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Big decline in East Lancashire pavement fall claims
COMPENSATION payouts for slips, falls, and damage caused by defective roads and pavements in East Lancashire have plummeted over the last three years.
The average claim in Blackburn with Darwen fell from £5,350 in 2011 to £350 in 2013.
And Lancashire County Council paid out an average of £2,207 in 2011 to £373 in 2013, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed.
But a spokesman for Blackburn with Darwen Council has warned the figure could still rise, as people have a three-year window in which to make a claim.
Solicitors carry out their own investigation and preparation before submitting a claim to the council, which can take time, she said.
Executive member for resources Andy Kay said: “Every claim is investigated. If the council has a defence in law then the claim will be rigorously defended. Where the council believes an individual case is justified, the claim is settled promptly.
“Due to the legal process, a great proportion of the money paid out in the three years has been payments to third party solicitors. Individual claimants will have received a small percentage of this sum.”
Coun Kay also said the amount a solicitor can claim has ‘greatly reduced’ since July 2013.
In 2011, Blackburn with Darwen Council announced it would spend £1 million on fixing pot holes in several streets. No successful claims have been made on any of the 19 streets since they were patched up.
Director of Lancashire County Council’s highway services, Phil Barrett, said: “The fact that we have a rigorous inspection regime and react quickly on repairs means we’re well placed to prove to the courts that we do all we reasonably can to keep the roads and pavements in a safe condition.
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