Advice On How To Make A Pothole Accident Compensation Claim?

Advice On How Much You Can Claim After An Accident Caused By A Pothole

On this web page, you will read a guide to the process of making a pothole accident claim. It contains useful advice, tips and information to help you understand why you may be eligible to make a claim and how to go about proceeding with your claim.

You may have additional questions once you have read this guide. If this is so, or you simply want some advice about your claim, please speak to one of our team on 0161 696 9685. They will be able to give you any help that you need.

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A Guide To Pothole Accident And Injury Claims

Pothole accident claims guide

Pothole accident claims guide

In this guide, you will learn how pothole claim solicitors can help you to get the compensation that you are entitled to. The guide begins with financial information related to the claim. This includes a table that covers typical compensation ranges for the kinds of injuries these accidents commonly cause, as well as a list of the types of damages that a settlement may be made up of.

The next section of the guide gives background information on such claims, which includes a definition of a pothole accident, what to do if you suffer one, and key statistics for pothole accidents.

We then move on to the legal considerations for making a claim. This includes the concept of eligibility, what constitutes a pothole from a legal point of view, as well as whether you can make a claim for an accident in a public place or on private land. We also go over specific types of accidents, such as pothole road traffic accidents, including cycling accidents, as well as slips, trips and falls and accidents involving school children.

The final section of this guide covers several legal considerations when making a claim. This includes how the seriousness of an accident is assessed, the time limit you must make a claim within, and how to start a claim. At this stage, we will go over the claims service we offer to people all across the UK as a simple and effective way to have their pothole claim processed.

If you have any questions about the contents of this guide, or the claims process itself, please speak to one of our claim advisors on the contact number near the bottom of this page.

Pothole Accident Personal Injury Claim Calculator

We have not included a personal injury claims calculator on this page; they are generally inaccurate. Instead, we have included the table below, which is based on guidelines published by a legal body known as the Judicial College.

Injury AwardNotes
Back - minorUp to £2,300Soft tissue injuries which resolve within 3 months
Neck - minor£4,080 to £7,410Generally covers strains and sprains. Injuries usually resolves within 1-2 years. This category also relates to exacerbation or acceleration injuries
Arm - moderate£6,190 to £18,020A straightforward fracture of the forearm.
Shoulder - moderate£7,410 to £11,980Frozen shoulder with limited movement and discomfort which could persist for up to 2 years.
Ankle - very severe£46,980 to £65,420A significant fracture with extensive soft tissue damage. May be deformities or in some cases, below-knee amputation.
Elbow - severe£36,770 to £51,460A severely disabling injury. Limited mobility. Effects may be permanent.

For a better estimate of how much compensation you could receive for a fall injury, for instance, speak to one of our claims team on the contact telephone number near the end of this guide or at the top of this page.

Examples Of Damages You Can Claim If Injured In A Pothole Accident

Part of the answer to the question, “how do I claim for damages from potholes?” is that you need to know what damages you can claim. A settlement is generally made up of two heads of claim, detailed below.

General damages

The purpose of general damages is to compensate the injured party for the physical and psychological harm they’ve endured. It specifically takes account of the:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Shock and mental trauma
  • Psychological injuries
  • Painful recuperation
  • Long-term and permanent disability

Special damages

The intention of special damages is to reimburse the injured party for any expenses they may have incurred as a result of the injury. Some examples of what can be recovered include:

  • Travel costs
  • Medical fees
  • Cost of in-home care
  • Loss of earnings
  • Lowered earning potential

When it comes to claiming special damages, be sure to keep hold of your receipts, bills, statements and the like. Without evidence, it will be hard to claim for losses.

What Are Pothole Accidents?

In order to answer the question, “can I sue the council if I fall in a pothole?” we need to define what a pothole accident is. A pothole accident is caused by the hazard presented by deep holes, gaps or cracks in the road surface. A pothole has to be a specific depth for it to be classed as a hazard (more on this below).

Pothole accidents can involve vehicles such as a car, motorcycles, bicycles or even pedestrians. In the sections below, we will expand on this basic definition.

What Should I Do If Injured In A Pothole Accident?

There are a number of things that you can do that will simplify the task that pothole claim solicitors face in processing your claim, and these are:

  • Take photographs of the pothole.
  • Photograph the damage to your vehicle.
  • Ensure that your injuries are treated at a hospital.
  • Start to document any losses you suffer.

Steps such as these will prepare the way for you to make a compensation claim for the harm that you have suffered.

Statistics For Injuries And Accident Caused By A Pothole

Pothole accident statistics

The table above shows statistics related to cycling accidents caused by potholes. Consider the following in particular.

  • In 2016, local councils paid out over £3.1 million in compensation for pothole accidents.
  • On average, each road in the UK is only resurfaced once every 50 or so years. There is a national backlog of resurfacing work of 12 years, though of late the government has diverted more funds to pothole repairs.


When Am I Eligible To Make A Pothole Accident Claim?

In order for you not to have a pothole claim rejected, the following would need to be true:

  • The defendant (or party responsible for the accident, such as the local council) owed you a duty of care. 
  • The defendant breached their duty of care, creating a risk of harm, such as a failure to repair a reported pothole.
  • As a result of the breach, you (as the claimant) suffered an injury.

Do Potholes Have To Be A Certain Size Or Depth For People To Claim?

To answer the question, “how deep does a pothole have to be to claim?”  in the UK, the pothole must measure at least one inch in depth. Any damaged road surface that is less than one inch in depth cannot be the basis of a pothole claim, although it could be the basis of a claim for a road hazard that is the responsibility of a third party.

Are Councils And Local Authorities Always Responsible For Your Injury?

Within Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980, it is clearly stated that a member of the public has the right to make pothole accident claims against the council. This regulation states that the council must have a robust process in place for dealing with damaged road surfaces promptly. If they fail in this obligation and it results in an accident, a reason to make a claim could exist. 

Can I Claim If My Pothole Accident Happened On Private Property?

To answer the question, “if I am on private property and fall in a pothole can I sue?” The answer is yes, but with a couple of caveats. Firstly, if the hazard has been signposted or highlighted in some way, which you missed, you may not be able to make a claim. Secondly, you must be able to prove that the landowner has been negligent in some way, which led to the accident. The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 comes into play here.

Can I Claim For A Road Traffic Accident Caused By A Pothole?

In the case of a road accident caused by a pothole, yes, you can claim. However, based on the information above, the pothole must be more than one inch deep, and it must be proven that either the council or the private landowner is liable due to not repairing or signposting the pothole.

Can I Claim Compensation For An Accident Caused By A Porthole In A Car Park?

Yes, a personal injury solicitor would be able to process a claim for you if you have suffered a pothole accident in a car park. Be this a private car park or a car park that is operated by the local council. The same limits outlined above would apply in each case.

I Tripped Over Because Of A Pothole, Can I Claim Compensation?

Yes, pothole claims are not limited to road traffic accidents. If you are on private land or in a public street and you trip due to a pothole, you should be able to make a claim for slip and trip compensation. Once again though, the limits outlined in previous sections will apply.

Cycling Accidents Caused By A Pothole

As we saw in the pothole statistics section, cyclists are frequently involved in pothole accidents in the UK. The eligibility of cyclists to make cyclist pothole claims is exactly the same as that for both motorists and pedestrians. As long as the pothole is more than one inch deep and the third-party responsible for road maintenance has failed in their duty, a claim should exist.

My Child Had An Injury Because Of A Pothole Accident At School, Can I Claim For Them?

Yes, every school is expected to make sure that all outside play areas are safe at all times. This includes making sure that potholes are repaired promptly. If the school fails in its responsibility and a child is injured, then a reason to make a personal injury claim should exist.

How To Assess The Seriousness Of Injuries Caused By A Pothole

When you make a pothole personal injury claim, the severity of your injuries will generally be evaluated by a medical professional. Severity consists of the physical harm you have suffered, any loss of life quality in the short, medium or long-term, as well as any permanent disability. We can arrange for you to have a local medical examination for free to judge the severity of your injuries for which you wish to claim.

Pothole Accident And Injury Claim Time Limits

You will need to make your compensation claim within the personal injury claims time limit. In general, this time limit is three years from the date the accident occurred. However, in some cases, this time limit can differ. We recommend that you speak to one of our claims team on the contact number below to learn whether a different time limit applies in your own case.

How Do I Claim Compensation For My Accident?

Starting a claim for a pothole accident is very simple. All you need to do is speak to one of our claim advisors on the number below. When you do, they will ask you a series of questions which help us to evaluate your claim. Once we know enough, we will offer you some free legal advice on what your next step should be.

No Win No Fee Claims For A Pothole Accident

We can provide you with a solicitor from our panel who can offer their services under a No Win No Fee agreement. This means there won’t be any charge when they take your claim on, and no charge while they process it. If you don’t receive any compensation, there is still no charge. If your case does succeed, your solicitor may seek a small contribution toward their costs. This contribution is called a success fee, which is capped by legislation. Your solicitor would deduct their fee from the compensation you are awarded at the end of the claim.

How Our Expert Team Can Advise You

We can provide you with a full end-to-end legal service to help you to get compensation for falling down a pothole. The process for starting a claim with us follows these three steps:

Speak to us via web chat, email or the telephone.We will evaluate your claim for you.If the claim is valid, we can process it for you.

Contacting Our Advisors

Have you been injured in a porthole accident? Do you believe a third party was responsible? If so, call us on 0161 696 9685, and one of our claims team will be able to get your pothole claim started for you right away.

Additional Information On Similar Claims

You may find these links below to be of some use:

The process for reporting a pothole

NHS info about whiplash injuries

RTSA information on potholes

Check out some of our other guides:

Workplace Rights

No Win No Fee Claims


Guide by CR

Edited by DEG