Highway Claims (Vehicle Damage Only)
Highway Authorities have a legal duty to maintain the roads.
If you have suffered damage to your vehicle as a result of a defect or pothole on the road, then you may be entitled to recover the repair costs from the authority.
What is a dangerous defect or pothole?
There is no easy answer, as the official guidance given to Highway Authorities state that they should carry out a risk assessment of the defect based upon its position in the road, the location, the volume, characteristics and speed of the road, as well as the defects size and depth. The most current guidance (Well-Maintained Highways Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management) suggests that investigatory levels for the carriageway are as follows:
- Potholes – 20mm depth
- Crowning – 50mm
- Depression – 50mm (area 2m2)
- Sunken ironwork – 20mm level difference
Also bear in mind that the authority must given consideration to major debris or spillage.
What evidence do I need to claim?
- Take photographs as soon as you can showing clearly the measurement of the defect. Where possible use a tape measure or something to gauge the depth.
- Take a photograph showing the surrounding area so that the location can be identified.
- Take a photograph of the damage to your vehicle
- Make a note of the precise location of the defect – ie, opposite No. 2 Named Street.
- Keep hold of any receipts relating to the repair of the vehicle.
Do Highway Authorities have a defence to such claims?
There is a statutory defence, if the Highway Authority can show that it has a reasonable system in place in which the road in question was inspected and repaired. However, if you are able to show that the system was not adhered to, then the defence cannot stand.
At Go Complain, we only charge £49.99 to represent you. The service includes:
- Reviewing the evidence you have provided (see above)
- Draft and send out a letter of claim to the Highway Authority seeking to recover your losses.
- Where the highway authority rejects the claim, we shall review their evidence and advise you of whether there is any merit in issuing proceedings, or what further evidence may be needed.
- Keeping you fully updated