Advice On How To Make A Pothole Accident Compensation Claim

By Stephen Kane. Last Updated 24th August 2023. 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.

Pothole accident claims guide

Pothole accident claims guide

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.

Select A Section:

  1. Pothole Accident Personal Injury Claim Payouts
  2. Examples Of Damages You Can Claim If Injured In A Pothole Accident
  3. What Are Pothole Accidents?
  4. What Should I Do If Injured In A Pothole Accident?
  5. Do I Need Evidence To Make A Pothole Claim?
  6. Are Councils And Local Authorities Always Responsible For Your Injury?
  7. Can I Claim If My Pothole Accident Happened On Private Property?
  8. Can I Claim Compensation For An Accident Caused By A Porthole In A Car Park?
  9. I Tripped Over Because Of A Pothole, Can I Claim Compensation?
  10. Time Limits For Pothole Accident Claims
  11. No Win No Fee Claims For A Pothole Accident

Pothole Accident Personal Injury Claim Payouts

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 NotesAmount
Back - Severe (iii)Disc fractures or lesions that lead to chronic conditions and result in severe pain and discomfort despite undergoing treatment.£38,780 to £69,730
Back - Minor (iv)Soft tissue injuries, sprains or strains which fully resolve within 3 months.Up to £2,450
Elbow - (a)A severely disabling injury to the elbow.£39,170 to £54,830
Leg - ModerateComplicated or multiple fractures to a singular leg. Factors such as extent of treatment and the impact on employment will affect how much is awarded.£27,760 to £39,200
Neck - Moderate (i)Fractures or dislocations that may require spinal fusion and result in immediate symptoms.£24,990 to £38,490
Neck - Minor (i)Generally covers strains and sprains. Injuries usually resolves within 1-2 years. £4,350 to £7,890
Ankle - ModerateLigamentous tears and fractures that cause problems when standing/walking for a long time, walking on uneven ground with awkwardness on stairs.£13,740 to £26,590
Arm - (d)A simple fracture in the forearm.£6,610 to £19,200
Foot - ModestRuptured ligaments or simple metatarsal fractures that result in a permanent limp and pain and aching.Up to £13,740
Shoulder - ModerateFrozen shoulder with limited movement and discomfort which could persist for up to 2 years. £7,890 to £12,770

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.

How Deep Does A Pothole Have To Be To Claim?

Generally, an imperfection in the road must be at least 1 inch (40mm) deep to be considered a pothole. However, this can vary depending on the shape and size of the hole and where it is located. Therefore, a pothole claim could potentially take place even if the case focuses on a hole in the road that is less than an inch deep.

If an imperfection on the road has caused an accident that injured you, but it’s not considered a pothole, it may be more difficult but still possible to claim compensation for this. When you are looking to claim pothole compensation, it is recommended that you take detailed photographs of the pothole that caused your accident and injuries.

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.

Do I Need Evidence To Make A Pothole Claim?

For any pothole claims made against the council, evidence will be required to maximise the chances of receiving personal injury compensation.

If you are making a pothole claim, you’ll need to prove the following:

  • Your local authority owed you a duty of care;
  • They breached this duty of care;
  • You were injured as a result.

Therefore, evidence you can gather to support your pothole compensation claim includes:

  • The contact details of any witnesses. Your solicitor can contact them for a statement.
  • Medical evidence, such as your medical records or a medical report from an independent medical expert.
  • CCTV footage of the accident, if possible.
  • Photographs of any injuries you have sustained.
  • Photographs of the pothole, ideally with a tape measure that shows the pothole is deeper than one inch. If the pothole is no deeper than one inch, your claim may be rejected by the council.

Get in touch if you would like to hire a personal injury solicitor from our panel. With years of experience, they’ll know what bases of your pothole damage claim to cover and can help you collect evidence.

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 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.

Time Limits For Pothole Accident Claims

If you are eligible to make a personal injury claim for pothole compensation, you must ensure that you adhere to the relevant time limit. Under the Limitation Act 1980, you will generally have three years to start your claim from the date of the accident that caused your injury.

Under certain circumstances, the time limit can work differently. For instance, if a child is injured by a pothole, the time limit is paused until the day of their 18th birthday. Before that day arrives, a court-appointed litigation friend could make a claim on the child’s behalf. If a claim has not been made by their 18th birthday, they will have three years to start one.

If the injured party lacks the mental capacity to make a pothole claim, then the three-year time limit is indefinitely suspended. In such cases, a litigation friend could make a claim on the injured party’s behalf. However, if the injured party later regains this mental capacity, and a claim hasn’t already been made, they will have three years to make a claim from the date of recovery.

To get more insight into time limits or other aspects of pothole injury claims, contact our team of advisors today.

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.

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.

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