This guide will provide you with information about pothole accident claims. We will outline who is eligible to make a personal injury claim, how to prove third-party liability, and the time limit for starting legal proceedings.
Furthermore, we discuss the duty of care owed to you when you’re using the highway network, and how a breach of this duty could cause you to sustain harm in a pothole accident.
Finally, we discuss the benefits of seeking legal representation in the form of a No Win No Fee solicitor.
For more information, you can contact our advisors. To do so, you can:
Select A Section
- When Are You Able To Make A Pothole Injury Claim?
- Pothole Accident Claims – What Evidence Could Help You Seek Compensation?
- How Much Compensation Could You Receive From A Successful Public Liability Claim?
- Time Limits For Pothole Accident Claims
- Make A No Win No Fee Public Liability Claim
- Learn More About Pothole Accident Claims
It may be possible for you to have valid grounds to make a personal injury claim following a pothole accident if you meet the following criteria:
- A third-party owed you a duty of care.
- They breached their duty of care.
- You were injured as a result of this breach.
The Highways Act 1980 and The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 place a duty of care on those who have a responsibility to maintain the highways network. As part of this duty of care, they need to ensure they are reasonably safe for use by the public.
If you have evidence that the duty of care you were owed was breached, and this caused you to sustain harm in a pothole accident, it may be possible to make a public liability claim.
For example, multiple reports may have been made about a pothole on a zebra crossing but no steps were taken to address the hazard in a reasonable time frame. As a result, a pedestrian trips and falls over the pothole when using the crossing and sustains several serious injuries.
Alternatively, a driver crashes after the pothole causes them to lose control of their vehicle. As a result, they sustain different types of injuries.
What Types Of Injuries Could You Suffer Due To A Pothole Accident?
There are several injuries you could sustain in a pothole accident. For example:
- Head injuries, such as brain damage.
- Soft-tissue injuries.
- Fractures and broken bones.
- Lacerations and bruising.
- Paralysis, such as from damage to the spinal cord.
If you are eligible, you could seek compensation to address the different ways your injuries have affected your life.
To discuss pothole accident claims in more detail, including the eligibility criteria that need to be met, and the time limits that need to be adhered to, call an advisor on the number above.
Evidence can help to support pothole accident claims by proving that a third party failed to uphold the duty of care they owe, and that this caused you harm as a result. As such, it might benefit you to gather the following:
- CCTV footage of the incident.
- A diary illustrating the effects of your injury.
- Photographs of the pothole in question and your injury.
- Potential witness contact details.
- Evidence of the medical care received. For instance, copies of your medical records or scans.
For more information on evidence for a personal injury claim, call our team of advisors. They may be able to connect you with a solicitor from our panel who could help you seek compensation by assisting you in gathering evidence and building your case, provided you have valid grounds to proceed.
Settlements awarded in successful pothole accident claims could comprise up to two heads of loss. General damages compensate for the emotional pain and physical suffering caused by your injuries.
The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) and your medical records can be used to value general damages. The JCG contains a list of guideline award brackets that sit alongside different injuries varying in severity.
We have used the publication to create the table below. However, you should keep in mind that the figures are only to be used as a guide because personal injury settlements are calculated on a case-by-case basis.
|Injury||Severity||Compensation Bracket - Guidelines||Comments|
|Brain damage||Very Severe (a)||£282,010 to £403,990||The person will need nursing care on a full-time basis. They will have minimal or no language function alongside double incontinence and minimal evidence that they can meaningfully respond to their environment.|
|Moderately Severe (b)||£219,070 to £282,010||The person has a very serious disability, either of a physical or cognitive nature.|
|Moderate (c) (iii)||£43,060 to £90,720||Memory and concentration are impacted and the person has a reduced ability to work. The risk of epilepsy is small.|
|Back||Severe (a) (i)||£91,090 to £160,980||Spinal cord and nerve root damage.|
|Neck||Severe (a) (iii)||£45,470 to £55,990||Cases including fractures or dislocations or severe soft tissue damage resulting in a permanent and significant disability.|
|Ankle||Moderate||£13,740 to £26,590||Less serious disabilities as a result of fractures, tears to ligaments and similar injuries.|
|Shoulder||Serious||£12,770 to £19,200||Shoulder dislocation with lower brachial plexus damage.|
|Arm||Simple||£6,610 to £19,200||Forearm fracture.|
|Chest||Fracture of Ribs or Soft Tissue Injuries||Up to £3,950||Injuries result in pain and disability of a serious nature for a period of weeks.|
Special Damages In Pothole Accident Claims
Special damages compensate for the financial losses incurred due to your injuries. For example, you could recover the cost of:
- Lost wages.
- Travel expenses.
- Medical care costs.
- Care costs.
- The cost of home adaptations, for example, a stairlift or ramp.
Providing evidence can help prove the financial losses you incurred, such as receipts and wage slips.
For a free valuation of your potential claim, call an advisor on the number above.
There is a time limit for personal injury claims set out in The Limitation Act 1980. This means you have three years from the date of the accident to start legal proceedings. However, exceptions can be made in some circumstances. For example:
- If the person is under 18 years old, the time limit is paused. While it’s paused, the courts could appoint a litigation friend to start the claim on their behalf. Alternatively, they will have three years from their 18th birthday to start their case, provided this hasn’t already been done for them.
- If the person lacks the mental capacity to start legal proceedings themselves, the time limit has an indefinite pause. A litigation friend could be appointed to start the claim on their behalf while the limitation period is paused. If the person recovers their capacity, and no claim has been started for them, they will have three years from the recovery date to start their own case.
Find out more about the exceptions that could apply to the time limit for pothole accident claims by calling on the number above.
If you have an eligible case, and wish to seek legal representation, you could choose to work with a solicitor from our panel on a No Win No Fee basis. They offer the following services via a contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA):
- Help gathering evidence
- Help building your case
- Valuing your claim
- Updating you on the progress of your claim
Under a CFA, you won’t have to pay for these services at the start of your claim, while it progresses, or if it fails.
For successful claims, your solicitor will take a percentage of your awarded compensation as their success fee. However, the percentage they are allowed to take is subject to a cap as per the law.
Please speak to our team if you would like to connect to a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel. They can also offer further guidance on pothole accident claims. To reach them, you can:
For more of our guides:
- Learn how to make a passenger injury claim after a road traffic accident.
- Find out if you could seek compensation for a hand injury.
- Read about how to make a claim for tetraplegia.
Furthermore, you may find these extra resources useful:
- Fall prevention – Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
- Report a pothole – GOV.UK
- First aid – NHS
Thank you for reading our helpful guide exploring pothole accident claims. If you have any other questions, call an advisor on the number above.
Writer Jade March
Editor Meg McConnell