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Who is to blame for injuries sustained in the great outdoors?

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Who is to blame for injuries sustained in the great outdoors?

Walking is a favourite pastime of many people but accidents can sometimes happen which can make walks in the great outdoors much less enjoyable.

You may come across the following hazards whilst out walking:

  • Damaged/broken gates and stiles
  • Fallen trees and blocked pathways.
  • Cattle in fields
  • Defective paving
  • Unsafe steps

If an accident occurs and you sustain an injury in these situations, who would be at fault?

Private land

If the public right of way crosses through private land then it is the responsibility of the landowner to keep the pathway free of hazards and the areas must be inspected on a regular basis.

A large amount of injuries that occur on public rights of way that cross private land are caused by cattle.

Dairy bulls are banned from being kept in fields that contain a public right of way as given their size and weight, any injuries caused if they attack could be very serious.

Public footpaths

If you are using a public footpath and sustain injury, then it is the responsibility of the local authority. The local authority are responsible for ensuring that public highways and footpaths are free from hazards and the area must be subject to regular inspections and repairs.

If the local authority fails to carry out regular inspections and allows the footpath to become dangerous it could be possible for a claim to be made against them.

However, it must be borne that there are still some areas of land which are unadopted by the local authority and unregistered, in which case there would unfortunately be no-one to pursue. However, these areas of land are becoming less common over time.

If you have been injured and believe someone else is at fault or could have prevented the accident from occurring please contact our personal injury experts on 0161 696 6235.

By Sharon Edwards, paralegal