Lady Solicitor Personal Injury Claim Lady Justice Old Bailer

Broken Paving Leads to Broken Shoulder!


We recently represented a Swansea man who acts as a full time carer for his wife who suffers with M.S. In April 2010 he went for a walk and chose to take a different route home from normal, using a set of paved steps to join a footpath. Unfortunately the steps were in a very poor state of repair and there was a large chunk missing from the final step. Our client missed his footing and fell heavily, suffering a broken shoulder as a result. Medical evidence following the accident showed that the fracture had not healed properly and surgery was going to be necessary. His daughter had to take over as carer for her mother.

It was our opinion that Swansea Council should have repaired the steps and that if they had then the accident would have been avoided. Swansea Council denied all responsibility. They said that though they owned the land, the steps themselves did not form part of the highway and therefore did not require the usual type of inspection and maintenance regime you would expect of a council owned footpath. They also said that no one had reported the broken step to them.

We disagreed with Swansea Council and agreed to deal with the injury claim on a No Win – No Fee basis. Specialist accident solicitor James McNally was assigned to the case. James is a Partner with considerable experience of dealing with accident claims; including claims against Swansea Council.

James obtained a second opinion from a barrister who supported our view of the case. Arrangements were therefore made for Court proceedings to be issued.

In November 2012 the claim went before a judge at Swansea County Court. Just before the trial Swansea Council changed tactics and admitted that the steps did form part of the highway. However they obtained a witness statement from the doctor who had treated our client at the A&E immediately after the accident and who had noted a discrepancy in the number of steps our client had fallen down. Swansea Council began to question his credibility.

We were able to track down a witness who had seen Mr B fall on the last step and had helped him home. We also carefully considered all the hospital records and were able to show that the hospital had made several mistakes throughout Mr B’s treatment when describing the accident circumstances. The Judge was presented with this evidence and as a result believed Mr B’s version of events, finding Swansea Council liable for the accident. The claimant was awarded compensation of £15,000 with a 25% deduction for contributory negligence. 

Our client received all of his compensation, without costs being deducted, under our 100% compensation guarantee.

This case exemplifies the approach we take to injury claims: