Case Study: Trip Over Pothole in Public Park

Mrs D from Llanelli Received £3,000 Compensation

A woman has received £3,000 compensation after she tripped over a pothole in a public park, tearing her ligaments in the process.

Mrs D from Llanelli was walking her two dogs in a local public park at night.  During the walk, Mrs D had cause to walk along the entrance road into the park, as there was no pathway in this particular area.  As she was leaving the road, Mrs D caught her foot in a large pothole located in the middle of the road which caused her to fall to the ground, tearing the ligaments in her left ankle and cutting her knee. 

Injury and lasting effects

The ankle injury was so severe that Mrs D was unable to walk for two months and could not carry out her job as a cleaner.  During this time her husband was forced to take on her work duties in addition to his own. 

The claim - how JMW helped

Mrs D decided to claim compensation for her injuries and was put in touch with JMW Solicitors LLP.

We started putting together a case against the defendant, the local authority responsible for the park in which Mrs D’s accident took place, and attempted to get in touch with them to discuss the case and obtain information from them that would help us build the best case for Mrs D.  Despite many attempts to open up conversation with them, we received little contact from the defendant and were forced to issue an application to court to compel them to reveal documentation, such as inspection and maintenance records or schedules, which would assist us with Mrs D’s case.

When we examined the information the defendant provided us with, we discovered that there was evidence that the park was inspected by a community ranger on an ad-hoc, tri-weekly basis.  There was no particular account of the community ranger’s inspection pattern, so we had no accurate way to determine when the pothole that Mrs D fell over was last examined, or how regularly it was examined.  However, the information we received also pointed out that the pothole that caused Mrs D’s accident had been repaired since we had began the claims process, and that it was noticed during a round of inspections prior to the accident, but was not seen as the required size to be fixed.  In addition to this, potholes and defects of a similar size (ours measured between 1.5 and 2 inches in depth) had been almost immediately filled in or re-tarmaced once spotted.

The defendant claimed that it was possible for walkers to avoid the road, and therefore avoid the pothole, however we highlighted that this contradicted our client’s experience as a user of the park.


It was clear that the defendant would not be willing to settle the matter as they continued to deny liability and we were forced to issue court proceedings against them.  This prompted them to make an offer of £3,000, in full and final settlement of Mrs D’s claim.  This was based on Mrs D’s medical records and the report of a consultant orthopaedic surgeon that we organised for Mrs D to visit.

Mrs D chose to accept the offer that the local authority made to her and was very grateful to JMW for all the hard work our team put into her case, particularly our persistence with a defendant who was slow to respond to all of our queries and continued to deny responsibility for her accident.

Have you also been hurt in a fall in public?

Speak to us today on 0800 054 6570 or fill in our contact form. We will talk through the incident and let you know if you have a case. 

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