This guide will provide information on pothole claims. It will discuss the eligibility criteria for making a personal injury claim, the time limits in place for starting legal proceedings, and the evidence you could collect as a way to strengthen your case.
Additionally, we will discuss the parties responsible for maintaining the network of roads, and how a failure to do so could lead to an accident involving a pothole.
Moreover, we will explore the potential compensation awarded after a successful public liability claim is made, including how settlements are often valued.
Finally, we discuss how to pursue your pothole claim with our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors, and the services they could offer to assist you in seeking compensation.
You can continue reading for more information or alternatively chat with our advisors for free advice directly through one of the following:
Jump To A Section
- Pothole Claims – When Could You Seek Compensation?
- How Could A Pothole Cause An Injury?
- How To Claim For Pothole Damage – What Evidence Could Help You?
- What Compensation Could You Receive When Making A Claim For A Pothole Injury?
- No Win No Fee Pothole Claims
- Learn More About How To Make Pothole Claims
Pothole claims, as with all personal injury claims, need to meet a set of eligibility criteria to be valid. As such, you will need to prove the following:
- You were owed a duty of care by a third party.
- The third party breached their duty of care.
- As a result of the breach, you became harmed either psychologically, physically, or both.
The Highways Act 1980 and the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 places a duty of care on the party with a responsibility to maintain the highways network. This means they need to ensure steps are taken to ensure the reasonable safety of these networks for public use. If there has been a failure to do so, causing you to sustain an injury, you may be eligible to seek personal injury compensation.
Additionally, you should ensure you start your claim within the limitation period. Generally, as per the Limitation Act 1980, you will have three years from the accident date to start your case. However, in some instances, exceptions could be made.
If you are unsure about whether you’re eligible to claim or how long you have to do so, please do not hesitate to contact an advisor on the number above.
There are several ways a pothole could lead to an accident and cause an injury. For example:
- The driver of a vehicle could lose control of their vehicle after driving over a deep pothole. This could result in them experiencing a severe head injury or neck injury.
- A pedestrian could slip, trip or fall on a pothole when crossing a zebra crossing. This could lead to them sustaining a broken or fractured bone, such as a broken ankle or fractured wrist.
It’s important to be aware that not all accidents involving a pothole will form the basis of a valid claim. In order to be eligible to seek compensation, you need to prove a breach of a third party’s duty of care caused you to sustain harm.
To discuss your specific case and learn more about the eligibility for pothole claims, call an advisor on the number above.
Gathering evidence can help to support pothole claims as it can demonstrate liability, as well as show any injuries you suffered. As such, you may benefit from gathering:
- CCTV footage or dashcam footage of the incident.
- A dated diary showing your mental and physical symptoms after the accident.
- Copies of your medical records, including doctor’s notes, test results, and copies of scans.
- Photos of the accident site and your injuries.
- The contact details of potential witnesses. They may be contacted during the claims process to give their account of the incident.
If you have a valid claim, you could choose to instruct an experienced solicitor from our panel. They have experience handling pothole claims and can work with you to build your case. To learn more about the services they offer and if they could represent your case, call our team on the number above.
Personal injury compensation payouts awarded in successful pothole claims can consist of two heads of loss. These are general damages and special damages.
General damages compensate for the physical and mental pain you have suffered from your injuries. When calculating the value of this head, consideration will be given to the severity of your pain, the recovery time, the loss of enjoyment and the overall impact on your quality of life.
Additionally, solicitors often refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) as well as medical evidence to assist them in valuing general damages. The JCG is a document containing injuries with different severities and their guideline compensation brackets. You can find a selection of these figures in the table below. However, these figures cannot be guaranteed as every personal injury claim is valued based on it’s unique factors.
|Injuries||Severity||Compensation Bracket - Guidelines||Notes|
|Brain damage||Very severe (a)||£282,010 to £403,990||There will be little, if any, evidence of meaningful response to environment, little or no language function and the need for full-time care.|
|Moderate (c) (ii)||£90,720 to £150,110||This bracket covers cases where there is a great reduction or total removal of the person's ability to work, with an intellectual deficit of a moderate to modest nature, and a risk of epilepsy.|
|Neck||Severe (a) (ii)||£65,740 to £130,930||Serious fractures or damage to discs in the cervical spine, leading to considerably severe disabilities.|
|Moderate (b) (i)||£24,990 to £38,490||Surgery may be necessary to treat fractures and dislocations that cause symptoms that are immediate and severe.|
|Back||Severe (a) (iii)||£38,780 to £69,730||Disc lesions or fractures, fractures of vertebral bodies, or soft tissue injuries that result in chronic conditions.|
|Moderate (b) (i)||£27,760 to £38,780||Cases of a compression/crush fracture of the lumbar vertebrae where there is a substantial risk of osteoarthritis and constant pain and discomfort.|
|Wrist||Complete Loss Of Function (a)||£47,620 to £59,860||An arthrodesis is performed.|
|Less Severe (c)||£12,590 to £24,500||There is some permanent disability, such as a degree of ongoing pain and stiffness.|
|Ankle||Severe (b)||£31,310 to £50,060||Injuries that require an extensive treatment period or lengthy period in plaster.|
|Moderate (c)||£13,740 to £26,590||Less serious disabilities, such as difficulty walking on uneven ground, from injuries such as fractures and tears to the ligaments.|
Special Damages In A Public Liability Claim
Special damages compensate for the financial expenses incurred due to your injuries. Listed below are examples of financial losses you may have incurred, along with the relevant evidence you may need to support your losses:
- Loss of earnings for needing time off work to recover from your injuries. Payslips can demonstrate this loss.
- Damage to property and repairs needed for your car. Invoices can prove the cost of any repairs needed.
- Medical costs for treatment of your injuries. You can provide prescriptions and receipts to highlight this loss.
- Travel costs. Transport tickets can assist in proving this cost.
Please get in touch with our advisors to discuss compensation for pothole claims in more detail.
If you have valid grounds to seek personal injury compensation, you could instruct a solicitor from our panel who has experience handling pothole claims. They could potentially offer to work your claim on a No Win No Fee basis under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
A CFA is a mutually agreed contract between you and your solicitor, allowing you to access their services without paying at the start of your claim, as it proceeds, or if it fails.
Should your pothole claim be successful, your solicitor will deduct a percentage of your compensation. This is legally capped and is known as a success fee.
If you want to pursue your pothole claim, with one of the solicitors from our panel on this basis, please contact an advisor. They can assess your eligibility to claim, and may connect you to a solicitor if they find you have valid grounds to seek compensation.
Alternatively, for further information about pothole claims, you can get in touch using the contact details below:
Browse more of our guides:
- Find out when you could claim for a door injury caused in a public place accident.
- Learn if you could claim for nerve damage following an accident in a public place.
- Read more about public liability claim payouts, including how they are calculated, with our helpful guide.
Otherwise, please see these external resources:
Thank you for reading this helpful guide on pothole claims. If you have any other questions, please call an advisor on the number above.
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