Birgit Green, 63, was crossing the bridge in a nature reserve in East Sussex when part of the wooden planking collapsed. Her foot fell through the hole and she was thrown backwards.
Mrs Green suffered broken bones in her foot as well as bruising to her groin and cuts to her shin. She claimed that the accident would have been far worse had her rucksack not become caught on nails at the side of the bridge, breaking her fall. As a result of her injuries, she was unable to go rambling for nine months.
East Sussex County Council denied that the bridge was unsafe and argued in its defence that it had maintained the footpath and that Mrs Green should have been looking where she was going and stepped over the hole. However, the Council admitted that it had no formal regime for inspecting the bridge because of its rural location. Shortly after Mrs Green's accident, the bridge was re-decked and its handrails replaced.
Mrs Green was awarded £3,000 in compensation for her injuries.
If you have been injured through no fault of your own in a public place, such as on a footpath, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact us for claims advice.