Trip and Fall – Public Footpath

Trip and Fall – Public Footpath

General Practice Case Studies


Trip and fall on public footpath – damages – personal injury – contributory negligence – pre-existing conditions – Damages


Our Client was walking on a public footpath under the control of Dublin City Council when she was caused to trip and fall heavily on the ragged edge of a poorly reinstated section of pavement, causing her to fall on her right hand side, and resulting in severe injuries to her right wrist, right jaw and right eye socket as well as significant facial bruising. She was unconscious as a result of her fall and was assisted by a neighbour who called for an ambulance and accompanied her to hospital in the ambulance.


Investigations revealed that the standard of the reinstatement of the footpath surface was extremely bad and no effort had been made to cut a vertical edge which would be standard procedure to allow for proper reinstatement. The Local Authority had defectively laid the reinstatement.


Initial correspondence requesting the local authority to admit liability was not acted upon and instead lengthy court proceedings ensued. It took the Council almost four years to admit they had an accountability. Shortly before the case was to be heard in the High Court, solicitors representing the Council agreed to settlement negotiations. At this meeting a derogatory offer was made to the Plaintiff and rejected immediately. Talks were abandoned. The following day a more realistic offer was made and accepted to include the following;

  1. A refund of all costs of treatment to date
  2. Payment for likely future costs of home adaptation
  3. Substantial damages

James McSweeney, Solicitors

26th April 2018



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