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Pothole Damage

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Anyone know if you can claim for damages caused by potholes? And if so, how?

I lost my front tyre to one yesterday which needed a £101 replacement. The tyres were only 5800 miles old with the tyre immediately deflating after the hit.

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I don't think you can but not sure. Did you check the wheel to see what caused it to deflate. One of my tires since I bought the car would leak considerable amounts of air. Took it to a place to check it and they said it was caused by the rim. Sorted that out but also had to buy a new tire as they said the tire was slightly mishapen (probably because of these potholes when I was driving accidently with the tire low). 

DSC_0103.JPG

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Yes you can make a claim, I made one a few years ago for damaged wheel and tyre,  go and take some photos also take a measuring tape with you to show the size and depth, then find the local authority responsible for that area and make a claim against them.

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Yeah I checked the wheel, fortunately no damage to it, didn't get a chance to the check the tyre before it got too dark.

 

Will have to arrange a trip back to it soon

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To be clear on claiming on pothole damage....

you CAN claim, but only if there is proof the local council are aware of it already. E.G if it has the spray paint around it etc.

If not, report it, get a reference number, give it a couple of days then claim if they haven’t fixed it. Then you have evidence they know about the pothole. Hope that helps, had a wheel go pop on a deep one, £80 claim.

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you have an absolute right to make a claim. whether they pay your claim or deny responsibility is another matter. were they negligent?  if the pothole has been reported to them a while back and they have chosen to ignore it or have not acted due to incompetence etc then they might be responsible.  If say the pothole appeared only hours before you hit it and no one had reported it and they could not possibly have known about it then they are probably within their rights to deny payment. 

No one can stop you claiming, no one can stop you taking them to court if they don't pay you but whether or not you win is another matter.

Of course the odds are stacked against you because if it had been reported previously by many people, how would you know and how would you prove it? If someone living next to the pothole saw the incident and came out and said I have told the council and they just won't fix it then you would be in luck, it is not likely to happen.

Have you (anyone reading this) reported dangerous potholes that you have seen in the roads? if not,  why not?  the council can not inspect every road every day (would you be happy to pay more council tax for them to do this?) so everytime someone sees a large pothole and does not report it, means there is more chance someone will damage their car on it.

I have reported a few (many councils enable you to do this on their website) and one time they phoned me after repairing it asking if I was satisfied with the repair.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Micro said:

https://www.fixmystreet.com/ is good for looking for previously reported pot holes and stuff.

That really is good. I tried that but was getting other stuff reported such as rubbish being thrown in an area and slippery pavements. Going to report one of the potholes in my area as I hear a bang noise when I accidentally go over it. 

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I know someone who goes around fixing them and he says if it's more than 40mm deep and has the circle around it (to show they know about it) then you're pretty much guaranteed.

A pothole doesn't appear overnight. A bad one on a main road will have been reported by someone. I'm in the process of reporting every pot hole on the route to work so it can either be fixed or I have proof of it being reported should I need it

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23 hours ago, Micro said:

https://www.fixmystreet.com/ is good for looking for previously reported pot holes and stuff.

Don't use Fix My Street. It's a horrible site and just sends a link to whichever council it thinks needs to know.

Use the County Council's own reporting page:

http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Highways/Roads/Protection.aspx#reportpotholesdamagetoroads

7 hours ago, Luke4efc said:

I know someone who goes around fixing them and he says if it's more than 40mm deep and has the circle around it (to show they know about it) then you're pretty much guaranteed.

A pothole doesn't appear overnight. A bad one on a main road will have been reported by someone. I'm in the process of reporting every pot hole on the route to work so it can either be fixed or I have proof of it being reported should I need it

I work in highways and for a 6 month period used to carry out safety inspections of the highway (footway, carriageway and verge) and each highway authority will have different intervention criteria for potholes. One highway authority might work to 40mm in the carriageway but another might work to 50mm or 60mm. Footways carry different criteria again but risk assessing the location of potholes may mean raising repairs before things meet the intervention criteria.

On the note of potholes not forming overnight, that is absolute rubbish. Unfortunately potholes can form in hours. With the weather as it is in the UK, the road surfaces are constantly under attack and on a heavily travelled carriageway, things can rip out very quickly. If the money was available, all highway authorities would love to fully reconstruct roads rather than have to resort to cheaper methods to surface or patch them.

**A quick Google listed this site - https://www.potholes.co.uk/ - I've not used it or even viewed it for more than a few minutes but it might help you.

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Quite a few years ago my dad tried making a claim for pothole damage to his NS tyre and alloy by a pothole. He measure the pothole' s dimensions, photographed it and got in touch with the council. Basically he was told the only way he could claim recompense was through the small claims court... not sure whether that was against the council or the highways agency. Needless to say he never pursued the claim. Reading here, I am beginning to think that he was fobbed off.

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Quote:-

If the money was available, all highway authorities would love to fully reconstruct roads rather than have to resort to cheaper methods to surface or patch them.

 

If the gov. used all the road tax money it collected on the roads then there would be very little problems instead of siphoning off some of it and using it elsewhere, we motorists are just treated as cash cows.

 

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"Basically he was told the only way he could claim recompense was through the small claims court". well yes and no.   You can take them to court - you might win you might lose. If you claim against the council or the highways agency (depending on the status of the road with the pothole) and they pay without it going to court, that is because they reckon they will lose in court and if they reckon they will win they will refuse to pay and see if you take it to court.   If they pay without going to court it is just a way of short circuiting the likely outcome to save time and money.

The same way as a claim for two cars colliding. If a third party claim is paid without going to court, that is short circuiting the whole procedure based on what they reckon the court decision would be if it got that far.

whenever you make a claim against someone (council, another driver, employer etc) they (or their insurers acting for them under an insurance policy) would prefer not to pay out money like a charity and will possibly resist making payment. If you present your claim in a weak manner and look like you expect to be fobbed off then you will be fobbed off. the claim needs to be presented in a serious concise assertive manner with evidence photos etc, if they are at fault and you sound like you are going to take it all the way to court you will more likely get a result. 

But bear in mind if your tyre was eg. three quarters worn then they are not liable for the whole cost of a brand new tyre. I am not saying they will always try to deduct an amount for how worn the tyre is as the amount might not be worth arguing over but they could. 

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7 hours ago, eddie eastwood said:

If the gov. used all the road tax money it collected on the roads then there would be very little problems instead of siphoning off some of it and using it elsewhere, we motorists are just treated as cash cows.

Yes, if Vehicle Excise Duty was ring fenced for highways spending then things would hopefully be far better for all highways users. Thus as it's just a general tax, what little gets spent on highways is being spread so thin that it's not helping.

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Some years ago I claimed for pothole damage.  The carncil reckoned the road had been inspected at periods re commended by the government, but when I pressed for the exact dates, times, and name(s) of the personnel that had conducted the check, and the method employed, they folded and paid.  

 

I think they're liable to tell you to bugger off first time around, and only pay people who look like they'll persist.  Defending a claim to any serious extent is liable to cost them more than the price of a tyre or two.

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Safety inspections should be carried out within a certain frequency, the busier the road, the more frequent the inspection. The Well-maintained Highways - Code of Practice sets guidance on frequencies of inspection based on the network (http://www.ukroadsliaisongroup.org/download.cfm/docid/C7214A5B-66E1-4994-AA7FBAC360DC5CC7).

If an inspection isn't carried out within the frequency, then it doesn't help in the defence of a claim BUT doesn't necessarily mean a highway authority is at fault.

SafetyInspectionFrequency.JPG

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