Woman Seeking Compensation for a Fall on a Cracked Pavement

May 4th, 2015 | By injuryclaims

A woman is seeking compensation for a fall on a cracked pavement which resulted in her needing hospital treatment for leg, knee and head injuries.

Gwendoline Smith (76) from Noak Bridge in Essex sustained her injuries when getting off of a bus on which she had travelled to Southend. Gwendoline – who is partly disabled and uses crutches for support – tripped and fell over the raised edge of a cracked pavement on Bournemouth Park Road.

Gwendoline was taken to Southend Hospital, where she received treatment for a suspected broken knee. She has subsequently had to attend the nearby Basildon Hospital due to ongoing headaches and bumps appearing on her head.

The fall on the cracked pavement has left Gwendoline with pains in her back, her left shoulder and left leg, and she has also temporarily lost her voice. According to her son – Michael – Gwendoline should be entitled to compensation for a fall on a cracked pavement.

A spokesman for Southend Council said: “We regularly inspect all pavements in the borough and repair any dangerous defects as a matter of priority. We have not had any reports of problems in this area, but of course, we take matters like this seriously and a member of our Environmental Care team will visit the site and inspect the area”.

Claims for compensation for a fall on a cracked pavement are particularly complicated. The “one-inch rule” (by which the lip of a broken pavement must be raised) before it is possible to make injury claims for trips and falls is a myth, and courts are more concerned about the risk of injury presented by a particular hazard.

In 1978 (in Pitman vs. Southern Electricity Board) a court found in favour of a woman who had tripped over a metal plate just one eighth of an inch thick, and the location of the cracked pavement – immediately by a bus stop – may help towards the success of Gwendoline´s claim for compensation for a fall on a cracked pavement.

However, Southend Council does not have an “absolute” duty of care to identify and repair hazards such as cracked pavements. If the crack had only recently appeared and the council not had a “reasonable” amount of time to repair or isolate the hazard, Gwendoline may not be entitled to compensation for a fall on a cracked pavement.

Categories: Pedestrian injury Claims, Street Fall Injury Claims


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