Hit a Pothole? What You Need to Know About Potholes and Compensation

If you drive in and around Telford then you’ll be as aware as I am that we seem to have our fair share of potholes on our roads. You may have even hit one recently.

Wheel Alignment

Potholes don’t have to be cavernous to cause damage to your car. In fact, even the smaller ones can do some damage to your wheels and tyres.

But potholes on the road shouldn’t be your responsibility since you don’t own the road and it wasn’t your fault. This means that if you drive over one and it damages your car, you may not need to pay for the vital repairs. Didn’t know this? Well don’t worry, this isn’t broadcasted news. But you may be due compensation for pothole damage; you just need to know the process to go through.

That is why we’ve created this guide. Take a few minutes to read this week’s article and you’ll not only find out what action you will need to take to ensure your vehicle is OK, but if damage has been caused you may be entitled to ask the relevant authority to pay for this.

Start with the Facts

When you drive over a pothole, you really need to stop and gather evidence to make your compensation claim. This means taking lots of photographs of the pothole from different angles, as well as capturing where it can be found on the street. This will alert the relevant authority about it and show that this was the cause of the damage your vehicle sustained.

You also want to take photographs of your car after driving over the pothole. If there is any visible damage, make sure to capture it. Again, the relevant authority is going to want to see what’s happened to decide whether the damage is genuine and caused as a result of the pothole. It doesn’t cause any harm to write down rough notes of what happened too, just in case you need to refer to these at a later date.

Visit Your Local Garage

Next on the list is visiting your local garage. At EAC Telford we can carry out a vehicle health check and see if repairs are required.This is where you’re going to find out more about the damage to your vehicle and if costs will be incurred.

potholes

Make sure that you keep all of the documents you’re given. This is going to serve as evidence to be submitted in due course to support your claim.

Send Away Your Evidence

In order for the relevant authority to find out about your compensation claim, you’ll need to send a message and the evidence to them directly. The contact details should be available on their website. First, you will need to think about who owns the road with the pothole on it. For example, if it’s normal streets around your hometown or normal roads, this is going to be the local council. Tell them everything that happened and where the pothole is.

If it’s an A-road or motorway, you’re going to have to contact the authority that is in charge of taking care of those roads. If the pothole was on an A-road or motorway in England, you will need to make a claim to Highways England. Other authorities include Transport Scotland, Traffic Wales and the Department for Infrastructure for Northern Ireland.

Wait for the Authority’s Response

Let’s be truthful and remember that it could take a long time for the relevant authority to get back to you with an answer. No doubt, there is already a waiting list and you will have to join it. If things go smoothly, you could receive their findings within a few weeks. But it’s likely to take a couple of months.

It’s important that you realise that no compensation claim is going to be 100 per cent certain, so be prepared to wait for their answer and think about the next steps in the process.

What the Small Claims Court Can Do

If your claim has been rejected and feel like you want to take the compensation claim further, you can take your case to the small claims court. You’ll need to take all of your evidence and present it against the relevant authority. It would be a good idea to taket legal advice first. You will also have to be prepared to pay legal fees if you lose your claim. So, make sure you weigh up your options carefully before going down this route.

Your Safety

At EAC Telford, our primary focus is to ensure your vehicle is safe and in a roadworthy condition. It’s not uncommon for wheel alignment to be affected after hitting a pothole. Even if your tyre and wheel appear to be undamaged it’ll be worth popping in so that we can check your wheel alignment and carry out a quick health check.

Wheel Alignment

This will not only ensure your safety but check that your tyres will not have their service life reduced by bad alignment.

We’re here to help

So if you’re in Telford give us as a call today on 01952 980566 to book your appointment.