Compensation for injury caused by hole in park grassland
I recently settled a case for a client who suffered a significant injury to his ankle whilst walking in a park.
Whilst most individuals would not expect the grounds in a park to be smooth, or always even, there is a legal duty for local councils to maintain the grounds and carry out regular inspections. If a local council fails to do so they can be held liable for negligence or for a breach of their statutory duties.
My client had been out one summer evening walking his dog on a grass area, when he stepped down into a deep hole in the grass. He immediately experienced pain and swelling in his ankle. He attended at the accident and emergency department in his local hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fractured ankle and given crutches.
The client approached me to act on his behalf and I wrote to the local authority with a letter of claim. At first, the council refused to accept liability, but after some further enquiries and a site inspection, they conceded that they had breached their statutory duty and accepted liability for my client’s accident.
I arranged for my client to be seen by a specialist ankle surgeon for a report to be prepared. Unfortunately due to the complicated nature of the injury, there was a considerable delay in the client’s recovery. He was off work for a short period and on his return to work was experiencing significant problems as his job involved driving. My client had physiotherapy sessions, a period of bracing his ankle and eventually surgery to alleviate his symptoms.
As well as the physical injury, my client experienced a short period of low mood/depression when his symptoms were more severe. He also received significant care and assistance from his family and friends which he considered had been vital in aiding in his recovery.
Once I obtained all the medical evidence and the client’s symptoms had settled down, I began to negotiate a settlement for my client with the council’s solicitors. Eventually my client happily agreed to accept a sum in the region of £25,000.
It is important for claimants to seek specialist legal advice as soon as it is possible when they have suffered injuries as a result of an accident, as this allows for evidence to be obtained early on and increases the prospects of success for their claim.