Pothole claim specialists

National Pothole Day

15th January 2022 is National Pothole Day, and it got us thinking here at Nicholson Jones Sutton about those pesky potholes and how they might impact you…

If you are walking along, minding your own business and trip over a pothole in the street it may cause serious injury. You may have to go to hospital. You may have to have time off work.

What may sound like a trivial fall could in fact cause significant financial hardship as well as pain and suffering.

You may wonder why that pothole was there and why no-one had done anything about it.

What caused the pothole?

Potholes can be caused by a variety of issues. The most common cause is when water gets into cracks in the surface of the tarmac then the cold weather hits and the water freezes. The cycle of freezing and thawing water can cause the cracks to become bigger over time. Without maintenance the pothole can present a hazard to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

Who is responsible for maintaining the highway?

If the pothole is on a street or road that is used by the general public the local authority should carry out regular inspections and take steps to repair any potholes that start to present a hazard to users of the highway. This is a statutory duty and they receive money from the government to do this.

If the Council fails to repair any potholes that either they were aware of or ought to have been aware of if they had carried out an inspection then they may be liable to compensate anyone who is unfortunate to be caused injury by tripping on the pothole.

What should I do if I trip on a pothole?

You should seek medical attention for any injuries that require it. Landing on your wrist or even your knees can cause fractures that required urgent attention to avoid or limit any long-term issues.

You should also take a photograph of the exact pothole you tripped on. A photograph of the general area may show how bad the street is but you must identify where you tripped. If you can take measurements and show this in the photo this assist.

You should then contact Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors.

Our expert Public Liability team have years of experience in dealing with such claims. We will advise you on the funding arrangements available to you, prepare a letter with allegations to the local authority and arrange for your injuries to be assessed by an independent medical expert.

We will talk you through each step of your claim and ensure that you understand the process. In rare circumstances we may have to issue proceedings against a local authority who refused to accept that their negligence caused you to sustain injury and suffer loss.

What about if I was driving or cycling?

You can still make a claim against the local authority. According to one report the RAC dealt with more than 10,000 potholes in 2021 – which is a staggering 27 incidents a day.

Not only can this cause injury but serious damage to your bike or your car. We can help you recover the repair costs.

How much will I receive?

This depends on your injuries and your circumstances. If you are unable to work, you will be able to recover your loss in wages. Even if you did not have any financial loss a simple fracture could result in compensation in the thousands.

How much will it cost?

We accept the vast majority of cases on a Conditional Fee Agreement which means that we recover most of the legal costs from the Council. We will only charge you a success fee which would be capped at a percentage of your damages ensuring that you receive the majority of the compensation awarded without worrying that you will be out of pocket with a large bill to be paid out of your compensation.

Call our expert Public Liability team today on 01625 667 166 to find out more.

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