Nearly £1 million of taxpayers’ cash was spent in 12 months settling compensation claims for people injured on Norfolk’s roads.

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Payouts and legal fees for trips, bumps and crashes cost Norfolk county and Norwich city councils £938,236 after 67 claims against the two authorities were successful during 2011/12.

Cases settled during this 12-month period include accidents which have taken place since 2007, while officials say they are successfully defending 75pc of cases despite the rate of claims being made increasing.

In total, 291 claims were made against the two councils in 2011/12, with 91 related to roads managed by Norwich City Council.

The authority dealt with 71 claims in this period of which 16 resulted in payments totalling £116,324. But the council defended 77pc of its cases – beating its 75pc target.

Successful Norwich claimants included:

A jogger who suffered soft tissue damage to their ankle after tripping over a pothole at the junction of Aylsham Road with Wingfield Road and received £5,750 in compensation, plus £6,725;

A person who sustained a moderate knee injury after tripping on a raised/low paving slab in Surrey Street collected £4,250 compensation and £2,821.91 legal costs;

A person who received a minor shoulder injury after walking into a “low/protruding” sign on the footway in Recorder Road/Prince of Wales Road received £650 compensation.

There were 200 claims made during 2011/12 in the Norfolk County Council highways area. The authority settled 51 of its total cases with payment last year, costing £821,912.

The biggest single compensation payout last year was £63,633, plus £60,822 legal costs, to a person who sustained rib fractures after tripping on a crack/craze on a Great Yarmouth pavement in 2007.

Andrew Boswell, left, Norwich Nelson county councillor and Green Party transport spokesman, said: “From the council’s point of view, to be spending nearly a million quid on claims in one year seems like a huge amount of money to me. Given it’s nearly a seven-figure sum on claims, the way pavements, potholes and roads are kept up needs to be looked at again.

“One wonders why these particular ones slipped through the net and caused injuries.”

But a Norwich Highways committee report praised the work being done by the councils’ highways inspectors, contractor May Gurney and the county council’s insurance team to defend the claims.

It added: “It is anticipated that the introduction of improved methods of recording highway inspections and actions taken will lead to this target being met in this financial year despite the increasing number of claims.”

7 comments

  • When you do report road damage to this council,,they do nothing about it.Have reported the big hole off Haverlock Rd 6 times.It is doing a lot of damage to peoples cars,,but when you go and tell them at the council,,all you get is,,we will send someone down.Did this person fall down the hole?

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    jordan

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • We need legislation to outlaw " claims handling" firms , whose sole purpose seems to be extracting as much public cash as possible. These ambulance chasers are everywhere - "had an accident that wasn't your fault?" they're encouraging people to inflate minor injuries for some quick cash , plus of course their high fees paid for by the taxpayer.

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    Tudor Bushe

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • With the streetlamp curfew in place around the city, one can only expect the claims to through the roof for potholes and trips...every little helps when its thousands.

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    nrg

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • Jordan, google fixmystreet...report via this service, uploading a picture of the pothole tends to get the council to act fairly quick...plus others know where the problem is to claim against the council.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • Proving that incineration causes cancer and the like. would be a tad harder than the liability of potholes etc. l

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • There would have been more money in the pot for roads if they hadn't rushed headlong into this unwanted, undemocratic, incinerator saga. Imagine all the claims they'll get if that gets built!

    Report this comment

    Sandy.L

    Monday, August 20, 2012

  • Noah Vale. We do need these "ambulance chases" as it shows up the incompetence of councils, in keeping things repaired and what they waste their (our) tax money on.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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