PERSONAL injury claims have cost Blackburn with Darwen Council £227,286 in the last year, new data reveals.

Through a Freedom of Information request discovered that 27 personal injury claims were submitted against the borough from April 2022 to April 2023.

Amongst the leading causes of these claims included pothole accidents, surface defects and slip, trip and fall accidents.

Tony Jennings, senior solicitor at JF Law (which owns the Legal Expert brand), said: "Claims against local highways authorities are more common than you may think.

"If a highway is maintainable at public expense then the local authority or council is responsible for ensuring that a reasonable system of inspection, maintenance and repair is implemented and adhered to.

"Local authorities have a duty of care to make sure that any premises, spaces, highways or equipment they control are safe for employees and visitors, so far as is reasonably possible for them to do so."

The FoI request asked Blackburn with Darwen Council what were the causes of these claims, for example, potholes and slips, trips and falls?

Carmel Foster-Devine, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s head of highways revealed that of the 27 claims made against the borough in 2022/23, eight have been resolved. The remaining 19 are still open.

The amount of compensation paid out during 2022/23 relates to claims settled during this period. Some of these claims were made against the council in previous years, as it can take some time to resolve a claim.

She said the number of claims made in 2022/23 was similar to the last two financial years, and far lower than in 2019/20: 2021/22 - 29; 2020/21 – 28; and 2019/20 – 47

Ms Foster-Devine said: “Of the 27 insurance claims settled during 2022/23, only five – less than 20 per cent - related to potholes.

"The other claims included surfacing defects on footways and drain/utility covers, as well as slips, trips and falls.

“We’re committed to improving the highways network right across the borough.

"Within our transport plan for 2023/24, we have allocated £1million to pot hole repairs, with further planned maintenance and improvement works to road surfaces in various locations across the borough, including some older road surfaces that are due an upgrade.”