I tripped on a hole in the street, can I claim compensation? Should I use a solicitor to pursue the claim?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
You may be eligible to claim compensation if you tripped on a hole in the street, provided that you can establish that a third party has been negligent and has failed in its duty of care, and this was the direct cause of you sustaining an injury.
It is most often the responsibility of the local authority to ensure that the roads and pavements are kept in a good state of repair and to ensure that resurfacing or spot repairs are made when potholes and cracks develop – although utility companies and private landowners may bear that responsibility in certain circumstances.
If the local authority or other responsible party has failed to check the street surface regularly, or has been made aware of the condition of the street and has not arranged for repairs to be made, it is likely that there has been a failure in a duty of care and the local authority has been negligent. If this is the case, compensation for having tripped on a hole in the street can be claimed. A personal injury solicitor will be able to confirm whether you are eligible to make a claim for street trip injury compensation.
Personal injuries claims have been made more straightforward in Ireland since the introduction of the Injuries Board. Accident victims are able to make a claim for street trip injury compensation through the Injuries Board process without the services of a personal injury solicitor. You can therefore claim compensation for having tripped on a hole in the street by downloading the necessary claim form – and medical assessment form – from the Injuries Board website, completing the form and sending it off the Injuries Board. In spite of this simplification of the claims process, the majority of accident victims still use a personal injury solicitor to process their street trip injury claim.
There are a number of advantages to using a solicitor to pursue a claim for having tripped on a hole in the street. A solicitor will confirm your eligibility to make a street trip injury claim and will assess the strength of the case. Assistance can be provided with gathering evidence of negligence and in identifying the negligent third party. The negligent third party must be identified before a claim for tripping on a hole in the street can be submitted, and a solicitor will make sure that the correct third party is identified.
Although an application for assessment will still need to be submitted to the Injuries Board, a solicitor will attempt to negotiate a settlement of street trip injury compensation directly with the third party’s insurance company. This can speed up the time taken for an accident victim to receive compensation for a street trip. Since an initial consultation with a solicitor should be free of charge, it is in your best interests to speak with a solicitor about your case for advice about whether you can claim for having tripped on a hole in the street and whether it will be worth your while to do so.