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New compensation figures

PUBLISHED: 14:00 19 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:23 01 July 2010

An average of one person a week tries to get compensation from the council for trips, falls and crashes on roads and pavements around the city, new figures have revealed.

An average of one person a week tries to get compensation from the council for trips, falls and crashes on roads and pavements around the city, new figures have revealed.

And the statistics showed the wintry weather earlier this year led to a rash of claims that cars had suffered damage because of pot-holes on the city's streets.

In 2009/10 there were 58 claims made for personal injuries sustained on roads and pavements around the city. Of the 68 claims settled from March last year to April this year, which included claims which had initially been submitted the previous year, 13 won payouts from the council.

Among claims settled were just over £26,000 paid out after somebody tripped on a defective paving slab, just under £25,000 in compensation after a claimant fell because a utility cover was left open and just over £4,000 to a cyclist who hit a rut in a road and was thrown from their bike.

But the council did hit its target of defending claims, the second year in a row that it has done so. Just under 81pc of claims were successfully defended, according to a report which will go before the Norwich highways agency joint committee next Thursday.

The report states: “This achievement is down to effective systems operated by the city council highway inspectors in partnership with City Care, who carried out the remedial works, and Norfolk County Council's risk and insurance team who use the evidence provided to defend the claims.”

The rate of around one personal injury claim per week has remained relatively static over the past five years, although there were a whopping 109 claims in 2002/3.

The report also revealed how there were 25 non-personal injury claims in 2009/10 and officers state: “There was a noticeable increase in claims relating to winter maintenance or claims relating to winter damage to the road surfaces.”

However, of the 16 non-personal injury claims settled, just two resulted in payment and the city target of defending 75pc of those claims was also met.

There was much criticism of pot-holes around the county after the spell of icy weather in January and February.

Members of Norwich City Council's scrutiny committee had ordered a report into the pot-hole problems and will discuss the issue when they meet next Thursday.

The county council last month revealed a programme of sites which suffered badly during the winter which will have £2m spent on surface dressing to protect roads from water and frost damage, while consolidating pot hole repairs.

A further £2.2m will be spent on resurfacing with a new layer of asphalt, while £600,000 will be spent on surface 'patching'.

• Have you won a compensation battle with a local council? Call Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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