Potholes on the road and how to claim for damages

In the UK, potholes are a common problem on roads and highways, particularly during the winter months when the freezing and thawing of water causes the surface of the road to crack and break apart. These potholes can be a serious hazard for drivers and can cause significant damage to vehicles. If you have been unfortunate enough to hit a pothole and suffer damage to your vehicle, there are steps you can take to claim for damages.

The first step is to gather as much information as possible about the incident. This includes the location of the pothole, the date and time of the incident, and any witnesses who may have seen what happened. You should also take photos of the damage to your vehicle, as well as the pothole itself, if possible. This information will be essential when making a claim for damages.

The next step is to report the incident to the relevant authority. You should contact your local council if the pothole is on a local road. If it is on a motorway, you should contact Highways England. You can report the incident online, by phone, or by post. When reporting the incident, be sure to provide as much detail as possible, including the location of the pothole, the size of the pothole, and any other relevant information.

Once you have reported the incident, the authority will investigate the pothole and determine whether they are liable for the damage. If they accept liability, they will either pay for the cost of the repairs directly or provide you with a reimbursement for the cost of the repairs. If they do not accept liability, you may need to take legal action to claim damages.

If you need to take legal action, you should seek the advice of a solicitor who specializes in personal injury claims. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action and help you to pursue your claim. Find a Solicitor You should also keep records of all expenses related to the incident, including the cost of repairs, any medical expenses, and any other expenses incurred as a result of the incident.

How to claim for pothole damage

The Which? website has laid out the guidelines for making a claim. Here’s what they said:

  1. Gather evidence: Take photos of the pothole’s location, depth, and any damage it caused to your vehicle or bicycle.
  2. Report the pothole: Contact your local authority or highways agency and report the pothole. Find out who is responsible for maintaining the road and report it to them.
  3. Keep receipts: If you have already fixed the damage, keep receipts for the repair work. If you haven’t, get a quote for the repairs.
  4. Make a claim: Check your local authority’s claims procedure and provide the required information to make a claim.
  5. Negotiate: If necessary, negotiate with the council on the costs of the repairs.
  6. Appeal: If your claim is rejected, ask to see the council’s road inspection reports and appeal the decision if they did not follow their own procedures.
  7. Consider legal action: If necessary, seek legal advice and take your claim to the small claims court.

According to James Attew from Which? Legal, it’s essential to keep in mind that local authorities will likely try to defend themselves against pothole claims by demonstrating that they took reasonable measures to maintain and oversee the affected part of the highway.

To strengthen your pothole claim, it’s recommended that you request copies of the inspection schedule, reports for the relevant highway, and any records of reports made to the authority under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This information can help you demonstrate that the authority failed to repair the damage promptly, or that the highway had not been inspected for a prolonged period, which can increase the strength of your claim.

When considering a pothole claim, the local authority will take into account the factual circumstances, such as the character of the highway, the expected traffic volume, and the required standard of maintenance.

According to Which? authorities may dispute a claim by arguing that the pothole didn’t cause the damage or that the repair costs are too high. To address these arguments, claimants should obtain an independent report to confirm the cause of the damage and gather 2-3 quotes for repairs to demonstrate that the cost incurred is reasonable.

It’s also important to report the pothole to the relevant authority to be repaired, in addition to making a claim.

How to report a pothole

Reporting a pothole not only helps others but also increases your chances of claiming compensation for any damage to your vehicle. You can report potholes on your local council’s website and should provide as much supporting evidence as possible.

To determine which council is responsible for maintaining the road, you can search by the road name, town, or postcode on the government website. Another option is to use the Fill That Hole website by Cycling UK, a national cycling charity.

This website enables you to identify the pothole’s location on Google Maps or via GPS if you download the free iPhone or Android app. The charity will then report the pothole on your behalf. You must contact the Highways Agency if the incident occurs on an A-road or motorway.

Car Cosmetics could help fix the damage.

Car cosmetics can be a great solution for fixing cosmetic damage to your wheels after claiming damages due to potholes. These cosmetic repairs can include alloy wheel repair and refurbishment, bumper scuff repair. They are typically quick and efficient, with most repairs completed within the day. By investing in Car Cosmetics, you can restore your wheels to their previous condition and improve the overall appearance of your vehicle.

Alloy Wheel Repair and Refurbishment

  1. Alloy wheel repair and refurbishment services are designed to fix damage to a vehicle’s wheels, such as scratches, scuffs, and minor dents. These services involve removing the damaged area of the wheel, then sanding and painting it to match the rest of the wheel. They can be completed quickly and effectively, often within the day, and can save drivers the cost of having to replace an entire wheel. Though we can arrange to replace the alloy if preferred.

Bumper Scuff Repair

  • Pot holes can also cause bumper scuffs. These services involve sanding down the damaged area and repainting it to match the rest of the bumper. They can be completed quickly and efficiently, and are a cost-effective solution for minor bumper damage. Worst case we can replace paint and fit new bumpers.

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