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Dealing with potholes

Rebecca Taylor | Friday 22nd November 2019 8:20am

Pothole on road

Many drivers have experienced damage caused by potholes on UK roads. If your vehicle does suffer from damage caused by potholes, you can make a claim to get financial compensation to either repair or replace your tyres.

Modern tyres are tough but not immune to uneven road surfaces such as potholes. Sometimes the damage sustained from hitting a pothole isnít necessarily immediately visible. Usually, harm to the internal structure will show up as a bulge in the tyre sidewall. If you notice this, you should get a new tyre as soon as you can. As the local authorities are responsible for maintaining the roads, you can claim for damage caused due to poor road surfaces.

Take photos

If you suspect that you may have suffered tyre damage, make a note of the location and road name where you think the pothole is located. Be as precise as possible with the location of the pothole, its size and depth as well a if there was anyone else around when your vehicle went over the pothole. If you can do so safely, itís a good idea to take photos of the pothole including an object for size comparison.

Report the pothole to the authorities 

Even if you donít want to claim for damages, you can still report a pothole to the authorities. The authority should be made aware of the problem so that they can work to get the road surface repaired. Most major roads are managed by Highways England. However, smaller roads are usually the responsibility of the county, city or borough councils.

Carry out repairs

Looking after your car is vital to ensure that its kept in good condition. In order to claim, you will need copies of quotes, invoices and receipts for work that has been carried out. If your vehicle has suffered more damage than to the alloys or tyres, you should report the damage to your insurance company rather than the local authorities.

Make your claim in writing 

Claims should be made in writing to the relevant authority. You need to provide a clear and detailed account of what happened, where and how it occurred as well as the costs of replacing it. If the authority was already aware of the issue then your claim is more likely to be accepted.

Dealing with rejection 

Your claim could be rejected by the local authorities for a number of reasons. You can request under the Freedom of Information Act to find our how often the road has been inspected. There is a chance that it might not meet the national standards for highway maintenance. If this is the case then your claim could be re-evaluated.

Be prepared to negotiate

You can negotiate with the authority which is usually a better option than paying to take the case to the courts. Usually, taking the claim to the court will cost more than the money that youíll get back in compensation.

Use the small claims court 

This is the last resort. If you think that the authorities havenít confirmed to national guidelines, you can consider making a small claims case. However, this will incur costs and if you lose the case then you could end up out of pocket.



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