Responding to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, the Labour-run council confirmed a total of 44 personal injury claims worth £150,532 were paid out from April 2022 to April 2023.
Data from five other London boroughs that provided FOI requests on personal injury claims to LegalExpert.co.uk showed that Bexley paid out £53,305; Haringey £37,712.50 ; Havering £2,500; Richmond £101,231.06 and Wandsworth £220,624.26.
In Ealing, slip, trip and fall accidents consisted of 34 claims, while there was 1 claim for an e-scooter and 9 others including an incident involving a residential home.
A spokesperson for Ealing Council told EALING.NEWS that while it received 44 claims, only 11 were paid out. “The majority of claims related to slips, trips or falls, and it is important to note that only 25% of the claims received were successful. The council always looks into the reason behind a claim to minimise the risk of it occurring again and ensure the safety of residents and visitors to our borough.”
They added: “All council-maintained roads and pavements in Ealing are regularly inspected – major roads monthly, and residential roads either every three or six months. Defects such as potholes or uneven pavements are noted during these inspections and fixing them is prioritised in line with the level of danger. An independent highway inspector also carries out a full condition survey of all council-maintained pavements and roads every year.”
Residents can report any issues with roads and pavements via Road or pavement problem | Road or pavement problem | Ealing Council
Antony Jennings, senior lawyer at JF Law (which owns LegalExpert.co.uk) 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.”
Mr Jennings has some advice for Ealing residents who find themselves injured. He told EALING.NEWS: “In the event that you are injured, we would recommend that date stamped photographs are taken, along with clearly marked images which show the depth and size of the defect, both from a distance of around 5 metres and closer up and on which the measurements are clearly discernible, photos of any injuries or damage sustained along with any witnesses to the incident.
“We would also recommend that the matter is reported to Ealing Council so that they have a record of the same and can make any repair if necessary.”
Leader of Ealing Liberal Democrats, Councillor Gary Malcolm told EALING.NEWS: “Liberal Democrats say that Ealing Council has a history of many people tripping up on their pavements. Labour only a few years ago changed the rules so that it ignored some types of pavement trip hazards to avoid repairing as many streets.”
Councillor Malcolm added: “Liberal Democrats want to see our streets safe and we want to see more pavements repaired with hardwearing materials so that they are both safe and would last for many years longer than the patchwork of tarmac we commonly see across the borough.”
Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Neil Reynolds, chair of Ealing Green Party said: “Well maintained pavements and roads are good for pedestrians and road users, as well as council tax payers pockets.”
Mr Reynolds added: “It is depressing to see the Labour Council at the wrong end of yet another league table. Regular maintenance of pavements and reducing traffic on roads will cut these claims. It is in everyone’s interest to do so.”