Councils suffer compensation claims, attempt to curb losses

Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 21 May 2013:

Local authorities have been absolutely reeling under the effects of a number of personal injury claims lately, and councils have been paying massive payouts.

In fact, Sheffield Council has paid out nearly £30,000 from 2010 to 2012 just from injury claims originating from local schools.  Injuries to both pupils and staff members made up a grand total of more than £27,000, with the youngest claimant, a child that was attacked by a pupil and was left with a wide range of physical injuries in the wake of the assault, being just three years old; personal injury solicitors for the injured child’s family successfully claimed compensation for the sum of £7,250.

Unfortunately, massive payouts such as these have become quite common throughout the UK, and local authorities have been inundated with claims for compensation. Some councils have decided to put new programmes in place in order to reduce the impact of such massive legal bills in the future; one such local authority, Haringey Council, has just recently come forward with a new system for keeping its roads in better condition in the wake of an eye-watering £1 million compensation award the local authority had to pay to one severely injured man.

Previous policy was to fill any pothole Haringey Council was aware of, provided it was at least six centimetres deep. This is most likely the cause of much of the council’s consternation, considering that nearby councils typically fill their potholes at just three centimetres, which leads to less vehicle damage and bodily injury overall.

While Haringey Council hasn’t budged on the six centimetre metric, it has decided to fast-track the filling in of inspected potholes to within just six days, down from the previous policy of 28 days. In addition, more regular road inspections will occur now, as the local authority admitted that it is simply unacceptable that the lion’s share of its roads are only given two inspections a year.

If you ask me, this is exactly how Haringey Council should be addressing the fact that their personal injury compensation costs have grown out of control, especially when compared to other neighbouring councils. I simply don’t understand what took councillors so long to admit that the current way of doing things was simply not working whatsoever in any way; I can only hope that these new policies will be kept up and adopted on a permanent basis after their trial period expires six months from now!

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