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Cycling and Motorcycling Accidents Caused by Potholes or Other Road Defects
Potholes and other road defects, such as cracks in the street surface, can cause serious injury to road users, particularly cyclists and motorcyclists. A slight knock or bumpy ride as a result of riding over a deep pothole can cause loss of control or even throw you from your bike.
The personal injury team at JMW can help you make a claim should you have been injured. The team is made up of solicitors who have a passion for cycling, as 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 our team about an incident involving a pothole or other road defect, simply give us a call on 0800 054 6570. If you’re a cyclist involved in an accident, you should contact us on 0808 168 0607. Alternatively, you can fill in our online form and we will get back to you at time convenient for you.
What Our Clients Say
Why Should I Make a Pothole Accident Claim?
It is your right to make a claim if you have been injured by a pothole or other road defect while on your bicycle or motorcycle. Compensation can go some way to assisting your recovery by helping to pay for medical expenses, travel costs and repairing or replacing your bike. Like with other personal injury claims, there are two types of damages that make up your final compensation award.
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.
These take into consideration any financial losses that have come about due to the accident, which for a cyclist can include:
- Bicycle/motorcycle repairs or replacement
- Cycling/motorcycling 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 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 expenses 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, motorcyclists 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 bike, you can make a claim for the pain and suffering it has caused you.
How Do I Make a Claim for an 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 have 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.
- 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 a defect must be 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:
- 25mm for a road
- 20mm for the pavement
- 40mm for a motorway
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 admit 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 were 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.
How JMW Can Help
We are team of expert solicitors who understand this area of law exceptionally well. We also know that both cyclists and motorbike riders are passionate about their bikes, but also vulnerable as road users, and need support when things go wrong and they end up injured.
Each case is handled efficiently with the utmost professionalism, which has resulted in national recognition for JMW. Your solicitor will work with you to determine your requirements and the best next steps that are needed in order to get back to a similar position you were in before the accident.
Our team will help you to reclaim the costs of a bicycle or motorbike that has had to be repaired or replaced, as well as recover compensation for the pain and suffering caused by a pothole or other road defect. We work on a no win, no fee basis; this means that making a claim to completely risk-free. We will take away the stress and strain of what can often be a very difficult time and leave you to focus on the most important thing - making a recovery after your accident.