Have you suffered because of potholes?
The UK’s pothole problem is bad and getting worse.
While hitting one in a car may mean a trip to the garage,
if you are cycling the outcome can be far worse.
Many cyclists have reported accidents related to potholes which have resulted in them missing work and suffering serious injuries.
Cycling pothole crash compensation claims to councils in England and Wales are 10 times higher than motoring claims because of the higher risk of personal injury.
Recently a father-of-two has sustained severe injuries including a broken jaw after crashing into a pothole while cycling. Simon Moss, 44, lost four teeth and fractured his spine in the crash in Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire, on Sunday.
Mr Moss had been riding with friends when he hit the pothole, which they said was difficult to see as it was filled with rainwater. Read full story here
Although the government announced a £100m boost to its pothole fund, the work will no doubt take a while to complete. If you are unlucky enough to hit one, there are things you can do to ensure you and your bike are safe, and gather the evidence to make a claim, if necessary.
What to do if you hit a pothole
The first thing to do is check you are OK, and get out of the road to safety.
Before you leave the scene, if you can, photograph the hole. Afterwards, you can report the defect on Cycling UK’s Fill that Hole website, which alerts the relevant roads authority. They are then duty bound to fix it.
Photographic evidence from the time of the incident, or as close to it as possible, is crucial if you are to make a compensation claim – using a recognisable object for size. But to make sure your claim is successful you should get in touch with our claims team who will take the correct measurements and images of the pothole immediately. Too often people have returned to the scene only to find the hole filled in.
Getting compensation for damage and injury
If you decide to claim for damages to yourself or your bike you will need a solicitor, as these cases are rarely straightforward and notoriously difficult to win.
Whoever owns or occupies the land, usually a council, is responsible for maintaining its highway. This doesn’t mean eliminating all potholes, it means regular inspections, often every six or even 12 months. As council funds are squeezed, an issue judges are sympathetic to, the “intervention criteria” – how severe a hole needs to be to be repaired, have been stretched to mean bigger and bigger holes in our roads.