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As drivers and cyclists, many of us have suffered the stressful experience of damaging our motor vehicle, motorbike or cycle as a result of a pothole.

If filled with water or ice, potholes can be almost impossible to spot for even the most careful driver or rider.

What is even worse is that, for cyclists and bikers who are more vulnerable, there is a real danger of serious injury or fatality.

Freedom of Information requests via Cycling UK show that local authorities have paid out over £43M in recent years with over 670 cyclists received on average over £10000 and £30000 motorists received on average £800 each.

If you have been injured as a result of an accident involving a pothole, how do you claim compensation? What evidence will be required? What are your prospects of success? How can Specters help you recover the compensation to which you are entitled?

How to make a claim for pothole damage

The first thing that needs to be done is to ascertain the Highway or Authority responsible for that particular road.

The Highways Authority for any particular road has a statutory duty to maintain and repair the highway under the Highways Act of 1980.

Who may be responsible for road and pothole maintenance?

  • The County Council for a given area
  • The Minister of Transport
  • The London Borough Council
  • The Common Council in the City f London
  • The Non-Metropolitan District Council
  • The Parish & Community Council.

Once the relevant authority has been ascertained and your claim investigated, evidence gathered, losses assessed and medical evidence obtained, a letter of claim will be presented to the relevant authority requesting they compensate you.

The duty of the highway authority cannot be delegated and so even if the authority tries to blame a contractor such as BT or the Water Authority and neither admit responsibility, the claim will still be pursued against the highway authority.

What evidence is required for a Pothole Claim?

For you to succeed in your claim, there needs to be supportive evidence such as photographs of the pothole, measurements and perhaps a surveyor/engineers report confirming pothole dimensions.

Evidence from local residents confirming how long the defect has been there or evidence of other accidents will assist.

If previous complaints have been made relating to the defect, this may also strengthen your case.

The highway authority cannot reply on a defence that they lack sufficient funds to repair the road.

However, the Authority has a statutory defence to these claims if it can be shown that all reasonable steps to maintain the highway had been taken.

There are a number of issues the court will look at in these matters; such as the character of the highway, the state of repair a reasonable person would have expected and how frequently inspections took place.

Obviously, steps will be taken on your behalf to obtain the best evidence available to support your claim by looking at maintenance records, records of complaints and ascertaining how long since the last inspection.

What are my chances of making a successful pothole damage claim?

At Specters, we will use our vast public liability experience to evaluate your claim and advise you of prospects.

If we believe the evidence is strong, we may offer you a No Win No Fee arrangement, which means you do not have to pay if we lose.

It may be that we need to ask for a sum for preliminary investigations, although each case will be judged on its merits.

We will always be open and transparent about your prospects from the outset and we have many years of experience to support our view.

What compensation will I be entitled to?

If you succeed in your claim, you will receive an award for pain and suffering and will also recover the cost of repairs to your cycle, motorbike or vehicle.

You will receive loss of earnings and the cost of treatment or rehabilitation.

You would also be eligible to claim past and future loss of earnings along with any care costs you may incur.

For a discussion on your claim without incurring cost or obligation ring us today on 0300 303 3629 or complete our short form and we will contact you.

No win, no fee

If we believe you have a strong case, we can fund your public liability compensation claim on a 'No Win, No Fee' or Conditional Fee Agreement, meaning there would be no financial risk to you. Read more on our Funding Options page.


Contact our friendly team to enquire or start your claim today.
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