One spring morning, Bernard went for a walk from his home in Landore, Swansea. At the time he was a full time carer for his wife and he’d take a break once a day to get a breath of fresh air and go to the shops. As he walked along Washington Street he used a set of steps to get to a nearby footpath. The steps were in a very poor state and Bernard tried his best to avoid the missing paving slabs and tufts of weeds and grass. Unfortunately there was a large chunk of concrete missing from the last step. Bernard didn’t see this. He missed his footing and fell. He hit the ground hard and immediately became aware of pain in his shoulder.
Luckily for Bernard there was someone driving past at the time who was able to help him up and drive him home. Once home Bernard called an ambulance and went to hospital where he was told he’d broken his shoulder in three places.
Bernard rang us the day after the accident about making a claim against Swansea Council. On our advice he went straight out and took as many photographs as possible of where he fell. Once we got these we wrote a letter to the council telling them what had happened.
We agreed to deal with the claim against Swansea Council on a no win, no fee basis. We sent a Letter of Claim to Swansea Council but they refused to accept responsibility. They used a technical argument that although they owned the set of steps it wasn’t an adopted Highway and therefore wasn’t subject to the same rules and regulations regarding repair and inspection. They also questioned Bernard’s version of events. The A&E records said that he had fallen down three steps while Bernard always said he’d only ever fallen down one.
We worked hard with Swansea barrister David Harris to show that the council’s argument was wrong. We also managed to track down the person who had helped Bernard up when he’d fallen and he was able to give us a statement saying what he had seen.
Swansea Council still wouldn’t accept liability and so Bernard’s claim went to trial for a judge to decide who was responsible. The judge heard evidence from the council as well as from the doctor who had made the mistake in the hospital notes. He heard from Bernard and the witness who saw Bernard fall. Bernard’s daughter was also there to explain about the impact of the accident and how she had helped him during his recovery.
In the end the judge decided that Swansea Council hadn’t repaired the steps as they should have and this had created a dangerous defect which had led to Bernard’s accident. He felt that Bernard should accept some responsibility for what had happened because it was daylight and the defect could have been avoided so he split liability on a 75:25 basis in Bernard’s favour.
If like Bernard you are looking for a specialist solicitor to deal with your claim against Swansea Council any other accident claim then contact Swansea Injury Lawyers now on 0800 8 20 20 20