What Is The Legal Height Of A Trip Hazard UK?

By Cat Grayson. Last Updated 13th September 2023. 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. As we will explain, the trip hazard height could be crucial to you receiving compensation.

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. They can answer such questions as “what is the pavement trip hazard height?”

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 contact us online. Otherwise, please continue reading to learn more about claiming for injuries caused by a pavement trip hazard.

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Trip Hazard?
  2. Who Could Make A Claim For Injuries Caused By A Tripping Hazard?
  3. Compensation Payouts For Injuries Caused By A Trip Hazard
  4. What Is The Pavement Trip Hazard Height?
  5. Councils Responsibility For Pavements
  6. What Evidence Could Help Me Receive Slip, Trip or Fall Compensation?
  7. Injuries Caused By Trip Hazards – Get In Touch To Claim With Our No Win No Fee Lawyers
  8. More Information On The Pavement Trip Hazard Height

What Is A Trip Hazard?

If you suffered injuries because you tripped, you may like to know more about the trip hazard definition. As stated above, trips can occur anywhere. We look at where you could be owed a duty of care later in this guide.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that the majority of trips are caused by walkway obstructions with the rest caused by uneven surfaces. The HSE is the national regulator for workplace health and safety. They work to ensure that people feel safe where they live, work and in their environment.

Examples of what can cause a trip regardless of the hazard height:

  • Uneven paving
  • Cluttered walkways
  • Unmarked steps
  • Rugs and carpeting with curled edges
  • Gaps in surfaces.

Call our advisors to discuss the trip hazard height. If you suffered injuries in a slip, trip and fall accident, you might be eligible for compensation.

Who Could Make A Claim For Injuries Caused By A Tripping Hazard? 

It’s important to note that you cannot claim for just identifying a tripping hazard, and not all accidents caused by a trip hazard will result in a successful compensation claim. This is because your case must meet certain criteria in order to be valid, meaning you must be able to prove that:

  • You were owed a duty of care
  • This duty was breached
  • You were injured as a result of this breach 

This also determines who you make your claim against. For example, for tripping hazards in the workplace, such as trailing wires and cluttered walkways, you would claim against your employer. This is because they owe you a duty of care and must take all reasonably practicable steps to keep you safe in the workplace, according to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA).

However, if you are in a public space and trip over a pavement or dislodged paving stone, then your claim may be made against the local council. This is because they are the controller of that space, and as such, owe you a duty of care under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 (OLA).

If another party breaches their duty of care towards you, and you are injured as a result, then you may be able to claim personal injury compensation. Contact our team for more information.

Compensation Payouts For Injuries Caused By A Trip Hazard

If your employer were to breach their duty of care you could be injured due to a trip hazard, meaning you could be owed compensation.

Following a successful personal injury claim, your compensation settlement could consist of general and special damages. General damages compensate you for the pain and suffering you have endured due to being injured by a workplace trip hazard. To help give you a clearer idea of how much you could receive in general damages for your injury, we have provided the following table. The amounts listed have been taken from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is a document used by various legal professionals to help them value claims, as it lists compensation brackets for different injuries.

Compensation is awarded on a case-by-case basis, so please only use this table as a guide.

InjurySeverityDetailed InformationCompensation (Range)
KneeSevere (ii)A leg fracture that has extended into the knee joint and causes permanent pain with limited movement.£52,120 TO £69,730
Pelvis and HipsModerate (i)A significant pelvis or hip injury that doesn't result in a major disability.£26,590 to £39,170
AnkleModerateLigamentous tears or fractures that make it difficult to walk on uneven ground with awkwardness on stairs.£13,740 to £26,590
NeckModerate (ii)The claimant will be left with serious limited movement, discomfort, stiffness or permanent pain due to a wrenching type or soft-tissue injury.£13,740 to £24,990
FootModerateContinuing symptoms and a permanent deformity caused by displaced metatarsal fractures.£13,740 to £24,990
LegLess Serious (iii)A tibia or fibula fracture or soft tissue injury that causes some minor ongoing symptoms.Up to £11,840
ToeSeriousFractures to two or more toes£9,600 to £13,740
BackMinor (i)Soft tissue injuries that heal completely, without the need for surgery after a 2-5 year period.£7,890 to £12,510
Achilles TendonMinorSome damage to the tendon due to the turning of the ankle.£7,270 to £12,590
ArmFractureSimple fractures of the forearm.£6,610 to £19,200

Special damages compensate you for the financial losses you have suffered due to your injury. Some of the financial closes you could claim under special damages include:

You will need to provide evidence of these losses in order to receive compensation for them. Payslips, bank statements, and invoices could all be used as evidence in your claim.

Contact our advisors today to discuss your particular claim. Our advisors could also help answer questions such as, ‘what is a tripping hazard, and how could my employer be liable if I am injured because of one?’

What Is The Pavement Trip Hazard Height?

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. 

While the hazard height is a crucial aspect, you would also need to demonstrate that the hazard was created by third-party negligence. This could involve, for instance, evidence showing that the local council did not monitor the public park correctly.

For free claims advice on how to proceed with your pavement trip claim, please get in touch with our specialists 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. 

What Evidence Could Help Me Receive Slip, Trip or Fall Compensation?

Slip, trip and fall claims revolve around proving that your injury was the result of third-party negligence. To do this, you will need sufficient evidence. You need to be able to create a causal link between the council’s negligence, for instance, and your injury. Evidence that you could use includes:

  • Photographs of your injury and the pavement defect. Photographs of the scene are particularly important as your potential claim revolves around showing that the pavement defect goes above the legal height for a trip hazard.
  • Contact details of any witnesses. As part of the claims process, your solicitor can contact them to take statements.
  • CCTV footage of the incident. This can give a clearer idea of how the accident occurred.
  • A log of the accident report if you have reported the incident. This can help confirm the time, location and date that it took place.
  • Doctor’s notes. A medical professional will assess your injury as part of receiving medical treatment. Their notes can be used to show the extent of the injury. Other medical evidence you could use includes copies of any medical scans.

If you have other queries about trip and fall claims, please contact our team of advisors for a free consultation using the details above.

Injuries Caused By Trip Hazards – Get In Touch To Claim With Our No Win No Fee Lawyers

If you’ve been injured by tripping on a hazard that should not have been there or should have been signposted, you may be eligible to claim compensation. A lawyer from our panel could assist you in making a personal injury claim on a No Win No Fee basis under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under this arrangement, you would not have to pay them any fees for their work upfront or during the course of your claim.

Furthermore, if your claim does not end in compensation, you would not have to pay them for their work.

If your claim is successful, your lawyer will deduct a small percentage from your compensation. This is known as a success fee, and the percentage one can be is legally capped.

To see if you could be eligible to work with a lawyer from our panel, you can contact our advisors. They can also help answer any questions you may have about personal injury claims being made due to trip hazards.

You can reach an advisor today by:

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. If you would like to learn more about the trip hazard height or have further questions, please contact us for free legal advice using the details above.