Is it possible to claim compensation for falling on loose gravel on a street pavement or only for tripping over paving stones?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

You can claim compensation for falling on loose gravel on a street pavement if you sustained an injury in the accident which can be directly attributable to the negligence of a third party. However claiming compensation for falling on loose gravel on a street pavement can be more complicated that claiming for a trip over loose or raised paving stones.

In order to claim compensation for falling on loose gravel on a street pavement you must be able to establish and prove who was responsible and that there was a duty of care owed to you. In the case of a raised paving stone it is likely to be the local authority that was to blame for the hazard and for not correcting the problem in a reasonable time scale. Loose gravel on a street pavement could have many potential sources, and identifying where the gravel came from and proving negligence is likely to be difficult. This does not mean that you will not be able to make a claim for compensation for falling on loose gravel on a street pavement, but you should certainly seek legal advice about doing so.

If you are unable to identify the source of the gravel, it is unlikely that you will be able to claim compensation for falling on loose gravel on a street pavement. The most common sources of gravel on a street pavement which could give you grounds for claiming compensation for the injuries you sustained would be from road gritting vehicles which spread rock salt and grit on the roads in icy weather, or other road works which have been taking place in the street where you slipped and fell. If the local authority had been resurfacing the street pavement or roads and had failed to clean up afterwards, this could give you grounds for making a claim.

If construction work has been taking place where you fell, it may be a construction company which could be to blame for your accident. However, since the gravel on the street pavement may only be a temporary hazard and may not exist for long, it is essential that you neither delay seeking legal advice nor wait before collecting evidence of the hazard which caused your fall.