I tripped on a pothole on the street and broke my ankle but I am unsure how best to go about making a claim for compensation. Can you help?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
Claiming compensation for having tripped on a pothole on the street is certainly possible, but since there are many factors which can affect your eligibility to make a claim for a street pothole trip you should speak with a solicitor. Only after listening to the circumstances which led to a street pothole trip, the location of the pothole and the nature of your injuries is it possible to confirm eligibility to make a claim. You should make the call at the earliest possible opportunity as there are procedures which must be completed promptly after an accident in order to maximise the chances of making a successful public liability claim for a trip and fall.
However before you contact a solicitor about a claim for having tripped on a pothole on the street, it is vital that your injuries are assessed and treated by a doctor. If you have not yet sought medical attention you must do so immediately. Your injuries must be detailed in your medical records in order to make a pothole trip claim. A doctor must also complete a medical assessment form to supply to the Injuries Board to assist them with making a pothole trip claim assessment. Without this form, no claim for pothole trip injury compensation can be awarded.
In order to file a successful claim for a trip on a pothole on the street, you must be able to establish and prove that your street pothole trip was the result of the negligence of a third party. The local authority is responsible for maintaining the roads and pavements, and when potholes form on the street repairs must be made promptly. Although any size of pothole can potentially cause a trip and fall, often street pothole trip claims will only be possible if the pothole was of a certain size or posed a significant trip risk. You should therefore take photographs of the hazard, its location and its size. You should use a ruler or an object of known size to indicate the depth of the pothole, and you should measure its width and length. These details can then be recorded on your application for assessment to the Injuries Board.
Provided that your injuries have been treated by a doctor, the best course of action now is to speak with a personal injury solicitor about claiming for having tripped on a pothole on the street for specific legal advice about your case.