As others have said you would have to prove that the LA had been negligent. There is a very slight possibility that they may have been by not making sure the gap in the hedge is used as a shortcut. But the LA's insurer will also take contributory neglegence into consideration.
But you can only claim for compensation for certain things - loss of earnings, extra(ordinary) costs you have incurred a result of his injury, for example.
Most of the time it's not worth the effort for what little you may be able to claim (it can be a rather drawn out business tbh)
There is always a catch with no-win no-fee type people.
I can just imagine what will happen if more people make this sort of claim. Parks will become sterile, boring environments and non-uniform tree roots will be removed. Fences will be erected around trees to prevent dangerous climbing and children will be forbidden to run. Or walk. Or climb.
Better still, the safest thing to do might be to ban children and adults from the park altogether. That is probably the safest thing to do.
Alternatively people could take responsibility for their own actions.
Its the Occupiers Liability Act that is relevant here-Section 2. If they invite people into the park there is a statutory duty to make sure it is REASONABLY safe for visitors.
The problem your DP has is the fact he was walking through a hedge. This may not be fatal if it can be shown that the Council were aware that it was regularly used by people as a pathway and yet did nothing to make it safe/warn of the existence of these tree roots. But I fear that he will have an uphill struggle.
I don't think legal aid is available anymore for claims such as these and therefore the options are paying privately to bring the claim (which makes you liable for the council's costs should you lose) or entering into a conditional fee agreement. As solicitors donot get paid on a no win no fee basis-unless you win, it would be interesting to see if any solicitors local to you have sufficient confidence in your claim to risk not being paid for the work that they would have to do.
Thanks chipkid -when i say 'walking through a hedge' I don't mean in the style of ray mears...it's actually about six or seven feet wide, used by the kids as a shortcut to the play park. There's no grass there because it is so obviously used as a path if you see what I mean. Perhaps we'll make some enquiries and see what's what. In the meantime I'll ring the Parks dept in the morning and ask if they can cut them down. They really are dangerous.
But I find the compensation culture utterly distasteful and am entitled to express this.
However, you should stay away from no-win no-fee companies. They are reprehensible. I know someone who used to work as a claims adviser for one of these companies and she used to deal with people who had won their claims but ended up actually owing money to the solicitors. Beware.
Thanks for your correction Mercy- just trying to give an impression of the injury he suffered. What I should have said was that he tripped, it went into his leg, ripped a seven inch hole in it and thrust his muscle out. Accurate enough for you?
Thanks again everyone who didn't respond either pedantically or with a judgey bent.
Do you have legal cover on your home insurance? Might help you get a clearer idea of where you stand. Seems like you are potentially talking about a lot of money, so probably worth making sure you get good advice from the outset.