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Gwen Mck

Potholes in the Road

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Hi

 

Can you advise which sub forum to post an issue I have re trying to claim compensation from the council due to damage to my car caused by potholes in the road.

 

Many thanks

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I have moved this to the Motoring forum, so fire away with your questions :)


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Generally I think it depends on if the council could "reasonably" have been expected to know about the pothole. eg if you are aware that someone (or you) had previously advised the council about the state of that section of road, then you could expect that they take repair action. If the pothole appeared over night last night and you drove through it this morning, then it would be unreasonable for them to have "fixed" a road that they didn't even know was damaged.

 

Which catergory do you think your pothole falls into (pun*)?

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Many thanks. The situation is that on 23rd December I hit several large potholes in a line on a local country road. As it was dark, I did not see the potholes asI approached them. A little way ahead a number of cars had stopped after going over the holes including an unmarked police car, leading to an incident report being made by the police. I have a note of the incident report number. As far as I am aware the potholes were reported to the council by the police at about the same time as I ran over them. The council did come out immediately to repair them so that by the next day when I went to take pictures they had been filled in. I would say however that the multiple holes were so bad that I don't think they could have happened overnight.

 

I got a flat tyre and took my car to the local garage where it was discovered that there was serious damage to two wheels caused by these potholes. To attempt to reduce costs and so as to let me have use of the car over the holiday period, the garage repaired the tyres but advised that this was only a short term measure and that the two wheels would have to be replaced. This should happen in the new year. I want to ask my local council (Renfrewshire) for compensation for the cost of the repair and subsequent replacement of two tyres on my car.

 

The garage have not sent me an invoice yet and I think I will get it when the wheels are replaced. They have said that they will put a note on the invoice that the damage was caused by the potholes.

 

Can you advise as to how best to compose a letter to the council to successfully get compensation and how best can I justify the double cost of the repair and then the subsequent replacement of the wheels.

 

Thanks for this.

Edited by Conniff

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good that you have a police report on it. no wonder they came out the next day!

as you say, they were unlikely to have appeared overnight.

also, i think there is also an issue re if potholes have been previously marked for repair, and not done so within a reasonable time then that could add to their liability. also, even if they had not previously been marked they are supposed to check roads at reasonable intervals, particularly in winter. so, those issues may be relevant?

but, never know, as pol were involved they may be more inclined to pay out?

interested to see how this goes.

Edited by Ford

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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The council should have a claim form which they can send out to you. On this form you can give full details of the incident.

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Get the repairs done then send an invoice to the Highways Dept of the Council.

 

Depending on how much it is they may just pay out to save the hassle of fighting it. If not the Council is likely to defend using a Section 52 defence that they had a reasonable system of inspection of the road in question and that the potholes weren't present at the last inspection and so they are not liable.

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ganymede

 

say where a pothole has been marked for repair (or has been reported), is there a usual or general defined period/policy of what is regarded as reasonable of when it should then be repaired eg something like 'within x weeks/days' or the like?

Edited by Ford

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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no worries.

some useful info here for eg potholes.co.uk

isn't it s58 defence not 52 re a public highway?


IMO

:-):rant:

 

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:)

another thing, sometimes potholes are marked with white paint (obviously marked for repair), so if see that then would know that the council is aware of it. question then would be whether they should've repaired it in the time since being painted/notified?

Edited by Ford

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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Thanks all for your comments. The garage have told me that they cannot get new tyres for me until 17th January so have advised me to write to the council and tell them that I will be making a claim after that date for the cost of the repairs to my existing wheel to make the car temporarily roadworthy and then the cost of the new wheels. I will send the letter off tomorrow.

 

Cheers

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I received a claim form from the council which I filled in, noting the cost of the repair to the existing wheels and the subsequent replacement wheels. I have now received a letter from the Council's claim adjuster asking me to tell them the age of the tyres damaged, how many miles they had covered and receipts for their purchase. I am sure they are doing this to try to pay out less than the full cost of the repair, and also this information was not asked for on the claim form. I actually can't remember how old the tyres were but I know that I probably haven't covered that many miles as I only use the car for short runs. I am very loathe to give them any information at all as I am sure they will use anything I tell them to reduce the amount they pay me back. Can you advise me how to reply?

Many thanks

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I would fill it in and send it back with the information requested. How else are they going to know what your claim is worth?

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looks like they are looking to deduct for wear and tear on the tyres? can they? if tyres are damaged by a 'negligent' pothole and need to be replaced would it make any difference if damaged tyres were new or 'old', they would need to be replaced as new like for like make. part worn tyres could poss be used in replacement, but they can cost nearly as much as new ones depending on make, and would someone be expected to replace with part worn?

any potholed damaged wheels would be like for like as new, can't skimp on those can they?

Edited by Ford

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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The idea is to put the OP back in the position they were in prior to the accident. New tyres would be an improvement on the old ones and therefore betterment.

 

However, for very small claims the Council probably won't quibble over the price, they just want documentary evidence to support the OP's losses.

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cheers.

don't see it. if the negligent pothole caused the damage.

eg i drive a banger and the wing is old with some rust. someone bangs the wing, completely their fault and accepted as such. they would have to pay for a new wing (if unable for repair) (and no discount for the rust/age) wouldn't they? yes, they might offer a bit less in settlement to save a few quid.

i had thought it would be similar to the general principle re negligence ie treat the victim as found him ie doesn't matter whether the tyre/wing should've been newer or tougher, it had to be replaced due to the negligence (so long as they new replacement tyre is not a premium super tyre for eg ie an improvement on what was damaged)?

Edited by Ford

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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It's a nice idea but I'm afraid it's a fundamental principle in the law of tort.

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what is? not to treat someone as they find them re negligence?

not just a 'nice idea', fundamental principle of negligence is to treat as found.

Edited by Ford

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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Yes, in terms of personal injuries you should take your victim as you find them, not property damage.

 

For damages as a whole the main principle is to put the person that suffered loss back in the position they were in before the loss occurred, not to be better off.

 

Look this is the most basic GCSE level tort law. If you don't believe me a simple Google search will confirm it.

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:) i believe you, you are after all a sol. no need for me to google it. took you a while to do so though! :)

saying similar applies though, treat as find re negligence. as my eg shows, old rusty wing got replaced new, no 'discount' for the rust/age :). i know what you mean though, re recompense.

as you say, and as i said, so long as the replacement tyres weren't super supreme low profile etc 100£ odd tyres (unless the damaged ones were that :)). tyre repair is not poss so the only alternative is a new, or part worn tyre.

Edited by Ford

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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Haha I don't use Google. All from the melon on my head. :p

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