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Road Condition Caused My Accident, Can I Claim?

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 13 Jan 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Road Conditions Caused My Crash Road

Q.

While riding my motorbike at 15mph preparing to pull in and stop, I was thrown from my bike, what is known as highsiding. After the smash I had a broken coller bone, as well as a few other injuries. My motorbike suffered quite a lot of damage due to this, and I am now out of work for some time.

I found the road surface to be in bad condition and need to know if I can claim on this from my local authority?

(Mr jack lennie, 11 December 2008)

A.

Every week there are numerous accidents that occur in the UK due to badly maintained road surfaces or other issues related to the road condition. Many people who are hurt and who suffer loss, either physically or professionally, do not know whether they are able to make a claim against a local authority in this case. In general the answer is yes, you can claim against a local authority if you truly believe that the road surface was to blame for your accident, however, there are a number of important processes involved in doing so.

One of the most important tasks you should carry out is to see if there are any witnesses who can verify that the road conditions were poor and led to your accident. As you've stated that you had a broken collar bone and a few other injuries, it's unlikely you were in any state to truly take in the environment, so these witnesses could prove to be fundamental in any claim you make. If you or anyone there was able to take photographs of the scene and especially the offending road condition, this may be integral to claiming against a local authority for poor road surfaces. These photographs are even more successful if they have some way of showing the size of the defect. For example, if there is a hole in the road, try and ensure there's a photo of something next to it in order to show the size of the hole.

If you can provide some evidence that the road condition was the mitigating factor in your accident and that you have suffered physical trauma, loss of earnings and of course the loss of your bike due to this, you should speak to your insurance company. They will give you further advice, but will generally tell you that it's your choice to then contact the local authority and provide to them photographic evidence of the road surface and a full report of your accident.

The local authority will investigate these claims and may already be aware of an issue in the area where your accident occurred or perhaps will know of a reason why the road could have been in poor condition that day. They're unlikely to let you know this of course unless they are approached by a solicitor.

If you're able to afford a solicitor you should get one as soon as possible and seek further advice from them. If you can't afford one, you can speak to your local Citizen's Advice Bureau and see if they can provide you with legal representation. Your solicitor will seek evidence from the local authority that they have maintained the road surface to the best of their ability in the area where your crash occurred. Also, they may be able to obtain inspection records from them which should show dates of when the road was last maintained. In your situation, this is possibly the best course of action as a solicitor may be able to help you when your accident has been sometime in the past and getting hold of evidence is difficult.

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I've been involved in accident on A444 where road wasn't de iced or anything. It was really slippery. Although I kept my speed down and my distance someone in front of me broke rapidly and all off the cars started to break unfortunately it was so icy that although I started breaking far before car in front of me I still hit it. Can I blame road maintenance? 10 minutes after me there was same accident. I took contact numbers to those involved and they agreed that it was poor conditions.
Roksi - 13-Jan-17 @ 1:16 PM
nix - Your Question:
My son was involved in an incident on the motorway during a freak hailstorm in february. This resulted in the car spinning 360° and hitting the central reservation. Numerous other vehicles did likewise ,as due to the rapid and unexpected layer of surface ice, there were no warning signs in place. Had it been at an earlier time there would have undoubtedly been a pile-up.He now finds himself in a position whereby the highways commision are potentially seeking damages and so currently he has lost his no claims bonus. Could you please advise us as to how the highways agency will be able to ascertain which vehicles did what damage and how long this process is likely to take?

Our Response:
We can't say how long this will take, but the Highways Agency may have camera footage of the incident and will also rely on any police reports taken at the time of the incident.
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 11-Jul-16 @ 12:13 PM
My son was involved in an incident on the motorway during a freak hailstorm in february. This resulted in the car spinning 360° and hitting the central reservation. Numerous other vehicles did likewise ,as due to the rapid and unexpected layer of surface ice, there were no warning signs in place. Had it been at an earlier time there would have undoubtedly been a pile-up.He now finds himself in a position whereby the highways commision are potentially seeking damages and so currently he has lost his no claims bonus. Could you please advise us as to how the highways agency will be able to ascertain which vehicles did what damage and how long this process is likely to take?
nix - 8-Jul-16 @ 7:43 PM
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