otherwise, please continue reading to learn more about claiming for injuries caused by a pavement trip hazard.

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A Guide On What The Legal Height Of A Trip Hazard Is

Trips can be caused by any number of things. If there was nothing that could be done to prevent the accident, you’d be unlikely to be eligible for compensation. However, if the accident was caused by some form of negligence, you could claim for any injuries you sustained.

Pavement trip hazards that could cause you to fall include broken slabs, missing kerbstones, tree roots and potholes. That said, they need to be a certain height or depth in order for a claim to be made. 

We will discuss the height thresholds for making a pavement trip claim later on in this article. No matter the size of the trip hazard, you need to demonstrate that the party responsible for the pavement had neglected their duty of care to you, resulting in injury.

As we continue, we will look at who you could make a claim against. We will also show you what your compensation could include and how much you might receive.

Importantly, we need to tell you about the time limits associated with making personal injury claims. For most cases relating to falls, you will have 3 years to claim, starting from the date that the accident occurred.

If your child has been injured in a fall caused by a pavement trip hazard, you could claim for them at any point before their 18th birthday. Provided you don’t claim for them before they turn 18, they will then have until their 21st birthday to claim themselves. 

After you have read about claiming for injuries caused by a pavement hazard, please get in touch if you would like us to review your claim. Our advisors provide free legal advice. They could also connect your case to a personal injury solicitor.

Legal Height Of A Trip Hazard Compensation Calculator

Before looking at why you might be able to claim, we are going to use this section to show what compensation might be paid for some relevant injuries. Our compensation table below shows compensation bracket guidelines from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) relating to a number of injuries that could be sustained in a fall. The JCG is a document used by insurers and lawyers when settling claims.

Please use these figures as guidance. This is because each and every claim is unique. You’ll receive a more accurate figure if your claim is assessed by a solicitor. The figures we have supplied cover the general damages element of a claim. That’s the head of your claim that covers pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

Body partSeverityCompensation (Range)Detailed Information
NeckModerate£12,900 to £23,460The claimant will be left with serious limited movement, discomfort, stiffness or permanent pain due to wrenching type injuries.
BackMinor£7,410 to £11,730Soft tissue injuries of the back that heal completely, without the need for surgery after a 2-5 year period.
HipsModerate£24,950 to £36,770Covers serious pelvis or hip injuries. In this compensation category, any permanent disabilities will not be significant.
ArmFracture£6,190 to £18,020Includes simple fractures of the forearm.
LegFractureUp to £11,110Covers tibia or fibula fractures and some soft tissue injuries as well.
AnkleModerate£12,900 to £24,950Injuries including fractures and ligament tears will result in less serious disabilities such as problems standing for long periods or difficulty climbing stairs.

The table shows us that the severity of any injury is an important factor when deciding on settlement amounts. For that reason, claimants will attend a medical assessment during the claims process. These are usually booked at local venues.

The assessment will be carried out by an independent specialist. They will review your medical notes, ask questions and examine the current state of your injuries. After they’ve finished, they will explain their findings and your prognosis in a report. This will be sent to your lawyer to form the basis of the general damages head of your claim. If you do not have a solicitor the report will be sent to you. 

Pavement Trip Accident Special Damages

On top of general damages, some claims might need to include costs or expenses you’ve incurred as a result of your injuries. This is called the special damages head of your claim. Again, circumstances vary from case to case, but special damages could include:

  • Medical expenses. This could be used to recover medication costs (over the counter or prescription) and also any treatment that’s not offered by the NHS.
  • Travel costs. Visiting your GP or hospital could lead to parking fees, fuel costs or public transport fares. You may also need to pay for transport if you’ve been left unable to drive because of your injuries. Therefore, these could all be claimed back if necessary.
  • Care costs. While you are recuperating, you may need support with daily tasks. If that’s the case, you may need to calculate an hourly rate for the time a relative or friend spent supporting you. If you’ve suffered more serious injuries, the cost of professional in-home care can be included in your claim. 
  • Home adaptations. When an injury leads to a disability, making your home more accessible might help you cope. If that’s true, you could be entitled to claim back the cost of the adaptations.
  • Lost earnings. If your income is reduced because you can’t work while you recover, it might be possible to claim back your losses.
  • Future lost income. For cases where you suffer a long-term injury that affects your ability to earn, you could claim for future lost earnings as well. The amount that could be paid will be affected by age, job prospects and current salary levels.

Please bear in mind that special damages are not fines. The idea is to return you to the position you were in, financially, before the accident happened. To substantiate your claim, you should keep hold of bank statements, receipts and wage slips.

What Is An Accident Caused By A Pavement Trip Hazard?

In order to claim compensation for a trip caused by a pavement hazard, you need to demonstrate that:

  • Somebody (the defendant) owed you a duty of care.
  • The defendant has breached that duty through negligence and caused an accident to occur.
  • As a result of the accident, you sustained an injury.

The types of injuries that can result from a fall include:

  • Head injuries like skull fractures or concussion.
  • Broken limbs or wrist fractures when you put your hands out to break your fall.
  • Cuts and abrasions.
  • Soft tissue injuries including bruising and ligament damage.
  • Back injuries.

While some of these injuries could heal quite quickly, others might require multiple surgical interventions or long periods of recovery. Furthermore, some injuries could be life-changing and result in a permanent disability.

If you’ve been injured in a fall caused by somebody else’s negligence, why not call us today? We offer a no-obligation review of all cases. As well as free legal advice, we could connect you on to a personal injury solicitor. If your claim is accepted, they’ll represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.

Criteria To Make A Successful Pavement Trip

To make a successful claim, you will need to:

  1. Prove that you have sustained injuries. It’s a requirement in all cases to show that your injuries were caused as a direct result of the accident. To do this, you will need to provide medical records from your GP or a hospital. For this reason, you should always seek medical treatment if you are injured in this type of accident.
  2. Demonstrate the height of the trip hazard. As we will explain shortly, there is a minimum height that usually applies in trip hazard claims. Therefore, it is important to show the height of the hazard that caused you to fall. You should act quickly and take photographs before the hazard is repaired.
  3. Prove when the pavement was damaged. To do this, you could ask locals for their details. They may be able to offer a statement to your personal injury lawyer to verify how long the damage had been present. Furthermore, if the pavement is maintained by the local authority, inspection reports could be used to show whether they were aware of the defect.

We suggest using a personal injury lawyer during your claim. They will have the legal knowledge and experience to get to the bottom of what happened and to find the evidence to prove it. You will then be able to focus on your recovery without worrying about putting together your claim. 

What Height Is Considered A Tripping Hazard?

In law, there is no legal height defined for a pavement trip hazard. The criteria for a pavement defect that is actionable will vary between local authorities. However, many local authorities won’t consider a pavement defect actionable unless it is at least 1-inch (25mm, 2.5cm) high or deep. We’ll explain how to demonstrate the height of a trip hazard later on.

Remember, you can’t claim just because you tripped over the hazard. You must be able to demonstrate that it caused you to be injured. For this reason, you should attend A&E or book an appointment with your GP as soon as possible after the accident occurred. Not only will this provide a basis for your claim, but it will also ensure that you get the medical attention needed for your injuries. 

For free claims advice on how to proceed with your case, please get in touch with our specialists today.

Who Could Be Liable For A Broken Pavement?

You will need to direct your claim to the correct party for it to be successful. Generally, local authorities are responsible for pavements.

In accordance with The Highways Act 1980, the local council have a duty of care to maintain and inspect pavements. If a defect of a certain size is identified, it needs to be repaired in a timely manner. As we’ve already touched on, the criteria for these defects will vary from council to council. All inspections, defects and repairs need to be logged to show how the council is meeting their obligations.  

If you would like assistance in ascertaining who was responsible for your accident, why not contact an advisor today?

Councils Responsibility For Pavements

As mentioned above, the local authority is responsible for many roads and pavements. As part of that duty, a programme of inspection and repair needs to be carried out.

That doesn’t mean every road needs to be inspected daily, however. Usually, the council will prioritise busier pavements for more regular inspections. For example, the pavements on the high street or outside a shopping centre will be checked more often than those in quiet residential areas. If the council are not aware of the defect or it has just recently happened you may be less likely to have a valid claim.

We can assess your case for free. Our team will give free legal advice on what evidence you need in order to proceed. Through an informal chat, we can evaluate whether you have a legitimate claim. And whether your claim could qualify for compensation. 

Could The Local Council Defend Against Their Liability For A Trip Accident?

If the local council are meeting their obligations and responsibilities, they could have a valid defence to your claim. This means that you may not have a valid claim if the council can show that they have a sound inspection programme and that the pavement you were injured on was checked recently. 

To find out if you could be compensated is to speak to our advisors. They’ll review your claim, go over any evidence you have and explain what you should do next. Our advice is free whether you decide to begin a claim or not.

Broken Pavement Tripping Hazards Caused By Poor Maintenance

If the party responsible for a pavement doesn’t maintain it properly, defects can materialise that become trip hazards. For example, poor maintenance could lead to:

  • Potholes and sinkholes.
  • Uneven or raised paving slabs.
  • Exposed tree roots.
  • Missing kerbstones.

Any of these defects could cause you to fall and could lead to serious injuries. If this is the case, you could be eligible to seek compensation.

What Evidence Could Help My Claim?

As with other types of personal injury claims, evidence is crucial in making a claim following a pavement trip. It is needed to show what happened, how you suffered and who was to blame. The evidence you could supply might include:

  • Medical records that help demonstrate the extent of your injuries and when they were sustained.
  • Accident report logs if you reported the incident. This could clarify the date, time and location of the accident.
  • Photographs of the pavement defect.
  • Details of any witnesses.
  • CCTV footage if the area was covered.

The Importance Of Photographic Evidence

Photographic evidence is one of the most important things you can supply to substantiate your pavement trip claim. It is important that it shows the height or depth of the defect you tripped on. 

The best thing to do is to photograph the defect with a tape measure or ruler included to show the depth or height of the defect. Take one photograph close up and one further away. It can also be useful to show the width of the defect as well.

Once you have as much evidence as you can gather, please call the number above for a free assessment of your case.

No Win No Fee Pavement Trip Hazard Claims

Choosing a No Win No Fee solicitor can have many benefits. A No Win No Fee agreement or Conditional Fee Agreement allows you to have a legal specialist on your side but without having to pay anything to your solicitor unless your claim is successful.

The solicitor will need to verify the merits of your claim before accepting it though. If your case is taken on, the solicitor will draft a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) for you. This is the formal name for a No Win No Fee agreement. Your CFA will tell you what conditions your solicitor will need to meet before you pay them. Furthermore, it will outline that:

  • You aren’t required to make payment upfront to your solicitor. Therefore, your solicitor won’t need to wait to receive fees in order to begin working on your claim.
  • No solicitor’s fees are charged while the claim is being processed.
  • For claims that don’t succeed, you won’t need to pay any solicitor’s fees.

If your claim is successful and you are paid compensation, your solicitor will earn a success fee. This is a percentage of your settlement amount and will be set out in the CFA. 

By law, success fees are capped to prevent overcharging and to ensure that you always get the majority of your compensation. They are used to cover the cost of your solicitor’s time and effort.

If you would like us to see if a solicitor could be funded by a No Win No Fee agreement, please call today.

Contact Us

Hopefully, we have now answered the question, “What is the legal height of a trip hazard in the UK?”. If the information we’ve provided has led you to believe you have a valid claim, we are ready to help you. To get in touch with our specialists, you can:

  • Call our free advice line on 0161 696 9685.
  • Use the live chat option and discuss your case with an online advisor.
  • Let us know what happened via our online enquiry form.

Our phone lines are open 24/7. If you get in touch, an advisor will review your claim on a no-obligation basis and offer their advice for free. 

In the event that your claim appears to have a good chance of success, we could partner you with a personal injury solicitor from our panel. If they take your claim on, they’ll represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.

More Information On The Legal Height Of a Trip Hazard

This is the final section of our guide, so we have added some links to resources that may come in handy. If you would like any more information about claiming, please contact our team on the number above.

Broken Bones – An NHS article that gives advice to help you work out if you have broken a bone.

The Royal Society For The Prevention Of Accidents – ROSPA are a UK charity that is working towards a world free of accidents.

Local Authority Complaints – Information from the Local Government and Social Care ombudsman on how to raise formal complaints.

To show what other types of accidents we can help with, please take a look at some of the guides below.

Local Authority Claims  – For more information about making a claim against a local authority or council, please read our guide. 

Slip, Trip or Fall Claims  – If you’d like more general advice around slip, trip and fall claims, then this guide may be helpful to you.

Doormat Slip, Trip and Fall Claims  – It’s not just pavement defects that can cause injuries through slips and trips. Read our guide for information on claiming for an accident caused by a doormat.

Thank you for reading our guide on the legal height of a trip hazard.

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