Has Your Car Been Damaged by Unrepaired Potholes?
A story has come to our attention highlighting the dangers of potholes
and why councils should repair them as soon as possible to avoid injury to people and property. A local council that lied to avoid paying compensation
have been brought to justice after it was discovered they were aware of a large local pothole.
Pothole Causes Damage to Car
Jane Tramontana drove over the 3 ft wide pothole
causing the tyres on her Nissan Micra to 'blow out'. When she called her husband for help, he arrived on the scene and the road was littered with cars that had met a similar fate
The road looked so dangerous he called the police
January last year, they reported the serious pothole to Northamptonshire County Council who denied all knowledge of it. Because they said they did not know about the hole, they refused to pay compensation to the couple for the damage caused to their car. In fact, the council had been told about the pothole
and it had been recorded as priority to be fixed within 5 days
. The couple decided to fight their council's decision and were eventually rewarded with £311 in compensation
by the County Court.
So far only vehicles have been damaged in this specific case, although drivers are not the only road users. If a cyclist was to hit a pothole
like this, it could result in quite a serious injury for the rider, let alone the damage to their bike as well. No amount of compensation could make up for long lasting physical damage
hence the importance in maintaining public roads, for all users.
Councils Need to Rethink Pothole Strategy
District Judge Sarah Watson who gave the decision on the case said that there were "clear problems" with how potholes are dealt with by councils. Before 2012, the policy for potholes was that repairs had to be carried out within 2 hours of inspection
, or within 24 hours for serious cases. This pothole was so dangerous that the couple believed it should have been repaired the same day.
Although we did not act on behalf of the couple, it is clear from stories like this that without legal help and guidance
they may not have received any compensation for significant damage to their vehicle. Injuries that come out of accidents like this may also be worth pursuing, this is something that many victims may be unaware of.