Find Out How To Make Pothole Accident Claims

By Jade Newman. Last Updated 24th May 2024. In this guide, you will find information on pothole accident claims. You may be eligible to start a personal injury claim after sustaining an injury in a pothole accident because the duty of care owed to you to ensure your reasonable safety was breached. We will discuss the eligibility criteria in this guide to clarify when you may be able to claim compensation. 

We will look at who is responsible for maintaining public places, including the roads, and how an accident could occur if they fail to do so.

We will also explore the types of injuries that could be caused by pothole accidents and the possible compensation you could potentially receive from pothole claims. 

This guide concludes with an overview of the advantages to you as a claimant of working with a solicitor who offers a specific type of No Win No Fee agreement. 

Our advisers can address any queries or concerns you may have about the personal injury claims process. In just one phone call, we can tell you if you’re able to claim compensation. You can reach us via:

Read on to learn more about making a pothole accident claim.

A car approaching multiple potholes in the road.

Select A Section

  1. Who Can Make Pothole Accident Claims?
  2. Types Of Pothole Accidents And Injuries
  3. What Evidence Could Be Used In A Pothole Accident Claim?
  4. Payouts In Pothole Accident Claims
  5. Contact Our Team About No Win No Fee Pothole Accident Claims
  6. Find Out More About Claiming For A Personal Injury

Who Can Make Pothole Accident Claims?

A pothole accident claim can be made if it is proven that a third party breached their duty of care, and this caused you to suffer an injury.

Those who are responsible for the maintenance of public roads and highways, such as local authorities, have a duty of care placed on them under The Highways Act 1980. These parties must make sure that the roads are reasonably passable and well maintained so that ordinary traffic can use the roads without any danger from its condition.

Similarly, those responsible for the conditions of roads on private property, such as a car park of a supermarket, or local roads, have a duty of care placed on them under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. All occupiers must take steps to ensure the public’s reasonable safety while they are in their space.

As such, here is the eligibility criteria you need to meet to make a pothole claim:

  1. A third party owed you a duty of care as you were on the road.
  2. The third party breached their duty of care. For example, they did not fix a reported pothole within a timely manner.
  3. You sustained an injury directly from this breach.

If you can prove the above, please contact us today. We can tell you how to claim pothole compensation.

What Are The Pothole Accident Claim Time Limits?

Pothole accident claims are subject to the time limits set out in the Limitation Act 1980. As a general rule, the time limit for starting a personal injury claim is 3 years from the date the accident occurred. However, there can be exceptions to this limit, and in those cases, extensions can be granted. 

For example, if you suffer an injury as a child, the time limit for making a pothole accident claim changes. In this instance, you would have three years from the date of your eighteenth birthday to claim. If you don’t want to wait until that day, you can still claim compensation by using a litigation friend.

Furthermore, someone who lacks the mental capacity to claim can also use a litigation friend to make a pothole injury claim. There would not be a time limit for them to claim unless they regained mental capacity. If they did, they would then have three years from the date they regained capacity to make a pothole accident claim.

If you are unsure as to whether your particular claim is eligible for an extension, you can contact our team of advisers using the details above to find out more about the time limit. 

Types of Pothole Accidents And Injuries

Different types of accidents could occur due to a pothole. For example, a driver could swerve to avoid a pothole, causing them to lose control of their vehicle. Alternatively, they could break just before a pothole, causing another vehicle to go into the back of them. Potholes could cause damage to a vehicle, as well as causing injury to the road user involved in an accident. 

Some examples of injuries that can be sustained in a pothole accident could include:

  • Injuries to the joints, such as ankles, knees and elbows.
  • A back injury, such as a lumbar disc fracture.
  • Soft tissue damage of ligaments and tendons.
  • Injuries to the face such as bone fractures or cuts and lacerations. 

Potholes could also cause a pedestrian to injure themselves in a slip, trip or fall. As an example, you cross the road and trip on a pothole that has formed in a zebra crossing, sustaining an ankle injury. This type of accident could also lead you to experience a wrist injury, head injury or arm injury. 

In successful pothole injury claims, you can receive compensation to address the negative impact your injuries have had on your life. You can continue reading to learn more about how settlements are calculated.

Alternatively, please speak with an adviser on the number above to discuss your circumstances to learn whether you’re able to claim against local authorities and make a pothole injury claim.

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

As previously stated, to make a personal injury claim, you need to prove that your injury was caused by third-party negligence. As a rule, to make a pothole claim, the hole found in the road needs to be at least 1 inch (40mm) deep for it to be a pothole. Anything smaller than that, you most likely wouldn’t be able to make a pothole accident claim.

To show the depth of the pothole, you could take a photograph where you use a ruler to show how deep or large the pothole is. Alternatively, you could take a photograph of an object next to the pothole to give it a sense of scale.

To learn more about making a pothole claim, please contact us for free using the above details.

A close up shot of a pothole in the road during a sunset

What Evidence Could Be Used In A Pothole Accident Claim?

To support your pothole injury claim, you need to provide evidence. A strong body of evidence can illustrate that a third party breached their duty of care and that this subsequently led to you sustaining an injury. You can likewise highlight the physical and psychological extent of your injuries through the provision of evidence.

Some examples of supporting evidence that can be used in a pothole injury claim include:

  • Take photos of the pothole to show the cause of the accident. You can also photograph your injuries.
  • Keep a diary during treatment detailing your symptoms, what treatment you received and the effects this had on your physical and mental well-being. 
  • You can acquire copies of your scans, test results or other medical records following treatment for your injuries.
  • Many public places have CCTV cameras, so you can request a copy of this footage. 
  • Collect the contact information of any potential witnesses so their statements can be taken later on as part of the claims process.
  • Report the accident to the local authorities or the third party that is responsible for the area where the accident happened. Their response could be important evidence when seeking pothole compensation.

This list of possible evidence you could collect to support your claim is non-exhaustive. If you are struggling with building your case, or are unsure of the steps that you may need to take as part of the claims process, you can contact our advisers. They can discuss the possibility of having a solicitor from our panel assist you in making your pothole injury claim.

Payouts In Pothole Accident Claims

In the event of a successful claim, you will receive personal injury compensation for the physical and emotional impact of your injuries under general damages. This is one of the heads of claim that can make up your compensation settlement.

How much compensation you receive for your injuries depends on factors such as:

  • The extent of your injuries
  • Whether you have suffered multiple injuries or not
  • Your treatment plan and whether any of the injuries are permanent
  • The extent to which the injuries have negatively impacted your life.

We have taken the information in the table below from the Judicial College Guidelines, a document that contains guideline compensation amounts for different injuries. Solicitors can use these figures to help them value the personal injuries caused by accidents. 

However, personal injury compensation is calculated on an individual basis, therefore, this information has been provided as a guide only. 

InjurySeverityAmount - GuidelineDescription
More than one serious injury with financial lossesSeriousUp to and above £500,000+The injured personal will have suffered more than one serious injury with each injury's financial losses, such as loss of wages and medication bills.
Arm InjuriesSevere (a)£117,360 to £159,770A serious brachial plexus injury that leaves the person little better off than if they had completely lost the arm.
Permanent And Substantial Disablement (b)£47,810 to £73,050Both or one forearm is seriously fractured. This causes a significant and permanent disability, either functionally or cosmetically.
Back InjuriesSevere (a) (iii)£47,320 to £85,100Cases involving disc lesions or fractures or soft tissue injuries leading to chronic conditions.
Knee InjuriesSevere (a) (iii)£31,960 to £53,030Injuries resulting in a less severe disability causing continuing symptoms of pain, discomfort and limitation of movement with risk of degenerative changes.
Moderate (b) (i)£18,110 to £31,960Minor instability, wasting, or other mild future disability from injuries such as dislocation or cartilage tears.
Elbow InjuriesLess Severe (b)£19,100 to £39,070Injuries causing impairment of function but not involving significant disability or major surgery.
Moderate Or Minor (c)Up to £15,370Injuries, such as simple fractures or lacerations where no permanent damage or impaired function is caused.
Wrist InjuriesLess Severe (c)£15,370 to £29,900Injuries with some permanent disability such as persisting pain and stiffness.

Special Damages

Special damages can compensate for the financial losses your injuries have caused you. This is the other head of claim that could make up your settlement. So if you have incurred travel expenses or childcare costs, experienced a loss of earnings or future income or any other financial loss because of your injuries, you could claim them back as part of your personal injury compensation.

Evidence that you could use to help claim compensation for special damages includes receipts, invoices, payslips and bank statements. You would only be able to receive special damages compensation in pothole injury claims if you can prove that your injury was caused by negligence.

For more information about how redress is calculated for a pothole compensation claim, please speak with an adviser for free on the number above.

Contact Our Team About No Win No Fee Pothole Accident Claims

If your pothole accident claim is eligible, you could be connected to a No Win No Fee solicitor on our panel. They could then offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) before the claims process begins.

If your claim is represented under a CFA, here is how this can benefit you:

  • Before the claims process begins, there are no fees for the work your solicitor will do.
  • During the claims process, there are no fees for the work your solicitor is doing.
  • If your claim is unsuccessful at the end of the claims process, there are no fees for the work your solicitor has done.
  • If your claim is successful at the end of the claims process, your solicitor will take a small percentage of your compensation. This percentage is known as the success fee. The law also limits how much this percentage can be.

Please don’t hesitate to have a chat with us about how to claim pothole compensation on a No Win No Fee basis. If you are eligible for compensation, our panel of solicitors can answer any of your questions and give you free legal advice. You can contact us via:

Find Out More About Claiming For A Personal Injury

The related guides below can provide you with more information about pothole claims:

For more resources:

Thanks for reading our guide on pothole accident claims. For more information, you can read our other guides. Alternatively, you can contact our advisers, who will be happy to address any questions you may have.

Written by HC

Edited by MMI