Many people and particularly elderly people are injured through no fault of their own each year when they trip and fall on public footpaths. Often footpaths are left in a dangerous state of dis-repair, potholes are not properly filled in, trenches are left undug and bad workmanship leads to hazards being created for pedestrians.
If you were injured in a trip or fall on a public footpath here are some of the most important things to do to protect your legal rights
- Take photos of where the accident happened
- Report the accident to the Local Authority for the area where the accident happened
- Keep a copy of the email/letter you send to the Local Authority
- Follow up your letter with a call to the Local Authority to get them to acknowledge receipt of the report.
- Make sure that you inform your doctor/hospital how your accident happened
- Get immediate legal advice once your injuries allow you to do so
How can I know if the Local Authority is responsible for my accident?
Under Irish law the Local Authority must compensate you if your injuries were caused as a result of their failure to properly repair a public footpath or road which then creates a hazard for an unsuspecting pedestrian or road user. For example, if the Local Authorities workmen previously carried out repairs to a stretch of road /footpath but didn’t carry out those repairs properly and created a hazard on the roads/footpath then a claim will be successful.
However, if the hazard on the road/footpath was created by simple wear and tear over the years (depreciation) then the claim will be unsuccessful. There are some exceptions to this rule but in general this is a rule that applies in Ireland.
In other cases, Local Authorities and their contractors often leave loose chippings on roads which create hazards for cyclists and can often cause accidents. In those cases, if the Court accepts engineering evidence that these chippings on the road caused the accident itself the cyclist would be successful in a compensation claim. There must have been some interference in the road by the Local Authority and their workmen to have created the hazard for the claim to be successful.
Our firm work with specialist Engineers who are experts in identifying whether hazards were created by fair wear and tear or by previous repairs that were carried out negligently by the Local Authority. We have pursued hundreds of successful claims on behalf of injured pedestrians, cyclists and road users.
If you have been injured as a result of a trip, slip or fall while using a public road and wish to be informed about your legal rights to claim compensation please feel free to contact Liam Moloney Solicitor today at 045 – 898000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with brief details of your accident and photos of the place where you fell and Liam or one of our expert Litigation Solicitors will be in contact with you shortly to discuss your case.
*In contentious business a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement