Walking on a footpath or pavement is something people do every day, whether getting from A to B or simply taking a stroll to unwind or get in some exercise. While this everyday task might seem extremely safe, it is one of the most common ways that people in Ireland suffer a personal injury. If you have been injured in a footpath or pothole accident, then you could be entitled to compensation.

What is a footpath, pothole accident?

Tripping on uneven pavement, falling into a pothole, or colliding with a misaligned kerb can result in anything from an acute injury like a bruise or sprain to something much more serious like a broken bone, or concussion.  Footpath or pothole accidents can arise for a number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons for a footpath or pothole accident include:

  • Poor maintenance of paving slabs and kerbs
  • Poor workmanship resulting in uneven paving slabs/misaligned kerbs
  • Potholes in paths and walkways
  • Damaged or missing manhole/drain coverings

What should I do if I am injured in a footpath or pothole accident?

If you find yourself in an accident caused by a pothole or damaged footpath/kerb, the first thing you need to do is seek medical attention. Once you have clearance from a medical practitioner, you should contact the local authorities or the owner of the private property where your accident occurred. This way the duty holders can take the appropriate measures to ensure no one else becomes victim to a footpath or pothole accident in that area. If possible, you should try to record/photograph your injuries and the area where the accident took place to substantiate your future claim. Once you have taken these steps and wish to claim compensation, contact a personal injury lawyer who can provide you with guidance on how to make your claim.

How do I know my claim is valid?

If you have had a footpath, kerb, or pavement accident and want to know if your claim is valid, there are certain things that need to be considered. For example:

  • Is there evidence of a collision? This can include photographs, police reports, and witness statements.
  • Can you show where the damage was caused by the accident? Evidence such as photographs showing the damage before and after the accident may be useful here.

There have been many cases where people have been injured on public property in Ireland and taken legal action against local authorities or private owners responsible for keeping the area safe. If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or carelessness then you can claim compensation for your injuries, which could include medical expenses and lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Who is responsible for an accident on a footpath?

In Ireland, pedestrians have rights under the Road Traffic Acts 1961-2014 (RTA) and are protected by law when traveling on footpaths or pavements. The RTA states that local authorities are responsible for ensuring public areas are safe for pedestrians.

If you are injured on a footpath or in a pothole on private property (in a private car park for example), then the owner of the private area could possibly be liable for damages incurred on the property.

County councils, local authorities, and private property owners have a duty of care to uphold safety measures, carry out regular inspections, and repair damages. In order to prevent a claim, these bodies must be able to show that they acted with reasonable care.

How do I make a claim for a pothole or footpath accident?

If you have been injured in an accident on a footpath or pothole and believe that you are entitled to compensation, the first thing you need to do is contact a personal injury lawyer. Baxter Mimnagh personal injury solicitors are an experienced team of law professionals dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve. Due to the high amount of claims for footpath and pothole accidents, claiming is oftentimes a long drawn out and complex affair. Getting expert help from a qualified professional will make claiming for your accident much easier.

The first thing our team will do is assess whether or not you have a valid claim. If your claim is valid, we will begin gathering evidence to support your claim. Once it is clear who is liable for the accident, a letter of claim will be sent to the liable party (council, landowner).

If the identified party accepts liability for the accident, our lawyers will begin negotiating the terms of your claim. While we aim to deal with claims outside of court, in the case that the party rejects the liability claim, or if a reasonable agreement could not be met during the negotiation process, the case might be brought to court.

How much compensation am I entitled to for a footpath/pothole accident?

Compensation can be claimed for personal injuries, loss of earnings, and property damage. It is important to note that strict time limits apply with regard to making a claim so if you have suffered an accident on a footpath or pothole contact us immediately so that we can advise you accordingly.

A claim has to be made within three years of the date of the accident, although if this is not possible because you were otherwise unable to make such a claim (for example in hospital), then you will have six years from when your injuries first became apparent. If your accident occurred outside Ireland but was caused by another person’s negligence whilst they were in Ireland, then Irish law may apply and this means that there are different time limits that could apply.

Find Personal Injury Lawyers in Ireland

If you have suffered an injury from an accident on a footpath or from a pothole, Baxter Mimnagh personal injury lawyers can help. Contact us today for expert advice and guidance on your claim today.

More information

If you require any more information concerning pedestrian accidents, read more here.