ESSEX County Council has paid out more than £1.2 million in personal injury compensation in the past year, new data has revealed.

A Freedom of Information request from Legal Expert has revealed that 440 personal injury claims were submitted against the local authority between April 2022 and April 2023.

During this period, personal injury compensation cost Essex County Council £1,286,745.92 in total.

The leading cause of these claims were trip accidents on paths which made up 263 of the 440 claims submitted since last year.

Other causes included 45 trips on carriageways, 34 pothole accidents, 15 trips on kerbs and seven trips on verges and utility defects apiece.

Other payouts include four assaults, five injuries on trees and branches, including falling trees, three snow and ice incidents on paths, six injuries on uneven surfaces and an injury on contract works.

A statement shared on Legal Expert’s website said: “Essex County Council has a duty of care to visitors and employees to ensure that any premises, spaces or highways they control are reasonably safe.”

A spokesperson for Essex Highways said: “All compensation claims are investigated fully, and damages paid if the council has been liable.

“The majority of claims are successfully defended because we are very rigorous in our maintenance of the network in order to protect taxpayers’ money.

“Due to our limited resources, we must continue to prioritise our work and fix the higher-risk issues first.

“Unfortunately, we cannot undertake all works at once.

"Instead, we will begin with the repairs that require immediate attention because of safety or other wider concerns and then move to more minor repairs to road surfaces or footways."