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Can I Make A Pothole Accident Claim?

If you’ve suffered an injury in a pothole accident, we can help you claim compensation 

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£70 million in compensation

Won for our clients by JF Law Solicitors

Can I Make A Pothole Accident Claim?

If you’ve suffered an injury in a pothole accident, we can help you claim compensation 

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This guide discusses pothole accident claims, looking at the steps involved in seeking compensation and the eligibility criteria that need to be met for a case to be valid.

Additionally, we discuss who has a responsibility for the highway network, including pavements and certain roads, and addressing any defects that pose a hazard, such as potholes.

Later, we provide an overview of how compensation is calculated for successful claims for accidents in public places and what your potential payout could comprise.

Finally, we discuss the types of evidence that could help support your case and how a solicitor could assist you with building your claim for a pothole accident under a No Win No Fee agreement.

If you have any questions about public liability claims after reading, you can get in touch with our helpful team. They can offer a free consultation of your potential case and offer free advice 24/7. To get in touch, you can:

  • Call an advisor to discuss how to claim compensation on 0151 375 9916
  • Contact us via the call-back form online.
  • Talk to us through the live chat widget below.

What Is A Pothole?

A pothole is a hole that develops in the road surface over time. These holes are caused by traffic, particularly heavy goods vehicles, and poor weather, as well as a combination of the two. 

If left unfixed, pothole depths can increase and so too can their size. It can also create excessive stones and dust on the road.

Potholes tend to develop on roads, but anywhere tarmac is used, they can also form, such as on pavements and car parks. 

Can I Make A Pothole Accident Claim?

Typically, you might find a pothole on the surface of a road where the tarmac has cracked, worn away and left a hole. Weather and heavy traffic can create potholes and they can vary in size and depth. They pose a potential risk to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists as the sudden drop in road surface height can cause a pedestrian to stumble, throw cyclists off their bikes or cause a motorist to swerve out the way resulting in a road traffic accident.

Those responsible for the highways network, such as a local council, have a duty of care placed on them under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 and The Highways Act 1980. This duty requires them to ensure the network is reasonably safe for members of the public to use. If there is a failure to uphold this duty, it could lead to an accident in which you sustain a pothole injury.

For pothole accident claims to be valid, the following criteria need to be met:

  • A third party owed a duty of care to you.
  • A breach of this duty occurred.
  • You suffered an injury because of this breach.

These three points are the definition of negligence in tort law which you need to have evidence of in order to have a valid personal injury compensation claim.

For further guidance on when you could make a pothole injury claim and to have your specific case assessed, please call an advisor on the number above.

How Deep Does A Pothole Need To Be In Order To Claim?

One of the biggest factors in a pothole accident claim is the depth of the defect. 

There is no general standard for how deep a pothole needs to be in order to make a claim. However, the accepted depth is 4cm or 40mm. 

If you don’t have a measuring tape to hand, you could use coins to show the scale. Two 20p pieces stacked on top of one another is around the height of 40mm.

If you can, try to take a picture showing a measuring tape or coins that can be used for scale. This can prove important evidence in your compensation claim.

What Is The Process Like For Making A Pothole Accident Claim?

You might be wondering what the pothole accident claims process is. When you make a personal injury claim, a set of actions known as the Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims need to be followed as a way to resolve the issue without the need to go to court. They must be carried out prior to any case being taken to court.

The steps are as follows:

  • Send a Letter of Notification informing the defendant that it’s likely you will be making a personal injury claim.
  • Rehabilitation. At the earliest possible moment, it should be considered whether the claimant needs any medical treatment or rehabilitation. 
  • Send a Letter of Claim providing a summary of the facts on which the claim is based. This will also include information about any injuries suffered.
  • The Response. The defendant must reply to the Letter of Claim within 21 working days identifying the insurer. They will then have a maximum of three months to investigate from the date they acknowledged the Letter of Claim.
  • Disclosure involving an exchange of relevant information which should help to clarify or resolve any issues still in dispute.
  • Experts. An independent medical assessment should be arranged for the claimant and a medical report be generated. 
  • Negotiations. This is where a Part 36 offer can be made which allows claimants and defendants to make settlement offers pre-proceedings.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution. When parties cannot agree they can try arbitration or mediation as a way to resolve the issue. However, if the matter cannot be resolved during this stage then court proceedings will need to be initiated. 

If you’re eligible to proceed with your claim and you instruct one of our solicitors to represent you, they can carry out these steps on your behalf whilst helping you to seek personal injury compensation.

To find out more about how our expert personal injury solicitors could assist with pothole injury claims, please contact an advisor on the number above.

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How Is Compensation Calculated In A Pothole Accident Claim?

If your pothole accident claim has a successful outcome, you could be awarded a settlement comprising up to two heads of loss which award compensation to address the different ways you have been affected.

General damages compensate for the physical pain and emotional suffering the injuries have caused you. Consideration is given to the severity of the injuries, the treatment needed, the recovery time and your future prognosis, i.e. whether a permanent disability has been caused.

To determine a value for general damages, reference can be made to the medical report generated from an independent medical assessment that you might need to attend as part of the claims process. Alongside this report, publications like the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) can also be referenced. The JCG provides a list of guideline valuation brackets for different injury types of varying severities.

Compensation Table

You can find a selection of the JCG figures in the table below. However, please use these as a guide only. Public liability claim payouts will differ to what’s listed below and the figures provided are not necessarily reflective of the pothole compensation you could receive.

The top line is not from the JCG.

Injury TypeSeverityGuideline Settlement BracketFurther Information
Multiple Severe Injuries and Extra Special DamagesSevere Up to £1,000,000 + Compensation for multiple severe injuries that lead to physical and psychological pain. Also covers special damages to cover costs including the cost of a carer, medical expenses, lost earnings and home modifications.
Injury Resulting From Brain DamageVery Severe£282,010 to £403,990Covers cases such as those linked to quadriplegic cerebral palsy resulting in severe physical and cognitive disabilities.
Moderate(i)£150,110 to £219,070Includes cases that result in personality change, moderate to severe intellectual deficit, an effect on speech, sight and senses plus a significant risk of epilepsy.
Neck InjuriesSevere(i)Around £148,330Such as neck injuries where the claimant still has little to no movement of the neck despite wearing a collar for 24-hours a day over a period of years.
Back InjuriesSevere(i)£91,090 to £160,980These types of back injuries are the most severe and usually involve damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Leg InjuriesSevere(ii)£54,830 to £87,890The types of very serious injuries that cause permanent mobility problems and where the claimant requires mobility aids or crutches for the rest of their life.
Elbow InjuriesSeverely Disabling£39,170 to £54,830Covers a range of elbow injuries that cause severe disablement.
Ankle InjuriesSevere£31,310 to £50,060Where the injury requires and extensive period of treatment or where plates and pins have been used and result in significant residual disability.
Shoulder InjuriesSerious£12,770 to £19,200Where neck and shoulder pain is linked to a dislocate shoulder with damage to the lower part of the brachial plexus.

Can I Claim Back Money I Lost Due To The Injuries?

Settlements awarded following successful pothole accident claims can also comprise special damages. This head of loss compensates for the financial losses caused by your injuries. You should gather evidence of any costs and losses, such as receipts, payslips and invoices.

If you have relevant and substantial evidence, you could claim back the following costs under special damages:

  • Lost past and future earnings, if you were unable to work because of your injuries, either permanently or temporarily.
  • Medical expenses, including the cost of prescriptions and physiotherapy, for example.
  • Travel expenses, such as the cost of taxis or public transport to and from hospital appointments.
  • Costs incurred due to vehicle damage, i.e. to a car or bike.

If you call our team of advisors today, they can provide you with a free valuation of your claim to help you understand how much compensation you could potentially be owed.

What Evidence Can Help Support My Pothole Accident Compensation Claim?

Evidence can help support pothole accident claims to show a third party breached their duty of care and you suffered an injury as a result. With this in mind, it is important to collect as much evidence as possible. For example, you could gather:

  • Footage of the accident, such as from CCTV, a dashcam, or helmet cam.
  • Pictures of any visible injuries you suffered and of the pothole that caused the accident.
  • Medical evidence, such as a copy of your medical records such as X-rays and scans as well as reports showing the medical treatment you received.
  • A diary containing notes about your symptoms, physical and/or emotional, as well as any medical appointments you have attended.
  • Witness contact details so that witness statements can be taken at a later date.

If you’re eligible, you could instruct an experienced personal injury solicitor from our panel to help you assemble evidence and build your case. They can also ensure your case is brought forward within the relevant limitation period. Generally, you need to start your claim within three years of the accident date as per the Limitation Act 1980, but exceptions can apply.

Read on for further guidance on how a solicitor could assist you and the terms under which they offer their helpful services. Alternatively, call our team for more information on the time limits for personal injury claims.

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on providing the best service
possible for our clients.

We pride ourselves on providing the best service possible for our clients.

How JF Law Can Help You

Our knowledgeable solicitors have experience handling eligible claimants with pothole accident claims. Additionally, they can offer their services via a version of a No Win No Fee contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This typically means the following:

  • You won’t need to pay any fees upfront to your solicitor for them to begin working on your claim. There will also be no fees required for their continued work as your claim progresses.
  • Following a successful claim, you will pay a small and legally capped percentage of your compensation to your solicitor as their success fee. However, if your claim has a failed outcome, you won’t pay this success fee. Also, the legal cap ensures you keep the majority of your compensation payout.

If you would like to learn whether you’re eligible to have a No Win No Fee solicitor help you seek compensation following a pothole accident, get in touch with our team. They can assess your case for free with no obligation to start your claim with one of our solicitors.

For answers to your questions about public liability claims, you can:

  • Call an advisor on 0151 375 9916
  • Contact us via the call-back form online.
  • Speak with us through the live chat widget below.

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