HM Insights

Public Liability over fall on pavement - a case where court action only option to recover client's losses

Our specialist Public Liability team represented a lady who required to raise a court action in order to secure justice and settlement of her claim, after suffering a fall on a pavement caused by work site operators.

Metal Plate Pavement Fall Personal Injury Compensation Lawyer Scotland

Why was a court action necessary?

Our client was walking home from a night out when she fell over a raised metal board that was covering works done by a company who were working nearby. The piece of metal overlapped with the pavement and was a hazard to pedestrians.

The lady fell and sustained significant injuries including a fracture injury to her left hand and extensive bruising. In addition to her physical injuries her diamond engagement ring was damaged and her designer handbag was scraped beyond repair.

The day after the accident occurred our client returned to where the accident had happened. The raised metal board had been removed and the area had been filled in with tarmac. Despite reporting the accident to the employees on site and the fact her injuries were apparent, they suggested to her that she was inebriated despite the fact she had not consumed alcohol.

Our specialist Public Liability team intimated the claim to the company that were responsible for this accident occurring and they refused to accept liability. Our team are experienced in representing people who are injured in public places so we recovered CCTV footage which showed our client's fall and the existence of the raised piece of metal.

Our specialist team were able to use the CCTV footage to prove our client's version of events. Despite this evidence along with medical evidence and other documentary evidence for her engagement ring and handbag being disclosed to the other side, the other side refused to accept responsibility.

On the basis of this and despite various requests from our specialist team to deal with this case, the insurance company representing the site operators refused to settle our client's claim. It was necessary for us to raise a court action (litigate) on behalf of our client

Settlement of our client's case

Solicitors were appointed to accept service of the formal court proceedings and represented the site operators and their insurance company. Despite full disclosure of all evidence in relation to our client's case the case did not settle until a court hearing date had been fixed.

Offers were made by the other solicitors that were unreasonable and these were refused further to our client's instructions and our recommendations. The case eventually settled for a four-figure sum and we were able to prove our client's losses in relation to her Personal Injury claim, her damaged engagement ring and handbag were as a result of the accident and the site operator's negligence. Our client was unable to carry out various domestic activity due to her injuries so a claim for assistance given to her by her husband also formed part of her claim and recovery of compensation was made for these services also.

Lessons learned?

Full documentary evidence was disclosed to the other side prior to us requiring to raise a court action on behalf of our client but, despite this, her case was not settled as early as it should have been. The client had no other option in order to recover her losses than to raise a court action. It would be preferable for this not to have to happen but in order to secure justice for our client we required to do so.

Site operators owe a duty of care to the public to ensure that they keep sites in order and free of hazards that could cause injury. In this case the site operators had failed to do so and this negligence caused our client to be injured and suffer loss. This case highlights the need for site operators to take all necessary precautions and procedures to ensure that members of the public are not harmed.

Contact our personal injury solicitors

If you've suffered a similar injury our solicitors can help you secure the justice and compensation you deserve. Get in touch now for a free chat about your claim.

We will be able to give you an indication of the potential value of your claim. Remember with us you keep 100% of the compensation your receive.


The small print: This blog is for information purposes only and should not be construed in any way as providing legal advice.