Potholes - How To Claim For Pothole Damage
January 18, 2017 at 2:15 PM
Spine crushing, teeth chattering impacts after driving over, what feels like, a miniature Grand Canyon have become part of driving on U.K roads. After paying Road Tax for so many years you would expect the roads to be in a decent condition, but no, all that money has gone into a hole somewhere but sadly not the on you've just bent your steering driving over. If your car is damaged by a pothole, you may be able to claim money for repairs against the authority responsible for keeping the road surface maintained.
How to Make a Claim.
1. First check for any damage. This is most likely to be to the wheels, tyres, suspension or steering. Not all damage will be visible, pay attention to any vibrations, strange noises or the car pulling to one side. If there is any visible damage, it is a good idea take a photo to help with your claim.
2. Next make some notes on what exactly happened and where. Take note of the road name, the town it is in and the position of the pothole on the road. If it's completely safe, take a photo of the pothole with an object like a pound coin in the picture to give an idea of the scale. To be classed as a pothole the hole must be more than 40mm deep, so a photo with a sense of scale is a great help.
3. After recording all the details it's time to report the pothole to the relevant authority. As a general rule The Highways Agency are responsible for Motorways and major A roads, with local councils being responsible for smaller A roads and local roads. All local councils allow you to report problems via their websites as does the Highways Agency so, once you are sure of who you need to inform, it's pretty straightforward.
4. Now it's time to get the damage repaired, get more than one quote and keep all invoices and paperwork. The more evidence collected the better chance of a successful claim.
5. When you have done all this its time to make your claim. Some authorities will send you a simple form to fill in, with others the process may be more complicated. There may be a lot of hoops to jump through but don't be put off, the more you persevere the greater your chance of a successful claim.
Will I win my claim?
Every claim is different, so to say whether one will win or not is next to impossible. Whoever you're making your claim against isn't going to want to pay out any money unless they really have to, so even if your claim is rejected first time you can appeal. The more evidence you gather and the more time and research you put in the more likely you are to get some or all of the money back.
It could take weeks or months for your claim to be resolved, with a little bit of patience and tenacity you should be able to get your money back, although it's not a certainty. The only thing that's sure is that potholes are going to be around as long as there are cars to drive into them.
Category: Laws and Regulations
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