Hit a Pothole? Did You Know You May Be Able To Claim For Damages?
If you drive in and around Saffron Walden 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.
When you are driving along and suddenly go over a deep pothole, your heart sinks. You know that you may have damaged your car. It’s the worst feeling especially since as you couldn’t have done anything to avoid it. Rightly so, a lot of people become frustrated with potholes on the road when nothing has been done about them. Not to mention, having to pay for a repair to the wheels or replace the tyres due to something that is out of your control.
But did you know that you may not have to pay for the damage caused to your vehicle by a pothole on the road? A lot of drivers are missing out on possible compensation from hitting a pothole simply because they didn’t know you could report and claim.
So, let’s find out more about the compensation process and how you can get started if you ever find yourself in this position again.
Gather Your Evidence
To be successful and receive compensation for hitting a pothole, you’ve got to convince the authority that it was actually that pothole that created the damage. This means that gathering your evidence as soon as possible is necessary. This means taking photographs of the pothole, taking note of its size and depth. While you’ll know what it looks like, the relevant authority will have to see it for themselves. Be sure to write down the location, including the street name.
In addition, take photographs and notes on the damage to your vehicle too. This is going to show the extent of the damage and what you are seeking compensation for. They’re going to want to see how much the pothole damaged your car and what kind of repairs you’re looking at.
Receive Repair Quotes
The next step you want to take is to get quotes from garages for the repairs that you need for your car. At Saffron Autos we can carry out a vehicle health check and see what the repairs are going to be. Make sure that you keep all these quotes and any bills that you receive for your vehicle. This is going to form part of your evidence later on and support your claim.
Contact Relevant Authority
When you’ve got all of your evidence in place, it’s time to contact the relevant authority. You will need to contact the organisation that is responsible for the road that has the pothole. This will vary depending on what kind of road you were travelling on and the location of the road.
On streets and normal roads, you will have to contain the local council in that area. This can usually be done via their website. If the pothole is on a major A-road or a motorway in England, you’ll have to send your claim to Highways England. For a major road or motorway in Scotland, you should contact Transport Scotland, while it will be Traffic Wales who will deal with your claim in Wales. For major roads or motorways in Northern Ireland send your claim to the Department for Infrastructure.
In your claim, be sure to detail everything about the pothole. This includes describing it and the damage that has done to your vehicle. Once they respond to your claim, they’ll want to see all of the evidence and quotes that you’ve already collected. So, have them ready when you’re submitting your claim.
Be Prepared For Any Result
Of course, we’re not telling you that a claim for hitting a pothole is always going to be successful. There is a lot of work that goes into making a claim and this is one of the reasons why people don’t bother. But if you have a good case, it’s always worth submitting your claim.
It’s also important to remember that claiming for pothole damage is likely to take a while. You could be lucky and hear back within a few weeks, but it will most likely take a number of months.
Think About Small Claims Court
As the very last option, you could raise your case in the small claims court. This is if your claim for compensation is rejected and you really think that it’s unfair and unjust. This is going to mean that you need legal advice and there will no doubt be legal costs involved. So, this means it might not be the best route to go down for everyone.
At Saffron Autos, 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.
This will not only ensure your safety but check that your tyres will not have their service life reduced by bad alignment.
So if you’re in Saffron Walden give us as a call today to book your appointment.