Trips and Falls Caused by Potholes All You Need to Know

Trips and Falls Caused by Potholes: All You Need to Know

Potholes may be a somewhat regular occurrence on roads and pavements throughout Scotland, but they can be hazardous and cause accidents as well as significant injuries to both pedestrians and cyclists.

It’s widely reported that Scotland has a ‘pothole problem’ that needs tackled which was only magnified when, just this week in Glasgow City Centre, a sinkhole emerged on North Fredrick Street just off George Square. The large hole that suddenly appeared, likely caused by erosion underneath the ground’s surface from poor water drainage, has been cordoned off for public safety and Glasgow City Council are working to establish the cause and a solution, as a priority.

Whilst sinkholes are not a widespread occurrence, potholes unfortunately are. A recent report from the Scottish Government shows that the number of potholes on Scotland’s major roads has increased fivefold in the last 13 years. The figures show 3,981 potholes were reported on trunk roads in 2007/8, compared to 20,988 in the last full financial year.

Your local council or Transport Scotland has a duty to keep road surfaces, pavements and walkways safe for use – and as part of this, they should fill in potholes as quickly as possible after they’ve been reported, to keep members of the public safe. If they’re left, potholes can get worse over time. For drivers, this can cause road accidents as large potholes can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. But on pavements they can also lead to slips, trips, and falls, causing painful injuries for pedestrians. These injuries can be wide ranging and can result in anything from a skinned knee to a broken bone to a long-lasting disability that could prevent you from working for an extended period of time.

Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we have significant experience handling these types of claims. Whilst these cases can often be tricky, we have an impressive track record of success and will work tirelessly to win the maximum financial settlement possible. If you’d like more information get in touch today, or keep reading to find out more.


Am I Eligible to Make a Pothole Claim?

In order to be eligible to claim compensation from a pothole accident, you will need to satisfy a few simple criteria. The most crucial of which are;

  • Whilst it can vary, most Scottish courts will require potholes to be at least 20mm deep on pavements or 40mm deep on roads, and 300mm wide, to be classed as potholes and not ‘carriageway defects’.
  • The accident needs to have happened in the last three years, or your injury became apparent within the last three years.


Who is Responsible for the Pothole?

Unfortunately, potholes can pop up anywhere whether it’s on a public street, private property, or in your workplace. In regards to your claim for compensation following any injuries you’ve sustained, it’s the location of the pothole that will dictate who your claim will be made against.

If you’re the victim of a pothole accident at your work, and it can be proven that your employer has failed to mee the required Health and Safety standards set out by law, then you will have a viable route to claiming compensation against your employer.

Most pothole accidents will happen on public roads, which are the responsibility of either your local council or Transport Scotland. Local councils are responsible for the maintenance of all roads in their area – except motorways and trunk roads – in terms of section 1 of the 1984 Roads (Scotland) Act. In terms of the maintenance and management of these main roads, this falls under the jurisdiction of Transport Scotland.

A key aspect to a successful claim against the council following a pothole accident is being able to prove that the council ought to have repaired it already, therefore if there’s evidence of either a complaint or that the pothole has been there for a lengthy period of time, this can greatly support your claim.

If the pothole you fell or tripped into was on private land, you may be able to make a pothole accident claim if there has been negligence on the part of the landowner to maintain the safety of the surface or provide adequate warning if there are any hazards. For a case such as this, we’d highly recommend expert legal advice so if this has happened to you, get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee Solicitors today.


What Evidence Do I Need to Make a Claim?

The well-known saying ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ is especially true when it comes to compensation claims for pothole accidents. To ensure a successful resolution to your case, we need to prove that the responsible party whether that’s the council, a landowner or your employer, breached their duty of care to ensure that the road or pavement was safe and usable. As such, it’s important to gather as much specific information and evidence as you can at the time. Try to record the following:

  • Photographic evidence of the pothole and surrounding area. The pictures should clearly demonstrate the size, location and depth of the pothole. To help with this, it’s a good idea to place a ruler or a recognisable item, like a coin or your keys into the pothole when taking the photo. This will help to clearly demonstrate the size of the pothole that caused your accident
  • For cyclists, photographic evidence of any damage to your bike
  • Statements from any witnesses who saw the accident
  • Full contact details for any witnesses
  • The date, time and exact location of the accident

Most importantly of course, if necessary, seek medical attention as soon as possible and report to your GP following any hospital admissions. Finally, be sure to report the pothole to the relevant body whether that is your local council or Transport Scotland.

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.




How to Avoid Slips, Trips and Falls in the Workplace

How to Avoid Slips, Trips and Falls in the Workplace

How to Avoid Slips, Trips and Falls in the Workplace

As many of us throughout the UK make our way back into the office for the first time in over a year, there’s a sense of excitement to be reunited with our colleagues, to have meetings face-to-face and to enjoy some gossip over a morning coffee.

Working from somewhere other than our living rooms for the first time in a long time can be a shock to the system, so we need to allow ourselves time to readjust to our workplace surroundings and familiarise ourselves to any potential workplace hazards.

It’s unavoidable, even in adult life, that we’ll often slip, trip or fall. Most of the time, we can just get right back up and brush ourselves off. However, in the workplace, slips and trips can be much more serious. Even relatively modest accidents can result in injury, loss of earnings and other damages. That’s why any accident in a workplace environment should be dealt with immediately.

Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we understand the concerns you’ll have following a workplace accident. We have significant experience handling these types of claims so if you are injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault, get in touch today, or keep reading to find out more.


The Dangers Of Slips, Trips, and Falls

Whilst they may not seem like the most critical of accidents, slips, trips and falls are the single most common cause of injures at work, accounting for a third of all reported major injuries. The Health and Safety Executive estimates that these types of incidents cost employers more than £512 million a year from lost production and other costs.

They can happen anytime anywhere, from offices to industrial settings, and can result in anything from a skinned knee to a broken bone to a long-lasting disability that could prevent you from working for an extended period of time.

It’s important to remember that slips, trips, and falls rarely happen on their own – there is usually a way to avoid them and ensure that you can go about your day-to-day working as safely as possible.


Our Top Tips to Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls

  1. Prevention, Not Cure

It’s far better to identify the potential causes of falls, slips and trips in the workplace and rectify these prior to any accidents taking place. Inspect your premises for uneven floor surfaces, trailing cables, wet floors and poor lighting and take the necessary action to remove these risks.


  1. See It, Sort It

If you identify any risks whether it be a spillage, an obstruction in a hallway or stairwell, or an ineffective or broken light, take action right away. Whether you’re the employer or employee, make sure the appropriate member of management has been notified and swift action is taken to reduce the risk of an accident.


  1. Be Organised

By ensuring your workplace has an effective strategy to maintaining a safe work environment, can help to avoid numerous injuries and accidents. Make sure firstly to plan ahead, by identifying any potential risks, assign responsibilities so there are key members of staff committed to the upkeep of safety in the workplace and regularly review your workplace safety standards to ensure you’re adhering to regulations.


Can I Make a Claim If I’m Injured from a Slip, Trip or Fall in my Workplace?

If your employer fails to provide a safe working environment and you are injured as a result, you can and should make a claim for compensation both for the injury as well as any loss of work or earnings. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), all employees have a right to be kept safe from any harm in the workplace

Whether the accident happened in your workplace or if you were carrying out work for your employer in a different location, whether you’re employed full or part-time, and no matter the size of the business, none of these factors affect your eligibility to make a claim. Even if your accident was caused by a visiting member of the public or the actions of a colleague, your employer is ultimately responsible for keeping you from harm in your workplace.

Typically, in the UK you have three years from the date of your accident to make a claim. There are exceptions to this rule however, we recommend if you have been injured in an accident at work, that you get in touch with us as soon as possible to ensure your claim is filed well within the time limit.

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.


Historic Scotland and Visit Scotland both ‘slip up’ on safety record

Staff and visitors at some of Scotland’s top tourism sights have injured themselves almost 250 times since the beginning of last year. Some 126 members of staff at Historic Scotland and VisitScotland, and 120 visitors to their sites, found themselves hurt in accidents, making the locations equally hazardous for the public and workers alike.

According to figures released today through a Freedom of Information request, more than 100 visitors at Historic Scotland sites received injuries ranging from cracked ribs to dislocated elbows and broken shoulders. Almost 20 members of the public at VisitScotland sites recorded injuries, including a child at the Wallace Monument in April of last year who had to have the tip of their finger removed after trapping it in a toilet door.

A spokesperson for VisitScotland said: “The safety of our staff and customers across our network of offices and visitor information centres is of paramount importance. We are striving to improve our performance in this area.”

Some of the more serious incidents at Historic Scotland sites resulted in staff or members of the public claiming for damages. A staff member who fell off scaffolding and tore an ankle ligament is currently having their claim handled by Historic Scotland solicitors, as is another who slipped on ice and broke a wrist. A third visitor has a claim currently being handled, after a trip on a raised kerb left them with a cut above the left eye and a broken shoulder.

A spokeswoman for Historic Scotland said: “The nature of our work and the sites that we manage present unique health and safety challenges. However, we recognise our responsibility to manage health and safety and constantly strive for a better performance record. We will continue to engage with employees, local partners, schools, travel trade industry, and the Health and Safety Executive to continually evolve in this area.”

In total, 22 people at Historic Scotland sites were struck by falling or moving objects, and 18 staff members suffered musculoskeletal injuries while handling furniture and other items. Another 21 people walked into or otherwise struck a fixed object – including three visitors who ran into the same interpretation board – and one staff member was involved in a vehicle accident.

Two staff members at Historic Scotland also suffered burns and blisters as a result of coming into contact with “Giant Hogweed”, an ornamental plant introduced to Britain in the 19th century that can cause scars that last for several years, or even permanent blindness.

There were fewer overall accidental injuries at VisitScotland’s sites, with 17 visitors and 28 staff suffering injuries at their locations. Slips, trips and falls accounted for most of these, with 17 people – 11 staff and six visitors – hurting themselves at VisitScotland sites in this way.

Historic sites and visitor attractions may not be inherently dangerous but clearly old buildings and exposed sites do present unique health and safety risks which can and must be managed.  At a time when Lord Young seems hell-bent on decrying the need for sensible risk management and is bemoaning the existence of ‘petty regulations’, the government would do well to remember that people actually expect to return home safe and sound at the end of a day out spent visiting a tourist attraction…and please, let’s not forget about the workers.

If you have been hurt or injured whilst visiting a tourist attraction in Scotland you can contact us for free legal advice and an expert review of your case on 0800 163 978.