Your chance of claiming compensation for damage to your car, bike or other vehicle often depends on whether a pothole has already been reported.
Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980 provides councils with a statutory defence if they can show that reasonable care was taken to secure the road and that it wasn’t dangerous to traffic.
This means highway and local authorities can often defend claims if they weren’t aware of the pothole or if they had in place a reasonable system of maintaining and inspecting the road.
For example, if the pothole appeared recently after the authority’s last inspection and no one had yet reported it as a hazard, you may struggle with your pothole damage claim as the authority took reasonable care to check the road.
But, if the local authority knew about the pothole and didn’t repair it, or if it didn’t follow road maintenance guidelines, you have a stronger chance of claiming compensation for pothole damage and repairs.
As it can be difficult to prove that the local or highway authority should have fixed the known hazard, it is important for all road users – including cyclists – to report any potholes they see in the road that could be a hazard to them or others.