Making a Pothole Claim for Compensation
Road accidents caused by potholes not only result in damaged cars, vans, motorbikes and bicycles, they can leave drivers, bikers and cyclists with serious injuries. If your road accident was because of a pothole that your Council was aware of, but failed to fix, they could be held accountable for the injuries and damages you have suffered.
How to Support a Pothole Claim
In order to boost your chances of making a successful pothole claim, or securing the full amount of compensation that you’re entitled to, there are several steps you should take following your accident.
Get Medical Help as Soon as Possible
Even if you believe you’ve only suffered a minor injury, being examined by a healthcare professional could help identify any bigger problems which may arise at a later date. At the very least, you’ll have documentary evidence proving the extent of the injuries you received.
Take Pictures of the Pothole
Since a pothole could be filled in any time after your accident, it’s vital to take photographs of it straight away if it is safe to do so. If possible, include a date mark on each image, as that can prove when the pothole hazard was present on the road. Include a tape measure or ruler on your photographs, so the dimensions of the pothole can be clearly seen.
Get Contact Details of Witnesses
If anyone witnessed your pothole accident, taking their contact details could support your claim as they’ll be able to back up your version of events if necessary. People living and working in the area might also have strong views on the local pothole problem or that particular pothole, so it’s worth gathering opinion from them as well.
Report the Pothole
Report the pothole to the Council, Local Authority or Highways England. The gov.uk website allows you to report a pothole in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Contact our Personal Injury Solicitors
We offer a free consultation to victims of pothole accidents. Simply provide us with the details of where the pothole is located, when the accident occurred, details of the damage to your car or bike, and details of your injuries.
We can then provide you a free initial assessment of your pothole claim, and the likelihood of you being awarded compensation.
At this point we may be able to advise you if we can deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis, although in some cases we need to wait until a Personal Injury Solicitor that specialises in road traffic accident claims has reviewed the evidence you provide.
For a free consultation get in touch with our Personal Injury Solicitors.
National Pothole Statistics
According to a recent Freedom of Information request by Confused.com, the number of potholes reported to Councils rose from 887,351 in 2016-17 to 905,172 a year later. That’s a year-on-year increase of 2% and means an average of almost 2,500 potholes were reported to Local Authorities every day.
It also means new and seemingly harmless hazards are popping up on more and more roads, with unsuspecting motorists, bikers, cyclists and pedestrians not being able to see a dangerous pothole until it’s too late.
What Damage Can Potholes Cause?
According to Warranty Direct, potholes are responsible for 1 in 10 car failures on UK roads and cost vehicle owners £730 million each year. Potholes often cause damage to the car's suspension, steering, or tyres and the average costs of repair sits at £247.
How to Report a Pothole in Your Area
In addition to having a place where you can report potholes in your area, your Council is obliged to have a system in place to inspect and repair potholes. This can include things such as:
- How often roads will be inspected
- The type of damage that will be repaired
- How long repairs must be conducted after being made aware of the damage.
Councils must also have a system that allows people who have spotted potholes to report them.
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