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10 Tips To Claim Your Money Back for Pothole Damage

Can you believe potholes are causing an estimated 1 out of 10 mechanical problems on our roads? That amounts to a staggering £730 million in costs to us motorists each year. If you have ever hit a pothole in the past it is likely you will know the trouble they can cause. For the unlucky ones it can often result in costly suspension and axle failures.

To add insult to injury, the annual maintenance funding for our roads is severely underserved by 55% (£1 billion). With the current funding and schedules our roads are only due to be resurfaced once every 54 years! It has fallen so far behind that it could take up to 12 years to get back on track, even with the full funding.

Now it’s time to fight back. The good news is that the government has actually paid out more than £30 million in compensation claims to drivers. For this reason it’s essential to know how to record, report and claim if you fall victim to a devilish pothole.

1.Collect Any Evidence - The moment you run over a pothole you should stop and collect as much information as you can. When it’s safe to do so, you should take photos, measurements of the pothole and any other notes that make it particularly hazardous.

2.Make Others Aware – It’s your duty to report the pothole and prevent others from suffering the same fate. Do this by getting into contact with your local council and highways agencies.

3.Inquire about the Road – You should send off a Freedom of Information Act to the relevant council. This will provide you with essential information on how that road has been maintained.

4.Don’t Give Up Yet– In most cases your claim will get rejected using section 58 of the Highways Act. Don’t panic, this is not the end of the road by any means.

5.Study the National Code – Download and read the national code of good practice concerning highway maintenance standards.

6.Stay Calm – When you contact the council and make your claim you should try to remain factual and unemotional. By acting professional you will have the best chances of a good result.

7.Present Your Case – You should carefully construct your claim. Demonstrate where the road’s maintenance programme meets the code and where it does not. You should consider how they might try to counter your claim.

8.Be Realistic – Your claim does not stand good chances if the maintenance records adhere exactly to the national guidelines. In these cases their defence will be very strong.

9.Don’t Rush In– Resist the temptation to go in all guns blazing, rushing to court proceedings. There is no need to appoint a solicitor yet.

10.Strike a Deal – In most cases an offer will be made. It is wise to carefully negotiate and settle for a little less than your original claim.


published: 19/05/2015 14:38:59

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