The colder seasons of the year normally result in an increase in people making a claim for personal injury compensation as result of a pothole injury. Generally speaking, potholes are more commonly formed in colder weather because water seeps in to cracks in the highway surface and expands when it freezes overnight, causing the ground to crack and break open.
So if you are the victim of a pothole accident, what are your rights for a pothole claim against the council?
We have dealt with loads of pothole claims against councils, and I have been the victim of hundreds of pounds worth of car damage when I drove over one last year – so I know the mountain of stress and anger a pothole accident causes! But this area of law is unfortunately much more on the side of the local authorities.
Under the Highways Act 1980, there is a duty for the local council to take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person is not at risk of being injured by a pothole. Reasonable steps are to have systems of inspection and maintenance at intervals relevant for the type of road or area.
For example, a busy city centre road that is used to high volumes of traffic is probably inspected every one to three months. A country road may only be inspected every 12 months.
Having a system like this is taken to be a reasonable step in law. If the council had no prior knowledge of the pothole, perhaps as no one had reported it, and there was no inspection due for a while and they’ve kept to their regime of inspection, they can easily defend your claim. In fact, they have a special defence under Section 58 of the above Act that gives them the ability to easily dismiss a claim if they can show they have a sound system of inspection and that they have kept to it.
So to be honest, the odds are against you – which is why you need a specialist personal injury law firm like us to fight for your case because we know how to maximise your chances of winning a claim.
It’s all about evidence
Because we have so much experience in representing victims for pothole claims against the council, we know how best to fight them and what kind of evidence we can obtain to give you the best chance at winning a claim. Make a claim as quickly as possible and speak to us about what steps you can take – because some evidence won’t be around forever. Always make the claim right away and speak to us before reporting the incident to the local council.
We have overturned many defences from a council in the past, and nowadays most claims go through an online portal system where they only have a very limited time to investigate the claim. They’re under a lot of pressure to respond so for minor claims they may just accept liability early if they are struggling to get a defence together quick enough.
Equally as important – we offer 100% COMPENSATION for pothole claims against a council!
For help and advice, call us now on 0800 634 75 75.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.