Accidents Caused by Potholes and Other Road Defects

Potholes and other road defects, such as cracks in the road and pavement, can cause serious injury to cyclists. The Twisted Spokes personal injury team at JMW can help you make a claim if you have been injured as the result of a pothole or other defect in the road. Our team is made up of solicitors who have a passion for cycling; we believe that claims of this nature should be handled by lawyers who fully understand the effect that experiencing a crash while on your bike can have.

If you would like to speak to a member of the Twisted Spokes team about an incident involving a pothole or other road defect, simply give us a call on 0808 168 7228. Alternatively, you can send an email to or fill in our online form on this page and we will get back to you at time convenient for you.

Pothole and Other Road Defect Accidents Explained

If you have been injured by a pothole or other road defect while on your bike, it is your right to make a claim. Compensation can go some way to assisting your recovery by helping to pay for medical expenses, travel costs and repairing or replacing your bicycle. Like other cycling accidents, there are two types of damages that make up a final compensation award. These are:

General damages - These are worked out based on set judicial guidelines and what compensation has been awarded in existing cases featuring similar injuries. Estimated compensation amounts based on your injury can be worked out by using our compensation calculator.

Special damages - These take into consideration any financial losses that have come about due to the accident, which for a cyclist can include:

  • Bicycle repairs or replacement

  • Cycling kit and accessory replacement

  • Payment for medical treatment

  • Travel expenses

  • Loss of earnings

  • Assistance with personal care

  • Inability to pursue personal interests

Remember, no two claims are identical. Every individual making a claim has different injuries and needs; the more information we have about a client’s financial losses, the better placed we are to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. This is why it is important you keep hold of all expense receipts and documentation, as it gives you the best possible chance of recovering your costs.


Who is responsible for repairing potholes?

It is the local council’s duty to ensure roads and pavements in their constituency are kept free of defects so that cyclists and other road users can travel safely. Maintenance of motorways and other major roads are the responsibility of the Highways Agency. Both authorities must ensure that regular checks are carried out to identify any potential hazards and ensure any found defects are repaired within a reasonable amount of time. These timescales are determined by the relevant local council, and each road the council is responsible for is graded according to its importance in the area.

If the council or the Highways Agency fail in their duty to maintain and repair roads and pavements and you suffer an injury while riding your bicycle, you can make a claim for the pain and suffering it has caused you.   

How do I make a claim for a cycling injury caused by a pothole or other road defect?

If you have been injured by a pothole or other road defect, it must be proven that the local authority or Highways Agency has neglected their duty to keep you safe. To do this, detailed evidence about the road defect that caused the accident must be collected as soon after the incident as possible.   


This includes:

  • Where the accident took place - any landmarks or lamp post serial numbers should be written down or photographed, ideally with the defect in sight, to provide as concise a location as possible so it can be determined who is responsible

  • Contact details of any witnesses - these can be contacted to corroborate the details you have provided about your accident if the local authority denies responsibility

  • Photographs of the pothole or road defect - you should use a spirit level and tape measure to clearly display the width and depth of the defect and ideally, an accurate date stamp should be featured

There are minimum depths that defect must before it is legally considered as dangerous. Realistically, in order for your claim to stand a chance of being successful, the depth of the defect that has caused your accident must at least meet these minimums, which are:

  • For a road - 25mm

  • For the pavement - 20mm

  • For a motorway - 40mm

How long does this type of claim take?

There is no clear timescale for how long a claim of this nature will take to settle, as an element of the case hinges on whether the local authority or Highways Agency admits liability immediately or if your solicitor has to prove that they are to blame. If liability is admitted, the process should be simple, as evidence will be exchanged with them, and a settlement agreed upon.

However, if liability is not admitted, your solicitor will need to take steps to prove that the local authority or Highways Agency was responsible for your injury. This is where your existing gathered evidence will be useful. Your solicitor will also look to secure additional supporting information, such as requesting any reports on your defect from the council, as well as a request for reports surrounding road defects in that area to see if they were allowed to go unrepaired past the time period in which they should have been repaired.

Why Choose Twisted Spokes

The Twisted Spokes team is made up of expert personal injury solicitors who not only understand this area of law exceptionally well, but are also incredibly passionate about cycling and can empathise with the difficulties accidents caused by potholes and other defects can bring.

Each case is handled efficiently and with a professionalism that has resulted in nationwide recognition for JMW Solicitors. Your solicitor will work with you to determine your requirements, whether you are an experienced cyclist who participates in races and other events, or you use a bike to commute or for leisure, so you are able to get back on your bicycle swiftly and can enjoy the experiences you had before your accident.

Our team will help you to reclaim the costs of a bike you’ve had to have repaired or replaced, as well as recover compensation for the pain and suffering caused by a pothole or other road defect. We can also help you claim for costs that have occurred due to your accident. For example, if you have been unable to work or unable to travel to work by bicycle, our lawyers can secure settlements that take into consideration any loss of earnings or travel expenses.

Talk to Us

If you have been in a cycling accident that was caused by a pothole or other road defect, speak to the Twisted Spokes team today to find out how you can make a claim. We will be happy to provide you with advice on starting a claim or to answer any questions you may have. You can either fill in the online contact form on this page, send an email to or simply call us 0808 168 7228.

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