Public Nuisance

Public Nuisance: Here’s How to Claim Compensation (UK)

Public nuisance causing damage? Here's how to claim compensation.

Let’s face it, nuisances are a pain! When a nuisance goes beyond being simply annoying and actively causes damage to your property or way of life, that’s when things get serious. If that sounds familiar, and you suspect the damage is due to a ‘public nuisance’, you might be wondering what you can do about it.

Well, the good news is the law is on your side. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about public nuisances and how to claim for the damage they cause. We will also highlight how you can start a personal injury claim.

What Exactly is a Public Nuisance?

Let’s get right to the heart of it – what makes a nuisance “public”? Here’s the key difference: a public nuisance isn’t just a problem that annoys you personally. It needs to affect a substantial number of people in a defined area. Here are some common examples that could be considered a public nuisance if they cause significant harm or disruption:

  • Ongoing loud noises from a construction site or a nearby pub
  • Pollution, fumes, or other environmental hazards from a factory
  • Regularly blocked roads or obstructed footpaths
  • Anti-social behavior creating a safety risk in a public place

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Can I Actually Claim for the Damage?

Okay, so something is a public nuisance, but can you make a claim? The short answer is yes, but with a catch. To bring a successful legal claim, you need to show that you’ve been damaged in some way beyond the general inconvenience suffered by everyone else around you. This is called “special damage”.

Here are some examples of what might count as special damage:

  • Physical damage to your property caused by the nuisance (e.g., cracks from vibrations, water damage)
  • Loss of income if the nuisance affects your ability to run a business
  • Health problems resulting directly from the nuisance

How Do I Start the Claim Process?

Before you rush off to a lawyer, there are some important steps to take:

Gather Evidence: 

Solid proof is crucial. Take photos, videos, keep a diary of the disturbances, collect witness testimonies – whatever documents the nature of the nuisance and its impact.

Identify the Offender: 

Figure out who’s responsible. Is it a business, an individual, or even your local council?

Attempt Informal Resolution: 

Reach out directly to the responsible party. A polite letter might resolve it without needing legal action.

Local Authority Help: 

Your local council may have a duty to investigate potential public nuisances. Reach out for advice & support.

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If It Goes to Court…

If attempts to resolve the issue amicably fail, legal proceedings might be your next step. Here’s roughly what you can expect:

  • Finding a Solicitor: Look for a solicitor with experience in public nuisance claims. Many will offer a free initial consultation.
  • Building Your Case: Your solicitor will help you prove the public nuisance, the special damage you’ve suffered, and that the defendant is responsible.
  • Types of Relief: You could claim damages (money) to compensate for your losses, an injunction order demanding the nuisance stop, or both.

Important Things to Remember

  • Time Limits: There are deadlines for making claims – don’t delay!
  • Legal Costs: Claiming can get expensive. Check if you have legal aid, or if your insurance policy might cover it.
  • It’s Not Just About You: This type of claim can be complex, as you need to consider the impact on the wider community, not solely yourself.

Making a Personal Injury Claim Arising from a Public Nuisance with National Claims

If you’ve suffered an injury in an accident, and you believe it was directly caused or exacerbated by a public nuisance, National Claims can help. Our experienced personal injury solicitors understand the complex interplay between public nuisance law and personal injury claims.

Free Consultation

We’ll start with a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your experience. Together, we’ll examine your individual circumstances and determine if the public nuisance played a significant role in your injury.

*No Win, No Fee

We believe that everyone injured by a public nuisance deserves access to justice. As such, we work on a No Win, No Fee* basis where possible. This means you won’t pay legal fees upfront, easing your financial worries while you focus on recovery.


Dealing with a public nuisance can be a frustrating and stressful experience. Remember, you don’t have to just put up with it! The law provides avenues to seek compensation and put a stop to nuisances that cause you significant harm.

Gathering evidence, understanding your rights, and potentially seeking legal guidance are your key allies in navigating this process. If you believe you have a valid claim for damage caused by a public nuisance, don’t hesitate to take action. Your well-being and your right to enjoy your property and life peacefully are worth protecting.

Contact us today to speak to one of our claims specialists who will be able to help you get started on your claim.

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