Worcestershire County Council pays out £1.7m in compensation claims over three years
8th January 2014
The Worcester News has recently reported that Worcestershire County Council has paid out a total of £1.7 million in compensation claims, with a total of 3,300 people claiming compensation against the local authority between 2009 and 2013.
The council or its insurers are liable in a number of different personal injury claims and accident compensation claims, including slips, trips and falls on council property or on pavements, council workers’ accidents at work, accidents at school and damage to vehicles on Worcestershire’s roads.
However, the majority of Worcester County Council’s bill – £1.5 million of it – related to personal injury claims. This is despite the fact that only 903 claims related to personal injury, with the remaining 2,432 relating to property or vehicular damage, and with car damage representing a significant proportion of this. Accordingly, personal injury claims reached an average value of £11,000, while property damage claims were valued at an average of £750.
The Worcester News also revealed that the council defends itself successfully against the majority of claims and successfully rejects 73% of all claims received.
Personal injury claims against Worcestershire County Council
One of the most sizable personal injury claims the local authority dealt with involved a child that fell from a stage while in a school play and broke their hip. They received personal injury compensation with a “considerable” value, the Worcester News said.
The County Council spends a long time dealing with some claims so that claimants can reach a settlement – the Worcester News revealed that Worcestershire County Council is dealing with around 500 claims, some of which are just one month old but others that date back many years, with 25 claims originally made in 2009 to 2010 still ongoing. We hope the council is not delaying settlements in some of these older claims unnecessarily, as this will see injured people dealing with unneeded problems and finding it hard to access the medical equipment and rehabilitation they may require.
Some of the other claims made against the local authority include a whiplash injury claim sustained by a driver that had to take evasive action on a poorly-maintained roadway, and a teacher who claimed compensation after falling over in school.
One of the unsuccessful claimants identified by the Worcester News was 54-year-old Norton resident Derek Jones, who damaged his Kia Cee’d on a pothole in Church Lane. He said that he still does not understand why some people have succeeded in similar compensation claims but why he did not, noting his vehicular damage cost a total of £165 to repair.
Councillor Adrian Hardman confirmed that the council must pay out in compensation claims for which it is liable.
Councillor Phillip Gretton said that the council uses due diligence to manage compensation claims on a case by case basis, and that claimants must be able to prove the council’s liability if they are to be successful.
Posted by editorial team