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motorbike off- due to manhole in poor condition - not sure if right section


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Hi all,

 

I am looking for some advise which will be greatfully received.

 

On 17/02/2012 I come off my bike due to my back wheel glancing a worn out manhole cover. (pics below).

 

Basiclly I was at a friends house for the first time visiting and left at dusk, the weather was dry and warm but there was at dusk a slight dew on surfaces. I headed into a S bend that goes down hill and very low speed and spotted the manhole in question, I laid the bike down a little and missed the manhole with the front wheel but the back caught it, I felt the bike go and tried to correct - it was too late so it was time too get off ! if your a biker you will know what I mean :-o

 

Anyway, I feel the local council are responsible and have already complained to them - responces below.

 

These are the letters I have received from them -

 

Letter 1 -

medwayletter1-editedsafe.jpg

 

 

Letter 2

 

medwayletter21-editedsafe.jpg

 

medwayletter22-editedsafe.jpg

 

 

I have not replied to these as yet, in writing. I have called and spoken to the person who sent them, who told me the last inspection was indeed on 20/10/11 and not 2010 as indicated in the letter - he says this is a typo; I have asked for the last five years reports/inspections anyway to verify.

 

 

Now for the pics of the section of road -

 

View going into the S bend (note this is daytime)

DSC_0626.jpg

 

View as you drop into bend - manhole becomes visable

DSC_0627.jpg

 

On top of manhole

DSC_0637.jpg

 

DSC_0636.jpg

 

DSC_0635.jpg

 

 

 

Now, if the council did indeed inspect this section of road on 20/10/11 - in effect they are saying that this cover has worn to this degree and sunk to below the road surface level in the matter of four months !! likely, I doubt it.

 

 

I intend to claim for damage to the bike and clothing, not for personal injury.

 

 

Can anyone advise my standing please :)

 

Many thanks

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respoinding to reported post :)

 

I think you are in the correct forum.

 

Have you spoken to one of these personal injury solicitors that seem to be flooding the internet, media ?

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respoinding to reported post :)

 

I think you are in the correct forum.

 

Have you spoken to one of these personal injury solicitors that seem to be flooding the internet, media ?

 

I havent no, my sister in law hurt her ankle on a bad surface on her road a few yrs ago.... she got a solicitor involved and because the council said they had inspected the road a few months prior, the solicitor dropped it. But then resurfaced the entire length of the road a few months later !! that they had said was in pefect condition lol ! So my faith is more than a little low in them crettins :)

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Ah right.. it is frustrating isnt it.

 

I simply dont know enough about this type of problem to be able to advise.

 

I see you have had a fair amount of views.. perhaps someone will have the time to advise over the holiday weekend :)

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1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

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3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

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Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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I don't know much about riding a motorbike or manhole covers, but, judging by some of the seriously dropped covers i see around the country this isn't dropped by much at all, maybe it was just wet and you was unlucky :(

 

H

42 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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I don't know much about riding a motorbike or manhole covers, but, judging by some of the seriously dropped covers i see around the country this isn't dropped by much at all, maybe it was just wet and you was unlucky :(

 

H

 

Hi Bud,

 

My issue is not the fact its dropped, but the fact its worn practically smooth and is on a downhill slope of a S bend :) Weather condidions were dry with slight evening dew

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Whoa, grippy manhole covers, manhole covers that are the same level as the road would be a good start!

 

On a more serious note, i damaged a tyre on a residential street in Oldham once, took piccies etc and they rolled over and reimbursed me after the first letter and pictures, took six months but even i was surprised.

 

Good Luck

 

H

42 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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  • 1 month later...

I have sent the council concerned one final letter 3 weeks ago and did not get any reply, I followed this up and got a reply simply stating "our position remains unchanged" .... basiclly go away !

 

So, I will be filing CC papers this coming week. Can I have some guidance please ?

 

Thanks

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Did you suffer any injury?

 

It may be better to use a solicitor on a no win no fee as highway claims can be a pain and they will do all the hard work for you.

 

To be honest I see two problems with your claim:

 

1) The Court will probably accept the Defendant's section 58 defence.

 

2) I can't really see an actionable defect with the manhole cover but the Defendant has admitted there is one so that will help. If a judge agrees is a different matter.

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Did you suffer any injury?

 

It may be better to use a solicitor on a no win no fee as highway claims can be a pain and they will do all the hard work for you.

 

To be honest I see two problems with your claim:

 

1) The Court will probably accept the Defendant's section 58 defence.

 

2) I can't really see an actionable defect with the manhole cover but the Defendant has admitted there is one so that will help. If a judge agrees is a different matter.

 

 

I was a little sore but no real injury no.

 

The issue lies with the fact the council state they inspected the road 4 months before my off, and have not noted anything about said manhole... thus assume it was fine. The manhole has worn down to almost smooth, thus was either in that condition when the inspection was done or has been eaten by iron eating rodents... lol

 

While I can see the council are going to try to hide behind the defence as detailed in the letter, but if I can prove that the cover was in that condition or likely to have been on the inspection.... which imo should not be hard, as any reasonable person would agree that it would not wear in 4 months to this level - especially on a road that leads to no where ! :) its not a through road and is a close.

 

So, I intend to rely on the fact that altho they state they have a comprehensive system of inspection - I intend to lay doubt on this. Being, if the manhole was in this condition at the last inspection ... just how comprehensive is this system ? Just documenting a inspection and doing bits here and there surely can not suffice to relive them of any liability to stuff they may have missed.

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You could try speaking to local residents to see if they will give a witness statement as to how long the manhole cover has been defective...

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To be honest. looking at the pictures you've taken i would say you don't have a leg to stand on as far as court. I would call it bad luck and be done with it.

 

If it was below road level by an inch or 2 then yes you could probably get somewhere but it don't look anywhere near as bad as some of them do.

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Agree with nohope on this, the pics if accurate, dont show any major defect or unreasonable wear, roads are not nice and smooth and \I have seen and driven over far worse today. Just put it down as one of those things, bit unlucky but s*** happens.

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To be honest. looking at the pictures you've taken i would say you don't have a leg to stand on as far as court. I would call it bad luck and be done with it.

 

If it was below road level by an inch or 2 then yes you could probably get somewhere but it don't look anywhere near as bad as some of them do.

 

I am not claming on the basis that it has sunk

 

Agree with nohope on this, the pics if accurate, dont show any major defect or unreasonable wear, roads are not nice and smooth and \I have seen and driven over far worse today. Just put it down as one of those things, bit unlucky but s*** happens.

 

The pictures actually make it look better than it is, the gradiant the manhole is on combined with how smooth it now is ! keeping in mind that on covers similar the square raised blocks are 10-15mm in height. These are around 1mm and mushroomed off to make them smooth.

 

In fact, if you look some of the raised lettering has completely worn away.

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Have to say that in 30 plus years of riding bikes I've always been told to steer clear of manhole covers as they are slippy. Provided it is not raised or sunk excessively I can't see a claim succeeding unless it goes through a no win/no fee where they just settle as the costs outweigh the award.

 

How are you going to prove the cover is worn? Do you have the durability specification as to what is acceptable and what is not?

 

Inexperience springs to mind unfortunately.

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To be honest. looking at the pictures you've taken i would say you don't have a leg to stand on as far as court. I would call it bad luck and be done with it.

 

If it was below road level by an inch or 2 then yes you could probably get somewhere but it don't look anywhere near as bad as some of them do.

 

Agree with nohope on this, the pics if accurate, dont show any major defect or unreasonable wear, roads are not nice and smooth and \I have seen and driven over far worse today. Just put it down as one of those things, bit unlucky but s*** happens.

 

Have to say that in 30 plus years of riding bikes I've always been told to steer clear of manhole covers as they are slippy. Provided it is not raised or sunk excessively I can't see a claim succeeding unless it goes through a no win/no fee where they just settle as the costs outweigh the award.

 

How are you going to prove the cover is worn? Do you have the durability specification as to what is acceptable and what is not?

 

Inexperience springs to mind unfortunately.

 

 

Ive been riding since I was 11, and know full well too stay away from covers. Sadly, this cover you can not see until you have no way of avioiding it. Had the cover not be in such a worn condition I feel I would not have slipped, it was not wet as such just cooling down in the evening.

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You have a sent a letter of claim and liability is denied. The next step would be to issue Court proceedings as you are not claiming for an injury too.

 

Personally it is not a claim I would like to take on. These type of claims are notoriously difficult and judges often side with the Council.

 

I'm also not convinced that there is an actionable defect.

 

With no injury claim you will not get a solicitor to act on a 'no win no fee' so either you go it alone or pay a silly amount for a solicitor.

 

The risk is up to you...

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