Accident claims against local authority cost £1.2m in 2011

Accident claims made against one local authority cost it nearly £1.2 million on personal injury compensation and legal fees over the course of 2011, according to a recent newspaper article.

Personal injury claims against the West Sussex County Council resulted in a £1,193,103 legal bill for the council’s insurers after members of the pubic and council employees alike pursed legal action, says the East Grinstead Courier and Observer.  The newspaper said that a total of 78 claims for compensation were made against the local authority last year, with 72 of these resulting in judgments against the council.

One of the more notable cases that occurred in 2011 was when £45,151 in damages was awarded to a member of the public who suffered a broken leg after falling into a building work trench. In another instance, more than £57,000 in compensation was awarded to another individual who slipped on a wet toilet floor, breaking both of their wrists in the process.

A large number of the claims had been for slips and trips, with many suffering injuries on pavements that the council had responsibility to maintain.  One such trip and fall led to a £53,566 award paid out to someone who suffered both a broken arm and shoulder, experts say.

When approached for comment regarding the compensation payout figures, one West Sussex County Council representative told the newspaper that each and every claim is investigated as thoroughly as possible.  A claim is only settled by the council in the event that the local authority is demonstrated to have been negligent, the spokesperson also said.

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