Stepped Off A Kerb Into a Pothole – Why No Warning?


On 6 February 2010, a self-employed salesman was walking along a suburban pavement in Surrey. As he began crossing the road he stepped off the kerb and stumbled on an unmarked pothole.

Pothole Fix

Broken Collarbone

His loss of balance was enough to cause the 44 year-old to fall heavily, and his break his collarbone.

Lisa Sheldon of Simpson Millar LLP wrote to the local authority, Surrey County Council (SCC), alleging that it had breached its duty of care by allowing the road to become and remain dangerous.

No Safety Measures Taken by Council

It had also failed to take adequate inspection, maintenance or repair measures to ensure the highway did not remain in disrepair.

"The reason we alleged fault is because SCC, as local authority, is required to maintain the highways to a reasonable level," Lisa said.

"The council had also failed to bring to our client's attention the defect by means of signs, notices or barriers. As such, it had allowed the area to become a tripping hazard and subjected our client to risk of injury."

Compensation for our client was settled at £4,600.

Top Tips to Take Away:

  • Keeping the public highway safe for pedestrians is the responsibility of the local authority
  • Have you been injured on a public road because there were no signs to warn you of a hazard? Simpson Millar LLP's personal injury team can let you know if you can claim.

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