Call FREE from a Landline or Mobile on 0800 634 75 75

Highways Claims

I dodged yet another pothole on the way to work this morning – it’s getting to be rather tedious if I’m honest. OK, so I know the councils budgets are rather stretched thanks to the giant pair of scissors that are David Cameron’s hands; but something needs to be done about it. In fact, if anyone watched Channel 4’s Selling Off Britain on Monday night, you might agree that there is room for a bit of financial redistribution to help us sort out the meteor craters littering our roads.

But – Where does the genuine duty lie? What are the councils and highways authorities responsible to do? You’d be tempted to say “naff all” given the current state of the roads; but there is a duty there.  Under the Highways Act 1980, local authorities responsible for the highways have an important duty to ensure that the highway is reasonably and regularly inspected and maintained. What is classed as “reasonable” is largely down to the authorities themselves; they can range from monthly inspections, to three monthly, bi-annually, or even annual only inspections. It’s all about what is deemed to be reasonable and practical.

If a pothole or defect is reported, the rules change a little. The council now must make the area safe – either by reparations or cordoning off of the area etc, as soon as is reasonably possible. Again, that lovely ambiguous word “reasonable” is in there. How this can be measured is hard to tell. At the end of the day, it’s likely the local authority will put forward the “public purse” argument as to why they are not able to satisfy the safety of highway users.

So, what happens if you end up injured due to a pothole in the road / path, or a defective manhole cover, defective kerbing, or any other hazard out there on the highways? If the responsibility of whatever caused you injury lies with the local authority, you are probably in for a tough time. It’s best to seek the advice of a specialist injury lawyer right away – but as a warning for you now, if the council can prove they have kept up with their inspection and maintenance regime that they have deemed to be reasonable and practical, it’s likely you won’t have a claim.

The authority can rely upon a special defence known as Section 58 of the Highways Act – this means that if they can prove they have kept up with their inspection and maintenance regime, they are not liable to compensate you. This means in times of pothole perils like now, where several defects have popped up from the ground following a harsh winter, there are a lot of unhappy claimers who have been subject to having their claims refuted.

If you are the victim of a defective manhole cover, the law is in some way similar. It depends on who is responsible – if it’s the local highways authority or council (i.e. public sector), it’s likely it may fall under the same category as above. If it’s privately owned, say, by a water or power / gas company, you may have better luck, as they may not have any kind of system or regime in place. If a manhole is not secured properly or adequately, and it is allowed to be tampered with, you may have a claim.

We are specialist personal injury lawyers with a vast wealth of experience in dealing with all types of claims for personal injury. We won’t lie to you or give you false hope – at the end of the day, any lawyer can only act within the law. In a highways claim, you have the odds against you. So it’s always best to enlist the assistance of a fantastic, specialist injury lawyer – it’s the only we you can be guaranteed a chance of a successful claim.

Request A Call Back

Your Details
Accident Details
Select Your Call Back Time
NHS Email Leak
Search Our Blog
Free Instant Valuation
As Seen on TV
Latest Blog Posts

Is your job at stake when making a work accident claim?

Is your job at stake when making a work accident claim?

Before we answer this question, lets understand first how a work accident claim actually works... The Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury (Employer...

Published on the 29/06/2016


A swift guide to road accident claims

A swift guide to road accident claims

Have you had a road traffic accident in the past three years? If you answered yes then you could be entitled to claim compensation! Below is some general guidance as to how The Injury Lawyers can h...

Published on the 29/06/2016


X-Rays and Scans (MRI Scans, CT Scans, etc) Compensation Claims

X-Rays and Scans (MRI Scans, CT Scans, etc) Compensation Claims

Scans: one of the fastest way of obtaining a diagnosis without having to cut people open all the time to find out what's going on! As technology has moved forward we now have the benefit of x-rays ...

Published on the 01/06/2016


Vauxhall Zafira problems - Compensation for Vauxhall Zafira fire victims

Vauxhall Zafira problems - Compensation for Vauxhall Zafira fire victims

It has been announced that compensation will be available for victims who have had problems with Vauxhall Zafira engines spontaneously setting on fire. More than 234,000 vehicles have been recalled...

Published on the 27/05/2016


Statins computer glitch: thousands at risk of prescription errors

Statins computer glitch: thousands at risk of prescription errors

A computer glitch in a system used to calculate the risks of cardiovascular diseases has resulted in thousands of GP practices across the UK issuing incorrect advice over the use of cholesterol-loweri...

Published on the 16/05/2016


Mr. N awarded £10,000 after long battle for work accident compensation

Mr. N awarded £10,000 after long battle for work accident compensation

The Injury Lawyers have successfully fought for Mr. N and obtained him an award of £10,000.00 after a long battle with the defendant's insurers and solicitors who tried to deny responsibility fo...

Published on the 29/04/2016


Home Visit Lawyers

Home Visit Lawyers

For serious injury cases and complex compensation claims we can normally offer home visits for clients. We know how important a face to face meeting is - in fact, it's as important for us as it is ...

Published on the 18/04/2016


The Injury Lawyers - taking action in the University of Greenwich Data Breach

The Injury Lawyers - taking action in the University of Greenwich Data Breach

Data breaches that cause distress (which is common) falls within our remit here at The Injury Lawyers, and we have been advising victims of the University of Greenwich data bre...

Published on the 06/04/2016


Medical Negligence Compensation for something that happened a long time ago?

Medical Negligence Compensation for something that happened a long time ago?

When you hear the adverts asking if you have had an accident in the last three years, there is a very specific reason for it... The law in England and Wales generally means that you have to br...

Published on the 15/03/2016


Risk of explosion identified in ZeniPower hearing aid batteries

Risk of explosion identified in ZeniPower hearing aid batteries

A medical device alert has been issued by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for ZeniPower mercury-free batteries manufactured by Zhuhai Zhi Li Battery Co Ltd. The affected batte...

Published on the 11/03/2016


Categories
Archives