A health worker who dislocated her ankle by tripping over a pothole was left “disgusted” after her local council told her the ruts were a “fact of life”.

Rebecca Salisbury, 23, said she was "shocked" that Lancashire County Council used the quote from a past legal case to dismiss her compensation claim in a letter.

She had been left in the “worst pain” ever when she took a tumble on a damaged section of tarmac next to a car park, in Preston.

And Rebecca was then hurried to hospital in an ambulance and later put to sleep so doctors could "pull" her bone back into place and fit a cast.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rebecca Salisbury ended up in hospital after a pothole tumble

She could not work for four weeks and had to cancel a holiday with friends to Dublin - while needing day-to-day help from her mum.

So she put in a compensation claim to Lancashire County Council to cover taxi trips for appointments, costs for hospital parking and other expenses.

But she was left appalled when their rejection letter quoted the past legal case, which also said “in a less than perfect world”, potholes should be expected.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rebecca Salisbury ended up in hospital after a pothole tumble

Rebecca said: “I was horrified. I came home, and my mum said, ‘I think your council letter has come.' I opened it and I was just shocked.

“I was like, ‘That is absolutely disgusting’. They didn’t have to say it. They could have just said, ‘Your claim has been rejected.’ I thought it was very rude and not necessary.

“It was the worst pain I’ve experienced in my life, 100%. I was in terrible agony.

“And I lost taxi fares because my mum doesn’t drive, my dad works full time and I couldn’t drive - for hospital appointments.”

“I wasn’t looking for £50,000, just something to cover the cost that I had spent.”

Rebecca, who is also a post-graduate student at the University of Central Lancashire, tripped on Seed Street in her hometown of Preston on January 25.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rebecca Salisbury ended up in hospital after a pothole tumble

And after she hit the tarmac, just outside a car park at around 10am, she felt a horrendous pain at the base of her leg and soon realised she was severely injured.

Rebecca said: “I couldn’t move. I knew I had done something to my ankle because I was in so much pain. It was kind of a blur. 

“Someone had called my mum, and obviously, an ambulance was called as well.

"The paramedics couldn’t give me much. I think they gave me morphine, gas and air. But I used the whole tank of it.

“It’s only a 15-minute ambulance ride from where it happened to Preston Hospital, but every bump in the road left me in terrible pain.”

Rebecca was put under general anaesthetic at the hospital so that doctors could put her bone back into the right position and then fix it with a cast.

And following her treatment, she was left completely dependent on her family for the next four weeks.

Rebecca added: “I was on a very high amount of painkillers, and it made me depressed because I love my job. 

"I couldn’t go to work – I couldn’t do anything. My mum had to help me to the toilet with crutches and dress me. It wasn’t a good time. It was terrible.”

In Rebecca's compensation claim to her council, she said she made a ‘map plan’ of the incident, supplied discharge letters and handed over ambulance reports

But the local authority's response stated it was “unable to accept liability” for her injuries and instead quoted a previous legal ruling from the court of appeal.

Their letter said: “It is denied that the condition of the highway was foreseeable dangerous to pedestrians, having regard to the test laid down by the Court of Appeal in Mills v Barnsley MBC [1992] and James v Preseli Pembrokeshire DC [1993].

“The risk of harm of the alleged defect did not amount to a real source of danger but was the sort of minor defect which members of the public must expect.

“The courts are clear to distinguish between ‘depressions and holes in streets, which in a less than perfect world the public must simply regard as a fact of life and defects which clearly pose a danger to pedestrians using that part of the highway’. (per Steyn LJ in Mills, as above)."

Rebecca said she had hoped to be granted up to £100 in compensation but was extremely disappointed with the council’s less-than-friendly response.

She said: “It was up to them what they wanted to do. But I don’t think they care, I don’t think they understand.”

A Lancashire County Council Spokesperson said: "Keeping our roads safe is one of our highest priorities.

"We have a robust inspection regime in place to identify and repair any safety issues on our roads before they become a risk, which allows us to defend against many legal claims by showing that we take reasonable steps to ensure our roads are safe.

"In this case an inspection carried out just over a month earlier on 11 December had not identified any defects at this location, and a further inspection carried out on 5 February after receiving the claim found no relevant defects.

"The statutory defence provided by the Highways Act 1980 recognises that councils cannot be expected to ensure all roads are free defects at all times, and can defend against claims if they have taken reasonable steps to inspect roads, and make any repairs which may be needed."