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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone suggest who I should contact about a large pothole that I believe had damaged my Golf ? I hit the hole on a sharp bend, and have now got a high freqency vibration through the car (not the type of wheel out of balance vibration) - I am off with my camera and tape measure this morning before I report it.

Any help/advice or experience greatly appreciated.

Cheers
 

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I heard from a friend up here who had 2 burst tyres and two bent alloys caused by a huge pothole this story.

He called the council and put in a claim. The council refused to pay out as they said that no-one had previously alerted them to the whole so they were not liable. This sounds reasonable as they need to have shown to be negligentand not fixed a hole they were aware of.

So, what you might want to consider doing is having someone phone them anonymously to tell tham about it before you call them [;)]

The guy I know had to get his insurance to foot the bill as it was 2 tyres, 2 alloys and a complete laser alignment check etc.
 

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I heard from a friend up here who had 2 burst tyres and two bent alloys caused by a huge pothole this story.

He called the council and put in a claim. The council refused to pay out as they said that no-one had previously alerted them to the whole so they were not liable. This sounds reasonable as they need to have shown to be negligentand not fixed a hole they were aware of.

So, what you might want to consider doing is having someone phone them anonymously to tell tham about it before you call them [;)]

The guy I know had to get his insurance to foot the bill as it was 2 tyres, 2 alloys and a complete laser alignment check etc.
It cannot be reported anonymously it has to be a full report. Not all councils operate this policy either.
 

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I heard from a friend up here who had 2 burst tyres and two bent alloys caused by a huge pothole this story.

He called the council and put in a claim. The council refused to pay out as they said that no-one had previously alerted them to the whole so they were not liable. This sounds reasonable as they need to have shown to be negligentand not fixed a hole they were aware of.

So, what you might want to consider doing is having someone phone them anonymously to tell tham about it before you call them [;)]

The guy I know had to get his insurance to foot the bill as it was 2 tyres, 2 alloys and a complete laser alignment check etc.
Your friend was misguided by the council on this one. Under the Highways Act 1980, the local council are under a duty to maintain the state of the highway, to a reasonable degree. Most councils fulfil this duty by having an inspection policy, such that they inspect the roads at certain frequencies, and repair any defects that are noted. The frequency of these inspections is determined by the type of road, and how busy it is.

It is not uncommon for councils to try and fob off members of the public with all sorts of BS to avoid paying out - best thing to do is to take photos of the pothole with a measurement of how deep it is, and send them to the council - bear in mind that if the pothole is less than 2" in reality you are unlikely to get anywhere.

If they will not pay, request confirmation of when the raod was last inspected to fulfil the duties under s41 Highways Act, and for a copy of the inspection report - if they cannot produce one, it has likely not been inspected, and the council should therefore pay up (although if the road in question was very rural in nature, this becomes more of a grey area).

Hope this is of some help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here is a picture of the hole 80cm x 35cm and upto 15cm deep, more of a mini quarry than a pothole!!!!!!!!

The car has got something wrong with it since hitting the hole, symptoms are similar to a worn bearing problem. Dealer will be checking it out tomorrow

Posted Image
 

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Here is a picture of the hole 80cm x 35cm and upto 15cm deep, more of a mini quarry than a pothole!!!!!!!!

The car has got something wrong with it since hitting the hole, symptoms are similar to a worn bearing problem. Dealer will be checking it out tomorrow
That's insane. That's not just a pothole, that's a major danger to road users.

Good luck with your claim.
 

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Looks like there has been a repair or some roadworks already carried out on that spot? Isn't there some legislation that says that utilities (gas, waterboard, etc) have to make good the road to an acceptable level when carrying out roadworks? Maybe the council can pass the bill on to whoever, did the works - unless of course it was the council themselves!

Harry
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the support guys - I will see what the garage have to say tomorrow - I have emailed the picture to the highways agency and they read it today. My conscience was playing up, especially if a motorcyclist was to hit it. If it is not fixed in the morning, a call to the local plod may be needed and bring it to their attention - another picture below - the tape measure shows 40cm wide..........

Posted Image
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have just got back from the VW dealer.

I have a alloy wheel that has a 'flattened' inner rim and a tyre that needs replacing.

A new wheel, new tyre, and labour comes to a total of ?489, plus I will likely need the car tracking re-aligned afterwards.

The council have put it in the hands of their insurance department, but already I can see that they are looking for 'get outs'. The hole still has not been fixed and if anything is getting bigger. I am assuming the worst here and must assume that they will say that because they did not know about the hole, it is not their issue. Is this really an end to it? Surely I have some comeback. Would a small claims court be a waste of time?

Any further help , muchly appreciated. I wil ask to check that the road had been inspected within their guidlines
 

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Surely it's the council's responsibility to make sure that these holes don't appear in the first place, regardless of whether or not they knew about the hole beforehand.

As another poster said, it also looks like they may have tried to repair that section before (poorly) and so you might get them to pay up on the basis that it wasn't repaired to an acceptable standard.

Might be worth getting in touch with a solicitor.
 

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Done a bit of diging on a forum i use to find this leter I saw a while
back. this letter was used after the council refused to pay out
for damage caused by a pot hole and resulted in a u-turn by the council
and paying out. Hope you don't need to use it tho....

Dear Ms x,

Your ref: xx/123

Thank you for your letter of 07/xx/05
declining my claim for compensation in respect of damage to my
vehicle.

You will note that I said in my original letter of 12/xx/05
that, should you dispute my claim then I will pursue it via the civil courts for
the full amount including any subsequent costs I incur for repairing damage to
the alloy wheel.

I believe that I am able to demonstrate, through
photographic and independent witness evidence, that my loss and damage arose as
a result of negligence on the part of the City Council. Your letter of 07/xx/05
advises that ?the area? was last inspected on 14/xx/04 whereupon actionable
defects would have been repaired as necessary. I understand, and have
independent witnesses who confirm, that the defect was, in fact, present for
some considerable time prior to this date.

Accordingly, I am advising you
that I am to seek compensation via civil legal action in the county court.
Whilst I was prepared to accept compensation of ?157.99, this claim will now
include the additional cost of repairing damage to the alloy wheel, plus any
subsequent costs I incur through pursuance of this claim.

You advise that
?documentation to support the Council?s decision is available if required?. I do
require this documentation and should be grateful if you would forward it to the
above address. Also, as I have a general right of access under the terms of the
Freedom of Information Act, I would like to make a request for information.
Please provide me with paper photocopies of any minutes of meetings,
correspondence, miscellaneous collections of papers, e-mails, personal
notebooks, as well as prints of any electronic files that contain information
pertaining to either my claim or road maintenance of xxx Avenue and xxx
Road.

Your letter also states that the Council is reliant upon random
ad-hoc inspections and/or public notification to identify defects that occur
between routine inspections. I would like to advise you that there are several
further sunken drainage grates on xxx Avenue and xxx Road that are in a
dangerous state and require repair.

As a final offer before I seek
recovery through the court system, I am willing to accept an amount of ?202.64
as full and final settlement of my claim. This is represented by the cost of the
burst tyre at ?157.99 and the cost of repairing the alloy wheel at
?44.65.

Either send me ?202.64, or provide the requested documentation
within 20 working days so that I am able to submit the appropriate forms to the
county court. Whilst I do not wish to enter into further written communication,
should you wish to discuss the matter, you may telephone me during the day on
xxx

Yours sincerely,

A tax-payer
 

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Good Letter!

It's the freedom of information act bit that stung them I bet. The amount of time they would spend collating all your information would have far exceeded your claim amount so I guess they caved in. I know from the place that I used to work that all requests for information under the act had to passed to the Information Officer and if appropriate documents presented within a fixed timescale. Failure to do so would have meant big penalties for the company concerned.....
 

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That letter is not bad - on the documents you would need to request specifically for the inspection records of the highway in question - ask for a period of 12 months prior to your accident.

Also worth having a look at this letter for some ideas - http://www.dca.gov.uk/civil/procrules_fin/contents/protocols/prot_pic.htm#protannex-1 - its actually for personal injury claims but could easily be amended to suit.

Could be worth speaking to the CAB - I must admit I doubt a solicitor would help, or if he did, would cost more than you are looking to recover - this is because you would not get it on a 'no win, no fee' unless the accident damage was in excess of ?5000 (this is the limit at which legal costs become recoverable if you win, in addition to the amount claimed).

Good luck mate - keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just thought I would re-awaken this thread with an update.

It is Good news as well :)

I received a letter from the council yesterday to confirm that they will cover the cost of the new Wheel and re-fitting of the tyre. I did try and get some 'expenses' out of them, for running back and forth to the dealer and fitter etc - but they declined that. Not really bothered about that though, as nearly ?300 back in the bank is a nice easter present.

Goes to show that these claims can be won. I took lots and lots of photos, stuck them on a CD and then sent them off with the claim form along with a covering letter, explaining how I believe I had also done my bit - such as negotiating a 10% discount with the dealer for the wheel etc. Basically tried to show I was not taking the p**s. Also mentioned that if my claim was declined then I would be prepared to take it further.
 
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