Last year, Bolton Council forked out £410,000 compensation to settle 86 personal injury claims, a local newspaper has revealed.
£50,000 of the money went to council staff who had suffered a personal injury at work and the balance of £360,000 was awarded to members of the public.
The highest personal injury compensation payment was an award of £27,000 whilst the lowest payout was £850. 71 people successfully claimed for injuries caused by falls, slips and trips on the town’s footpaths and pavements.
In 2009, Bolton Council paid out nearly £600,000 to members of the public for pavement related injuries and in 2008/09, the figure was £804,124.
Amongst the monies awarded to council workers was a £13,750 settlement made to a woman employee who fell in a car park and a £4,500 award for a back injury incurred while taking care of someone.
A spokesman for Bolton Council said that 75% of the claims it receives are not paid out on. It does settle early in cases where liability is accepted t avoid a lengthy court battle and associated high costs for personal injury solicitors. However, where the case is deemed defendable, the Council will proceed to court.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance has already blamed the UK’s compensation culture for an increase in the number of personal injury claims local councils receive. But Michael Hardacre, a personal injury lawyer at Pannone says such a culture does not exist and victims have a right to seek recompense.