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Graham Dawson & Co logo

Tripping and Slipping Accidents

We have acted on behalf of many claimants who have been injured as a result of tripping or slipping accidents.  Claimants can be injured as a result of tripping on an uneven paving slab, on the edge of a pothole, on a broken kerbstone, protruding tree roots, protruding or defective manhole covers, rocking paving slabs, defective carpets or floor coverings, broken steps, missing handrails and height irregularities between floor surfaces.  Tripping accidents can also occur in offices, shops, supermarkets, car parks, hotels, restaurants and any other public place.  Slipping accidents can occur as a result of spillages onto floor surfaces including liquids, squashed food items, litter or anything else that creates a slippery floor surface. 


A slipping accident can occur as a result of a floor surface being inherently slippery because the floor surface material applied to the floor did not provide sufficient slip resistant for its intended use.  Tiling around a swimming pool has to be designed to offer good slip resistance when wet as do floor surfaces that are subject to regular wetting such as floor tiles used in bathrooms or public toilets.  The employer has statutory duties to minimise the risk of tripping or slipping accidents occurring as set out in the sections on Construction Site Accidents and Accidents at Work.

A local authority has an obligation under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 to maintain the pavements and roads at public expense.  Where a claimant is injured as a result of a defective pavement or road they will have to prove that the pavement or road was in a dangerous condition and that was caused by a failure to repair or maintain it.


  • The local authority will have a defence to a claim if they can show that reasonable steps had been taken to ensure that the road or pavement wasn’t dangerous.  The highway authority will try to do this by showing that the standard of maintenance was appropriate for the level of pedestrian or vehicle traffic and it was in a state of repair which a reasonable person would have expected in those circumstances.  A claimant will also need to show that the highway authority knew or should have known about the defect prior to the accident and the defect should have been repaired before the claimant was injured.
  • The Local Authorities Association Code of Good Practice 1989, the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges 2001 and the Well Maintained Highways Code of Practice for Highways, Maintenance and Management 2005 provide guidelines as to how frequently pavements and roads should be inspected and also provide guidance as to how repairs should be carried out.

Where a tripping or slipping accident occurs in a public place not maintained by a highway authority ie, a supermarket, car park, private road or pathway, in a shop, office or other public place, the injured person has to establish that the owner or occupier was negligent or failed to comply with the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957 which places an obligation on the owner or occupier to ensure that the accident scene was reasonably safe.  

How to contact and find us


Graham Dawson & Co.

Westminster House
80d Bexley High Street
Bexley DA5 1LE


Tel: +44 (0)1322 558811

Fax: +44 (0)1322 558816


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© Graham Dawson & Co.
Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
Solicitors Regulation Authority registration number: 63629
Established in 1954