Pothole Accident Claim for Compensation
Find out how much your personal injury claim may be worth
Can I make a pothole accident claim?
You may be eligible to make a pothole accident injury claim if you suffered an injury within the last three years, that was caused by someone else’s negligence. The person/organisation you wish to prosecute must have some obligation to you. A good example of somebody who is obligated to ensure the road is safe for road users is the Local Council. The Local Council is held to be at fault in a large proportion of these types of claims. They have a duty to ensure that they have maintained the road to an acceptable standard. To be successful in making a claim, you must be able to prove that the Local Authority had been negligent, and that their negligence caused your injury.
How much compensation will I receive?
In a personal injury claim, your solicitors will fight for two different types of compensation. One is the general damages to cover you pain suffering, and loss of amenity. The other is special damages, which covers your expenses as a result of your injury. This includes any prescriptions you paid for, time off work and any rehabilitation you had to pay for to help you recover from your injury. You should ensure that you keep receipts of any additional expenses to prove your special damages.
The exact amount of compensation varies between circumstances and the severity of injuries, but Beacon Law will fight to achieve a high level of compensation for your injuries.
What to do if you are involved in a pothole accident
Straight after the accident you should seek medical attention for your injuries.
You should also take a picture of the pothole and surrounding area as evidence. You may also wish to obtain the contact details of any possible witnesses to your accident and find out how long the pothole has been an issue. You solicitor may be able to help you to obtain some evidence, but you will need to take your own pictures of the pothole and any injuries or damage to your personal belongings.
If you are considering making a pothole accident claim, feel free to call us and have a free initial consultation to find out if you could make a claim.
How deep does a pothole have to be to claim?
The pothole must be at least 1-2 inches deep to have grounds to make a claim. Some Councils also require the pothole width be a minimum size, but this varies from Council to Council. When taking photographs, you should also include measurements of the pothole within the photograph.
Can I claim compensation for an accident on a private road or car park?
Yes, although you do have to prove the person/organisation owes you a duty of care. This can include a business’s car park, which you were lawfully using.
Can I claim for a pothole accident whilst on my bike?
Cyclists are the most vulnerable of all road users, so yes you are entitled to compensation for any damage to your bike or injuries you sustained due to a pothole. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the circumstances.
There are around 35,000 traffic accidents every year. One third of these accidents involve poor road conditions, so you are not alone. In 2016, 64 cyclists were killed or seriously injured because of potholes, compared to only 17 in 2007. Potholes can puncture your tyre or damage your wheel. A pothole strike can do any amount of internal unseen damage like damaging your shocks or struts or harm your suspension.
I tripped and injured myself when walking over a pothole, is it wort making a claim?
Trips and falls are very common, but if you have suffered any injury due to the fall caused by a dangerous pothole, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.
The law regarding potholes
The law does not expect the Local Councils to repair every pothole as soon as it occurs. Instead, your Local Council must prove they have a reasonable inspection process to look for potholes, if they do this regularly and successfully, the claim will fail.
Section 58 of the Highways Act, 1980, was introduced to do two things. It prevents recently resurfaced roads and pavements from being dug up again for another maintenance job, and it ensures any potholes that pose a risk to health and safety can be resurfaced in a timely manner, as to not disrupt traffic too much.
What if the accident was my Fault?
You can still make a claim, even if you believe you was partly responsible for the Road Accident. This is possible through a Split Liability Agreement, which means if you accept 50% of the responsibility, you would be entitled to 50% less compensation. In order to have a strong claim in a Split Liability Agreement you must be able to argue another party has a percentage of the blame. A common example of this regarding Pothole Injury Claims is if you were not responsible for the pothole, but you were responsible for the severity of your injuries by not wearing a seatbelt.
Types of Accidents Caused by Potholes
Road Traffic Accidents – Potholes can seriously damage a vehicle, especially if they drive over one at a high speed without realising it was there. This can cause vehicles to skid or come to a sudden stop, posing a safety risk to themselves and people in cars in front or behind the car. The vehicles wheels are most likely to be damaged and punctures are very common when running over potholes. Punctures can cause the car to suddenly stop or slowly deflate air until the tire needs replacing.
Trips and Falls – On pavements, potholes can cause pedestrians and cyclists to fall and injure themselves. Potholes are especially dangerous in the winter when roads and pavements are slippery.
How long can the claims process take?
Unfortunately it is impossible to provide you with a precise timeframe for settlement of your personal injury claim. There are many factors that determine the length of time it takes to successfully conclude a claim. These factors can include the severity of your injuries, how willing the defendant is to concede liability, and other specific issues that are unique to your case.
In cases where fault for the accident can be easily established and it is not necessary for us to issue formal court proceedings, we can in most circumstances settle a claim within 6 to 12 months. If it does become necessary to issue court proceedings, the court will provide a case management timetable which orders the parties to perform certain tasks by specified dates. We will advise you of the dates and when we expect the final hearing to take place.
Beacon Law’s personal injury solicitors have a wealth of experience and we pride ourselves on completing the claims process in as efficient manner as possible. We will always work to conclude your claim in the fastest possible time.
Why choose Beacon Law?
Beacon Law has a team of Specialist Personal Injury Solicitors with high success rate. We have tons of experience in dealing with claims against the Council. To find out about out making a claim on a No Win, No Fee Agreement, have a look at the funding page on our website.
Beacon Law is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and aims to offer you piece of mind throughout your time with us.
If you have suffered as a result of somebody else’s negligence, then please call us today on 03301332857 to receive free legal advice before you decide whether you wish to start your claim. You can also complete our contact form at the top of the page to request a call back at a convenient time.