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pounds 14,000 paid out over accidents on pavements and potholes.

COVENTRY City Council paid out pounds 14,000 in compensation last year to people who had accidents on pavements or with road potholes.

A total of 200 people made claims against the council for an injury on Coventry's roads or pathways and received thousands of pounds in compensation.

And the council's legal department believes the trend for payouts, spurred on by American-style 'no win no fee' cases and ambulance-chasing solicitors, is on the up.

Yet the amount Coventry pays out to people who have fallen on its pavements - averaging out at pounds 1,000 a month - compares well to statistics revealed nationwide.

A five-year study into the amount Stockport council was paying out for trips and falls found that pounds 6.3million of taxpayers cash was going on claims.

Stockport council was so concerned by the increase in claims they've earmarked pounds 7.6million as a reserve fund to cover outstanding claims.

The scrutiny of Stockport's compensation cases, done by the best value review panel into trip hazard insurance claims, has made council's across the country compare their own figures.

Paul Whiteside, spokesman for Coventry City Council, says that statistics from Coventry show that in comparison, the city is doing well.

He said: "Because we have got a risk management team and we are always looking at ways to reduce claims to the council we're doing relatively well.

"Also every six months we inspect everything, that's all pavements and all roads, to make sure there are no problems."
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 15, 2004
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