If you drive in and around Neath then you’ll be as aware as I am that we seem to have our fair share of potholes on our roads. You may have even hit one recently.
As a driver, you will know exactly how annoying potholes are. In fact, they’re not just a nuisance at the time, they can also be expensive afterwards. If you have hit a deep pothole before, you will know just how damaging they can be. Getting your car repaired can be expensive, but it’s even worse when what happened wasn’t your fault.
But, we have some good news for you. You may not have to pay this repair bill out of your own pocket in the long term. In fact, the relevant authority who is in charge of the road may be liable. If they haven’t dealt correctly with a pothole on their streets or roads, they may have to pay you compensation if your vehicle has been damaged.
Take a few minutes to read this week’s article and you’ll not only find out what action you will need to take to ensure your vehicles OK, but if damage has been caused you may be entitled to ask the council to pay for this.
Think About the Evidence You Can Use
Any compensation claim needs evidence. You need to convince the local authority that there was a pothole on their road and it has damaged your car through no fault of your own.
So, what do we mean by evidence? Well, we mean notes, statements from witnesses and photographs. These are going to be the best pieces of evidence you can gather at the time of the incident. In particular, make sure that you photograph the pothole and street it is on, as well as the damage to your vehicle. You can never take enough photos so make sure to capture all angles. You want to capture what the pothole looks like, including the size and depth and its position in the road.
Gather Quotes for Repairs
One of the main parts you need to support your claim is repair quotes. This is going to tell the relevant authority the amount of money you are due from the pothole. At Garden City Garage we can carry out a vehicle health check and see if repairs are required. Be sure to keep all of the documents you receive for evidence. This is going to be submitted later on as evidence of the compensation from the incident with the pothole.
Choose the Authority in Charge
Of course, you will need to send your evidence to the relevant authority. This is the straight forward part of the claim, but you do have to make sure you choose the correct authority. There are different people in charge of different roads. The local council normally take care of ordinary streets and normal roads around cities and towns. So, this is where your compensation claim will go.
If you were driving on a major A-road or motorway, you will need to talk to a different authority depending on what part of the UK it happened in. If the pothole is in Wales, you want to speak to Traffic Wales. In England, the relevant authority will be Highways England. In Scotland, the relevant authority will be Transport Scotland and in Northern Ireland, it will be the Department for Infrastructure.
Wait for the Result
Claiming damage for a pothole is not always quick. In fact, sometimes it can take a while to hear back. You may hear in a few weeks, but it’s likely to take a couple of months.
You should also be prepared for any decision when it comes to compensation. While we would like to say that most cases are successful, there are still some that won’t be. But it is always worth submitting your claim for compensation if you really think that you have a case.
Consider the Small Claims Court
If you are fighting to get your money back but it doesn’t seem to be working, there is one more option. You could take your case to the local small claims court. If you really think you have a case and that the pothole was the source of the damage, this is the last option. But bear in mind that you will probably need to seek legal advice, as well as payout on legal costs. You need to be sure you have a good chance of winning to make it worth it.
At Garden City Garage, our primary focus is to ensure your vehicle is safe and in a roadworthy condition. It’s not uncommon for wheel alignment to be affected after hitting a pothole. Even if your tyre and wheel appear to be undamaged it’ll be worth popping in so that we can check your wheel alignment and carry out a quick health check.