Grid Manhole Cover Trip Accident Claim: Council United Utilities Liability Broken Nose Smashed Teeth

UK public liability solicitor sets out how to claim compensation if you have suffered injury from a trip accident over a raised grid or manhole cover, the statutory defence of reasonable maintenance and the medical experts necessary to describe facial injuries including scarring, a broken nose and damaged teeth

Trip accident victim question

After leaving a venue following a meal, I was walking towards bus stop.  My heal  got caught on a 1.5 inch lip on a manhole cover situated on a pavement causing me to fall directly onto my face.

A passer-by witnessed me fall and came to my assistance. I was dazed and my mouth and nose was bleeding. An ambulance was called and I was taken to Accident & Emergency at Hospital In London.

I was diagnosed with a broken nose, two black eyes and smashed tow incisor teeth which could not be saved. I also have cuts to my lips, mouth and gums and I believe I will be left with a prominent scar.

I have since been back to the manhole cover and taken photos. The lip of the cover is standing proud by at least 1.5 inches.

Is it possible to make a claim and if so who can I claim from?

Public liability solicitor response

Liability of the council, local authority and United Utilities depends on several factors including the height of the defect. The general rule is that a defect must be over an inch for liability to attach.

You have indicated that the height of the defect was over 1.5 inches so on the face you could have a claim.

However – for this type of public liability claim a statutory defence known as reasonable inspection and maintenance can debar a claim. In other words – if the council / United Utilities can show that inspections took place on a regular basis (for example every 6 months) and the defect developed in-between inspections the council might not be liable for your injury claim.

As it seems that as grid has the defect I imagine that the body responsible will be United Utilities – but the council will also have records of who conducted the grid works.

To find the council’s position – disclosure of the records held by the council and United Utilities can be obtained by a specialist solicitor. Even if the records show a maintenance record – this can be checked with local residents to see whether the defect has been in existence for some time and whether complaints have been made to the council.

Should the council not have a statutory defence – medical evidence will be necessary to detail your injuries possibly including: a plastic surgeon report to describe your facial scarring; a dental report to describe the your teeth damage and an orthopaedic report to describe your broken nose, black eyes and other injuries to your mouth.

To make a claim for your injuries click grid manhole cover trip accident claim solicitor or alternatively I will be happy to call you back in person to discuss your accident.

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