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Thread: Potholes - Claiming Damages from Council

  1. #1
    Journeyman
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    Potholes - Claiming Damages from Council

    I was just wondering if anyone has had experience claiming from a council for damages caused by a pothole?

    Recently clipped one on a bend, late at night (no street lights, 60mph road) and has resulted it a buckled wheel and blown tire.

    Is there any possibility of claiming damages back? Or will I just be ignored??

  2. #2
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    I encountered this a few nights ago, luckily it caused no visible damage but when I drove past the next day the council had already filled it, my understanding is that there are numerous hoops to jump through to make a claim,
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  3. #3
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    A friend of mine has successfully claimed 3 times from his local ( Grantham) council for rims and tyres in recent years, 20inch Alpina ones so not cheap, took a while to get the payout from them but relatively hassle free each time apparently. I think the criteria for claims is regionally different though.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  4. #4
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    Did it years ago but I left the road and there was considerable damage. Claimed from the council but took about 6 months and eventually they paid up without going legal. Take photographs of the hole and measurements if possible. Good Luck.

  5. #5
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    I am aware there is certain criteria you need to meet, and I am led to believe they also want categoric proof (I don't have video evidence).

    But how they're allowed to let them deteriorate to such a state is just wrong, they need to get their acts together. Just another cost passed onto the motorists from incompetence.

    @number2 You're lucky that didn't do some damage!!

  6. #6
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    To clarify, when I say hassle free, I meant that they didnít try to wriggle out of paying, there were numerous hoops to go through, photos, forms, quotes that sort of thing which would be expected really.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonM View Post
    To clarify, when I say hassle free, I meant that they didnít try to wriggle out of paying, there were numerous hoops to go through, photos, forms, quotes that sort of thing which would be expected really.
    I'm not expecting them to just take it at face value, I'm happy to take pics, but you hear "stories" of councils just putting up their guard and refuting responsibility

  8. #8
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Don't worry, Boris will be fixing them all soon

    I nearly hit one on a dark country lane in Suffolk over the Christmas holidays. It wasn't so much a pot hole, as a huge yawning chasm.

    It's terrifying thinking about what would happen if a motorbike hit it.

  9. #9
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Hurry to take photos with measurement evidence (depth, width, length) before they start working on it. Criteria vary in terms of minimum admissible depth I believe.
    Memento Mori

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Don't worry, Boris will be fixing them all soon

    I nearly hit one on a dark country lane in Suffolk over the Christmas holidays. It wasn't so much a pot hole, as a huge yawning chasm.

    It's terrifying thinking about what would happen if a motorbike hit it.
    Exactly. I am a motorcyclist too, and it's frightening when you start to think "what if".

    I think some potholes are more than just neglect, they've become a danger to road users

  11. #11
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    One of my patients told me last week that she "...hates cyclists because they often swerve to avoid potholes" as she is passing them in her car. This is despite her knowing that I am a keen cyclist.

    The consequences of hitting these potholes on a cycle can be life threatening (or ending) https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/103664...ured-potholes/

    Hopefully with more motorists claiming for damage to their wheels & tyres the roads can become safer for us all.

  12. #12
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    these days I have to assume that every puddle on the road is really a pothole filled with water and car or bike it's a nightmare esp in the dark

  13. #13
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    You often see pot holes with yellow spray markings round them which would indicate that they have been reported to, and examined by the the council but not yet repaired.
    Would this indicate that the council are aware and are using the defence that they are going to repair it as soon as practicable, or that despite being aware they are negligent in not having done so already?
    Claim-wise, which is better. I have no skin in the game at present and always try to follow the advice as above and avoid driving through puddles, but one day may need to claim (20" 40 profile tyres).

  14. #14
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    Round my way, through country lanes, if you treat every puddle as a potential pothole, you'll be zig zagging all over the road.... Need to be careful that the police don't pull you over on suspicion of drink driving lol.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cfish2020 View Post
    Round my way, through country lanes, if you treat every puddle as a potential pothole, you'll be zig zagging all over the road.... Need to be careful that the police don't pull you over on suspicion of drink driving lol.
    Ahh a Shropshire member... I hit a pothole near Oswestry the other night that hard it rattled the battery loose. Luckily I was in the Jeep with massive AT tyres so got away with it.

    I dread to think what would happen on a motorbike👎👎

  16. #16
    Master reggie747's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by number2 View Post
    I encountered this a few nights ago, luckily it caused no visible damage but when I drove past the next day the council had already filled it, my understanding is that there are numerous hoops to jump through to make a claim,
    White socks N2.
    WTF ??

  17. #17
    Journeyman SydR's Avatar
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    Potholes - Claiming Damages from Council

    Check out


    https://www.fillthathole.org.uk

    You may find it was reported and, if so , when.

    If it is not listed ask the council to provide you with details of when that stretch of road was last inspected. Youíd be surprised as to how often they are unable to provide that.

    If you can demonstrate they have been made aware, and taken no action, or failed to carry out routine inspections it will make life easier.

    EDIT: if it is not on the site above they may still be aware and were notified by other means. Worth asking but take plenty of photos and measurements before you do.
    Last edited by SydR; 17th January 2020 at 17:33.

  18. #18
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    I used to use this site to report all sorts:

    https://www.fixmystreet.com/

    My council then stopped taking reports through it. Presumably, they didn't like the idea that you could see what others had reported and see if there had been a failure to take action.

    To report anything to the council now involves either a lengthy wait on the phone or completing an online form that asks for all manner of irrelevant information. It's almost as if they don't want you to ....
    Last edited by David_D; 17th January 2020 at 17:56.

  19. #19
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    My wife burst a tyre last week but it was on a private road

  20. #20
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reggie747 View Post
    White socks N2.
    WTF ??
    Nope bright orange,
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  21. #21
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    This will give an indication of potholes on the main road from our village Ban Naphen to the town Kumpawapi in Thailand. Itís about a 45 min drive, slowly.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  22. #22
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    Have a look on your local council website. It's actually quite easy to claim and you have to have proof of insurance, mot etc. Also pics of the hole with a tape measure is worth having.

    On a rainy day I went down a bloody chasm on a road I'd not been down before and blew 2 tyres and cracked an alloy. Quite rightly got refunded for the lot.

  23. #23
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    Hit one earlier this week and Kwik Fit came out today to replace it. I filled out the only form I could find online for Glasgow City Council...the roads in the city are shocking at present.

  24. #24
    I used to cut my teeth defending these claims as a trainee solicitor on behalf of Liverpool City Council.

    The local authority have a statutory defence available to them in the form of s.58 Highways Act 1980. If they have a system of inspection in place and they have adhered to that system, they will have a defence to any claim for damages arising out of a defect on the carriageway.

    In laymanís terms, if they can prove that they have a regular system of inspection in place and they have stuck to that system, they have a valid defence. How regularly they inspect a road depends on how busy it is and whether it is classed as a main thoroughfare. If a defect occurs in between those inspections, it would be unreasonable for them to know about it unless someone has reported it to them. If they are on notice, they once again have a reasonable time to identify and effect a repair. It was recognised that local authorities have finite budgets and it would be unreasonable to expect them to be aware of any defect which occurred immediately.

    OP, Iíd suggest as others have mentioned taking photos of the defect if you can and keeping any receipts to prove your loss. The council may have a dedicated portal to present your claim or they may have a claims department. Put forward your claim and see what they say. If you need any help, drop me a PM.
    Last edited by kungfupanda; 17th January 2020 at 23:16.

  25. #25
    That was a poor response. Itís late and Iím tired. The offer does still stand though, if you need any assistance whatsoever, give me a PM.

    That goes for any other members with any legal issues relating to such claims and also issues relating to road traffic accidents.

  26. #26
    SWMBO managed to take out both (newish) tyres last week on a pothole in a lane near to us. No damage to the rims fortunately, but still nearly £300 of cost to replace the tyres.

    And she wasn't even out for a 'spin' in the car either; but then our drive doesn't have any potholes in it...


    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  27. #27
    Craftsman Kris's Avatar
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    Yes, I've successfully claimed from my local council twice for damaged tyres and wheels.

    As Kungfupanda says they have to prove they have a system of inspection in place (often claimed as an annual inspection) and try and repudiate responsibility based on that.

    In my case I successfully argued that the roads in question were regularly traveled along by council employees a part of their duties and as such the council or their "agents" (employees) would have been aware of the deteriorating road surface and should have taken corrective action.

    Fix My Street is an excellent resource, so much so that my local council have a standard response asking people NOT to use it and to report any defects to them using a very long winded form that might just be designed to out people off.....so I Use Fix my Street.

    My local council don't seem to like me very much .

    If you need a hand with your claim, feel free to PM.

  28. #28
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    It's getting worse,,
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  29. #29
    This is how they repair them here in the NE Scotland!

    https://youtu.be/yrPDNfSgJ2g

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cfish2020 View Post
    I am aware there is certain criteria you need to meet, and I am led to believe they also want categoric proof (I don't have video evidence).

    But how they're allowed to let them deteriorate to such a state is just wrong, they need to get their acts together. Just another cost passed onto the motorists from incompetence.

    @number2 You're lucky that didn't do some damage!!
    There is clear direction and it should be black and white if your claim meets the requirement.

    I tried to claim against Bournemouth, with photos and evidence. I had proof (from a 3rd party website) the pothole had been reported previously etc . They just denied it ever had been reported. Iíd already spent enough effort putting the claim together, i wasnít going to waste any more time on trying to recover £80.


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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by kungfupanda View Post
    I used to cut my teeth defending these claims as a trainee solicitor on behalf of Liverpool City Council.

    The local authority have a statutory defence available to them in the form of s.58 Highways Act 1980. If they have a system of inspection in place and they have adhered to that system, they will have a defence to any claim for damages arising out of a defect on the carriageway.

    In laymanís terms, if they can prove that they have a regular system of inspection in place and they have stuck to that system, they have a valid defence. How regularly they inspect a road depends on how busy it is and whether it is classed as a main thoroughfare. If a defect occurs in between those inspections, it would be unreasonable for them to know about it unless someone has reported it to them. If they are on notice, they once again have a reasonable time to identify and effect a repair. It was recognised that local authorities have finite budgets and it would be unreasonable to expect them to be aware of any defect which occurred immediately.

    OP, Iíd suggest as others have mentioned taking photos of the defect if you can and keeping any receipts to prove your loss. The council may have a dedicated portal to present your claim or they may have a claims department. Put forward your claim and see what they say. If you need any help, drop me a PM.
    My local council used that defence when I claimed for a damaged bike wheel after I hit a 3 inch deep 18" x 12" pothole. They said that they inspected the road in question on a monthly basis and the pothole hadn't been noted at the last inspection. I found that hard to believe. The pothole happened to be right outside a residential property so I knocked on their door and asked the resident if they had noticed the pothole (they had) & how long it had been there. Their response was "at least 6 months". Having anticipated this, I asked them to sign my pre-prepared statement to that effect which I then presented to my local council. I received payment for my wheel within the week.

  32. #32
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    Having read this tread has prompted me to buy a proper space saver tyre for my car instead of the can of shaving foam it was supplied with

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael 38 View Post
    Having read this tread has prompted me to buy a proper space saver tyre for my car instead of the can of shaving foam it was supplied with
    How useful is the tin can likely to be when you've bent/cracked the rim anyway?

    After everything, I think the space saver is necessary now.

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