I want to make a claim for slipping on the pavement against the local authority. There was rubbish overflowing from bins which had not been collected and I slipped on oil leaking from a bin bag. Is it possible to claim?

It is possible to make a claim for slipping on the pavement against the local authority, provided that it had not fulfilled its responsibility to collect the rubbish from the streets in an acceptable time frame. When rubbish is allowed to build up on the streets, not only is it an eyesore and a public health hazard, but it can make the streets slippery and dangerous.

A claim for slipping on the pavement due to left rubbish will only be possible if you can establish and prove that the local authority has been negligent. Simply because there was rubbish on the streets, it does not necessarily mean the local authority is liable for your slip and fall.

Compensation for a slip and fall on the pavement should be possible if refuse collectors had failed to make a collection but, if collections had been arranged as usual, only for local residents or fly tippers to have left an unusually high amount of rubbish between collections, the local authority could not be expected to be aware of the problem. It would therefore be unlikely under these circumstances that a claim would be possible.

Proving negligence is not always straightforward when claiming compensation for a slip and fall on the pavement due to rubbish left on the street. For this reason it is recommended that you seek assistance from a personal injury lawyer with establishing and proving negligence.

One way a lawyer will determine if the local authority was at fault and if you can claim compensation against the local authority for a slip in the street is to check to see if requests had been made by local residents to arrange for a collection. Since it is now possible to complain about missed rubbish collections online on local authority websites, it should be possible to use website data to help establish that the local authority has been negligent for failing to take action following a complaint.

While you should seek legal advice promptly, before you do so you must ensure that your injuries are treated by a doctor. You will not be able to claim compensation against the local authority for a slip in the street if your injuries are not detailed in your medical records. You must also advise the local authority about your accident, and it is good practice to back up any verbal complaint in writing. You should keep a copy of the letter of complaint you send, post by Special or Recorded Delivery and be sure to retain the receipt given to you by the post office.