A lot of us use the roads everyday on our daily commute, on the school run, or even just for getting things done. The roads are supposed to be The United Kingdom’s greatest infrastructure asset, yet the amount spent on them is below what is much needed to bring them to a good standard.
As a consequence, there are many of potholes in roads which are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water that reaches beneath the road/ pavement surfaces.
It is estimated that to fix the current backlog of potholes in the UK, it would take 14 years and cost £12.6 billion.
It is not unlikely that you’ll hit more than a few in your lifetime
It is not so much the case of ‘if’ you hit a pothole, but more of a ‘when’ situation. So what do you need to do when this common problem arises?
- Pull over and check for damage
Damage may not be visible right away. Once you’ve checked your car for any signs of damage, listen and feel for anything that sounds off whilst you are driving afterwards. Keep an eye out for the following things:
- Steering wheel not properly centring
- Car pulling to one side
If you notice anything that doesn’t seem right, it’s important to get your car checked by a garage or tyre specialist ASAP.
- Gather the information on the pothole
Go back to the scene and take pictures, make sketches and take notes. To give the image a sense of scale put a familiar item (such as a shoe) in the image.
Make sure you take down details of the exact location that the pothole is located.
- Report the pothole
Whether you are claiming for damage or not, it’s crucial that you report the pothole. Action on any case cannot be taken if the pothole isn’t first reported. It also helps prevent damage to other road users.
- Repair your vehicle
It is vital that you get your vehicle repaired. It is equally important to keep quotes, invoices and receipts to support your claim.
- Make the claim
Write to the correct council and include copies of your quotes, invoices and receipts. If the council didn’t know the pothole was there they are not liable for the damage it causes, which is why step 3 is incredibly important.
If your claim is rejected and you deem the response unfair you can ask to see details of the council’s road inspection reports and attempt a reclaim.
If damage is expensive (for example, you have to scrap your vehicle) have a word with your insurance or seek legal advice.