How To Make A Pothole Injury Claim Or Pedestrian Accident Claim For Compensation?

    How Do You Make A Claim For A Pothole Accident?

    By Olivia Wigan. Last updated 16th March 2021. Welcome to our guide on how to make a pothole injury claim. Have you suffered a road traffic accident due to a pothole? Have you experienced a degree of injury or harm that could have been avoided if the pothole had been repaired? If that is the case, then you might be seeking legal advice on how to claim compensation. 

    Unfortunately, potholes are prevalent on main roads and pavements, and if a pothole was to go untreated, it could become increasingly dangerous. In many cases, the maintenance of a pothole is the responsibility of the city council and private landowners. If a third party were to neglect their legal obligation and breach their duty of care, it could make them liable in the event of an accident. 

    If you have been the unfortunate victim of a negligent pothole accident, then you might consider claiming compensation. Throughout this guide, we shall provide you with information you may need, discussing how the claims process works, how a negligent third party could cause pothole accidents, and how our panel of solicitors could support your claim. If you have a question that hasn’t been answered, why not pick up the phone and give us a call? Here at Legal Helpline, our phone lines are free to call, and one of our advisers would be more than happy to speak with you.

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    A Guide To Making A Claim For A Pothole Accident

    how to make a pothole injury claim

    how to make a pothole injury claim

    Whether you are walking down the street, cycling in a park, or driving along the main road, a pothole-related accident is never an expected turn of events. In many cases, potholes are the direct responsibility of a third party, such as a private landowner or the city council. If a third party were to breach their obligation to maintain their roads and walkways, it could lead to a negligent pothole incident. If that is the case, then you might be questioning whether or not you have valid grounds to make a pothole injury claim? Furthermore. how do you know how to make a pothole injury claim?

    Below, we’ll discuss the personal injury claims process in greater length. In doing so, outline how our panel of solicitors could potentially support your claim, even those in pursuit of making a pedestrian accident compensation claim. This guide will also address the following questions:

    • What is a personal injury claim for compensation?
    • How can potholes cause accidents?
    • Who is responsible for potholes?
    • Do I have valid grounds to make a claim for compensation?
    • A loved one was involved in a fatal accident caused by a pothole, could I claim on their behalf?
    • How could Legal Helpline support me when pursuing compensation?
    • What is a No Win, No Fee agreement?

    By the end of this guide, we’ll have tackled all of the questions listed above. However, if you have any additional questions, why not give Legal Helpline a call? An adviser from our team would be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have about making a pothole injury claim.

    What Are Pothole Accidents And Injuries?

    Potholes often appear during specific seasons throughout the year, more specifically, during springtime and winter. This is because there is a fluctuation in temperature and dampness, and these factors can contribute to a pavement or road forming cracks. In the event a pothole, uneven surface, or raised area is created, it can create the risk of injury and harm.  Some of the most susceptible individuals to injuries of this nature often include:

    • Pedestrians
    • Cyclists
    • Motorcyclists
    • Cars
    • Lorries
    • Children

    Please see the next section of our guide on how to make a pothole injury claim for some statistics.

    Statistics – Accidents Caused By Potholes

    The larger a pothole becomes in size and scale, the greater the threat it becomes to the general public. A pothole is often deemed unsafe when it has a depth of 22 mm on a footpath, or when it reaches 40mm on the road. 

    Between 2007 and 2018, police recorded pothole incidents as responsible for 26 cyclists deaths, averaging 2 per year. Furthermore, poor road maintenance in England was on the rise between 2017 and 2019, spiking from 18% to 23%. For car drivers, the RAC’s 2019 report found that the condition and maintenance of local roads was a top concern, averaging at 33%.

    Between 2018 and 2019, over 1.86 million potholes were filled across England and Wales, demonstrating a 24% rise on from 2017 to 2018. This cost the economy an average of £97.8m. However, pothole accidents are still one of the top types of accidents that we handle claims for, so these statistics aren’t to say that the issue isn’t still prevalent.

    Who Is Liable For Road Maintenance And Your Accident?

    As outlined in the Highways Act 1980, city councils are required to uphold and maintain public roads and walkways. This means the city council is required by law to have measures set in place to monitor, repair, and respond to hazardous surfaces.

    However, it must be stated that the liability of a pothole isn’t always directly the council’s responsibility. Those that own private land are also required to uphold, repair, and maintain any surfaces that they’re responsible for. If you have been injured due to a lack of maintenance, it is always suggested that you collect as much evidence as possible, such as photographs of the defect and the surrounding area. This will aid your potential claim and help strengthen your case.

    Please see the next section of our guide on how to make a pothole injury claim to learn about some relevant legislation.

    Laws Applicable To Claims For A Pothole Accident

    Within the Highways Act 1980, it states that potholes should be treated with the appropriate measures. The act also outlines the legal and ethical obligation of local authorities, stating that they are required to perform the necessary actions to treat a pothole accordingly. For example, if there is any form of construction work being done to a road, pavement, or another surface, the council is required to perform the necessary measures to prevent incidents from occurring.

    This obligation not only protects council workers from being injured but members of the public. Therefore, if the city council were to breach this lawful obligation, it could make them liable in the event of an accident.

    Claims For A Pothole Accident In A Car

    Whether you are driving along the motorway or on a regular street, one of the last things you might expect is to be involved in a pothole-related accident. In some scenarios, an incident of this nature could lead to serious, if not fatal injuries.

    If you have been involved in a road traffic accident that was caused by the negligent actions of another, then you might be questioning whether you have valid grounds to make a claim. Here at Legal Helpline, we understand that a road traffic accident can cause life-altering health implications, such as physical injury, psychological trauma, and vehicle damage. In the event you have been involved in a road traffic accident that was caused by a pothole, GOV.uk states that you could have grounds to make a claim for the damage inflicted to your vehicle. However, you would not be eligible to claim if debris from another vehicle caused your vehicle damage. For more information on how to make a claim of this nature, please click here.

    Please see the next section of our guide on how to make a pothole injury claim for some statistics.

    Claims For A Pothole Accident When Cycling Or Riding A Motorbike

    In the event you have suffered a pothole bicycle accident, you might be searching for legal advice on how to make a claim? Here at Legal Helpline, we understand that an accident of this nature could lead to serious health repercussions. That is why our team of advisors are standing by to take your call and provide you with free legal advice.

    Claims For A Pothole Accident When Crossing The Road

    Slip and trip-related incidents often occur in public places and the working environment, and in some cases, an event of this nature could be caused by a neglected pothole. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), slip, trip, and fall-related incidents are often caused by one of three factors, which includes:

    • Cluttered walkways.
    • Poor housekeeping.
    • Improper design and maintenance.

    Potholes that are located on roads and pavements are the direct responsibility of a third party, such as a private landowner or the city council. So in the event you have suffered from a pothole-related injury when crossing the road, you might question whether you have valid grounds to make a claim for compensation. 

    Here at Legal Helpline, we understand that the claims process could appear daunting. That is why our team of advisers are standing by to take your call and answer any questions that you might have. We could connect those that have been affected by negligence to a solicitor from our panel. So if you have been injured and require legal support, please contact a member of our team.

    Please see the next section of our guide on how to make a pothole injury claim to learn about accidents in car parks.

    Claims For A Pothole Accident In A Car Park

    Car parks can be hectic environments, and to keep them as safe as possible, the owner is required to uphold its duties of care to ensure it is free from hazards. A duty of care ensures hazards such as potholes, have been prevented. But if you have suffered a sprained ankle injury in a car park due to a pothole, then you might be questioning whether you have grounds to make a claim. 

    To make a claim for a car park related incident, you will be required to provide evidence that displays the negligent party at fault. This is because the operator of a car park has a  duty of care that could fall into one of two categories, which includes private landowners or the city council. Providing evidence will not only support your potential claim, but it can be used to highlight who was at fault. So in the event that you have been injured in a car park due to negligence, the following types of evidence could be used to support your pothole injury claim:

    • Photos
    • Swapping contact details with witnesses

    Claims For A Pothole Accident Affecting A Child

    Whether they were a pedestrian walking down the street, or a passenger in a car, if a child has been involved in a negligent accident and has sustained a degree of avoidable-harm, then they could have grounds to make a claim. To make a claim of this nature, a litigation friend will need to be appointed. This is usually the parent or legal guardian of the child. The litigation friend will need to fulfil the legal responsibilities of the claim and act on the child’s behalf. You might be questioning who could be appointed as a litigation friend? According to GOV.uk, the following people could be considered a litigation friend:

    • A parent or a Guardian
    • A family member
    • A friend
    • A professional advocate (like an independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA).
    • A Court of Protection deputy
    • Or someone who has a lasting power of attorney.

    Once appointed, a litigation friend will be required to uphold specific duties, such as:o:

    • Make decisions on their behalf of the claimant and act in their best interest.
    • Pay any costs that are ordered by the court.
    • Speak to a solicitor about what’s happening with the claim and get advice.
    • Ensure the child is fully informed.
    • Make sure the child’s wishes and feelings are communicated.

    Please see the next section of our guide on how to make a pothole injury claim to learn how to calculate compensation.

    Calculating A Pothole Injury Claim

    The payout that could be awarded for a pothole road claim, such as that of a pedestrian accident compensation claim, may be split into two heads of claim: general damages and special damages. The intention of general damages is to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity experienced as a result of the injury. This section will consider the potential value of general damages. Special damages will be considered below. 

     You may have encountered a personal injury claims calculator before. We find they can be cumbersome to use, so instead, we’ve provided a table detailing the potential values of relevant injuries. These figures are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, a legal publication used by solicitors and the courts to value claims. 

    Injury The Severity of the InjuryAwarded CompensationInjury Description
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Minor£3,710 to £7,680Minor cases of PTSD are often expected to make a decent recovery within one to two years. However, the affected individual may display symptoms beyond this time-frame.
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderate£7,680 to £21,730Moderate cases of PTSD are expected to have an intrusive effect on the individuals life, but a moderate level of recovery will be achieved. Symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and limited career prospects are expected.
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe£56,180 to £94,470Severe cases of PTSD are expected to have a life-atlering impact, as the affected individual will never return to a pre-trauma state. Career prospects will be severe affected, and spells fo depression and anxiety will be intense.
    Hand InjuryModerate£5,260 to £12,460An injury of this nature is often associated with soft tissue damage, deep laceration, and crush injuries. The top of this bracket would be awarded to those that have suffered permanent disability after attempted surgery.
    Neck InjuryMinor£4,080 to £7,410Minor neck injuries are expected to make a great recovery, however, symptoms of a nuisance level could prevail.
    Neck InjurySevereIn the region of £139,210Severe neck injuries are associated with incomplete paraplegia, or, resulting in permanent spastic quadriparesis. The affected individual will have little to no movement in their neck and be subject to serious headaches.
    Back InjuriesMinor£7,410 to £11,730Minor back related injuries are expected to make a full recovery without the need of surgery, and any pain or suffering that prevails beyond the 2 to 5 year healing period will be of a nuisance level.
    Back InjuriesSevere£85,470 to £151,070Severe back injuries will cause altering physical limitations, as the affected individual well lose their independence, experience significant pain, and the loss of bladder, bowel, and sexual function.

    Please note, the figures within the table have been provided for example purposes only, and the compensation you could be entitled to may differ.

    Special Damages Claimable If Injured In A Pothole Accident

    Special Damages are designed to  take into consideration any form of financial loss that has been inflicted on the claimant Some examples of the losses or expenses that could be claimed for include:

    • A loss of income.
    • A loss of future income.
    • Medical expenses, such as treatment, surgery, and medication.
    • Travel expenses.
    • The cost of repair to a vehicle.
    • The cost of care.
    • The loss of future career prospects.

    To be awarded special damages, you must provide evidence, such as bank statements, receipts, and any other form of a financial document.

    Please see the next section of our guide on how to make a pothole injury claim to learn what steps to take if you’re injured in a pothole accident.

    Steps To Take If Injured In A Pothole Accident

    If you have been injured in a road traffic accident that was caused by a pothole, then you might ask if there are steps you could take that could support your claim? To make a claim for compensation, evidence plays a crucial role. In the event you are injured in a negligent pothole accident and wish to make a claim, you should consider following these steps:

    • Take photograph evidence of the pothole, defect and surrounding area.
    • Swap contact information with any witnesses to the incident.
    • Seek medical attention, even if the injuries are minor.
    • Keep documentation of any financial expenditures.
    • Speak to Legal Helpline to receive free legal advice (of no-obligation).

    How Our Team Could Help If You Are Injured In A Pothole Accident

    If you have been involved in a pothole accident and are seeking compensation, Legal Helpline could be of assistance. We work with a specialist panel of experienced solicitors well-versed in personal injury law. They can guide you through the claims process expertly, debunking legal jargon along the way. They’ll keep you fully informed of every step and will strive to ensure you achieve the maximum compensation possible.

    So if you wish to make a pothole injury claim, why not get in touch with Legal Helpline and begin your claim today? Alternatively, please see the next section of our guide on how to make a pothole injury claim with our No Win No Fee agreements.

     Making A No Win, No Fee Pothole Injury Claim 

    If you have valid grounds to make a claim for compensation, then a solicitor from our panel could offer to handle the claim under a No Win, No Fee agreement. An arrangement of this nature means that you will not have to pay any fees at the beginning of your claim or during it too, and if your case does not succeed, you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case. 

    If your claim is successful, your solicitor may ask for a small contribution toward their costs. This is known as a success fee and forms a percentage of the compensation awarded. Don’t worry, success fees are legally capped and will be confirmed with you before the claim begins. 

    To discover whether you have valid grounds to make a pothole injury claim for compensation under an agreement of this nature, please contact a member of our team.

    Begin Your Pothole Injury Claim

    Are you ready to begin your claim for a pothole accident? Are you wondering how to make a pothole injury claim? If so, why not contact Legal Helpline?

    Our phone lines are free to call, and our advisers would be more than happy to speak with you. In addition to answering any questions that you might have, our knowledgeable advisers can offer you a free, no strings attached legal consultation on making a pothole injury claim. In addition to our phone lines, we also offer an online enquiry option. If you go to our website and submit a form, a member of our team will review your submission and contact you at your latest convenience.

    If you wish to enquire online through our website, please click here.

    If you’d like to speak with an adviser from our team, the number you need to call is 0161 696 9685.

    Pothole Injury Claim And Road Accident Resources

    An accident of any nature is often a stressful and daunting experience, so we hope that this guide has provided you with some clarity and useful information. In addition to this guide on making a pothole injury claim, we have included some extra reading materials that could be useful to those that are seeking compensation. These materials can be located below.

    Whiplash Claims

    • I Suffered Whiplash After A Road Traffic Accident, What Should I Do?

    Slip, Trip, and Fall

    • Could I Make A Claim For Compensation For A Slip, Trip, And Fall Incident?

    Citizens Advice

    • Should I Contact My Insurer If I Was Involved In An Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?

    Pothole Injury Claims FAQs

    Thanks for reading our guide on how to make a pothole injury claim.

    Guide by MN

    Edited by REG