LIABILITY ONLY IF POTHOLE REPORTED BUT NOT FIXED – 20/05/2017
I read an interesting case here via Manx Radio whereby someone tried to claim for pothole damage that wrote off their car (it must have been some pothole!).
The default (and lazy) position that every Highway Authority and Claims Handlers will try and take is that they can only be held liable for potholes that have been reported and cannot be held responsible for every pothole on the roads, and they won in this instance.
Whilst this stance may hold water on the face of it, every Local Authority has a responsibility to inspect the roads on a set timescale and ensure that the roads are fit for purpose.
If, after a pothole has been reported and it has been remedied within days, it can clearly be argued that the pothole was dangerous and the road was not fit for purpose at the time it was reported and the damage caused. The Authority has demonstrated liability because they have taken the time and trouble to repair it straight away to prevent any further claims or injuries. If they were not liable, why would they bother dealing with it?
I am aware of instances whereby individuals have lodged claims for pothole damage to their cars based on failed MOT reports for broken springs that have cost over £200 to replace. They have simply picked out a pothole, reported it and retrospectively lodged a claim and it’s easy to do (although I could not condone it myself).
Pothole claims are my speciality and you have a 36% chance of succeeding with a claim against Edinburgh City Council, yet I won mine within 4 weeks. You can read that here
I cover various aspects and real-life scenarios involving the Consumer Rights Act 2015, Consumer Credit Act 1974, Misrepresentation Act 1967, pothole claims, speeding tickets, parking tickets, obscured signs and other legislation including the Road Traffic Act complete with templates based on real-life test cases that work in my book now on sale via Amazon as an e-book and paperback priced £2.99 / £7.99.
BBC Radio Scotland have read it and interviewed me as a consumer expert for a five-part consumer programme they have made. I have been featured in the Daily Mail as a consumer champion which you can read here
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