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Hit a Pothole? If your vehicle is damaged who pays?

If you drive in and around Ashington 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.


Tyre Damage by pothole


Did you know that you may be able to claim compensation if your vehicle is damaged when you drive over a pothole? Take a few minutes to read this weeks article and you’ll not only find out what action you will need to take to ensure your vehicle is OK but if damage has been caused.

The good news is that you may not have to pay for car repairs if the damage is caused by a pothole. This is sure to be a relief for drivers that seem to be surrounded by pothole infested highways.


Flat Tyre

So, let’s find out more about the compensation process and how you can get started if you ever find yourself in this position.


Take Photos and Notes

For any compensation claim, you will need to gather evidence. The best thing you can do after your car is damaged by a pothole is to take a lot of photographs. This is going to be evidence that you need to prove your vehicle was damaged by the pothole and that you deserve compensation from the relevant authority who is in charge of the road. Make sure that you take photographs of your vehicle as soon as possible, showing the damage caused.

You will also need to take photographs of the pothole too. This includes ones that show how deep it is and the size of it. It’s also good to take a few shots proving what road it’s on. This will make sure that the relevant authority knows it’s their road.


Find Out the Repair Cost

Before the relevant authority is going to process a compensation claim, they will need to know the repair costs of your vehicle. At Cavendish Motor Company we can carry out a vehicle health check and see what the repairs are going to be. Take note and keep all the correspondence; this is going to be provided to the relevant authority later on.


Tyre and Alignment Prices


Select the Right Authority to Contact

There is going to be one authority that owns or manages the road that the pothole is on. This will be the organisation that you contact for compensation for the damage your car has sustained. So, to work out what authority you need to contact, think about what road you were driving on. If it was a normal street or road around your hometown or in a city, you will want to contact the local council. Their contact details should be freely available on their website.

If you were driving on a major road or motorway, it’s not going to be the local council that you need. Instead, it’s going to be a national organisation. In England, Highways England is going to be responsible for potholes. In Scotland, you will need to send your compensation claim to Transport Scotland. There is also Traffic Wales and the Department for Infrastructure for Northern Ireland.


Wait for the result

Once you’ve submitted all of your evidence and contacted the relevant authority, it’s time to sit back and wait. Remember there is probably a waiting list and you will have to join it. If things go smoothly, you could receive their findings within a few weeks, but it’s likely to take a couple of months.


Consider the Small Claims Court

In the event that the relevant authority rejects your claim, you can take it one step further. You can present your evidence at the small claims court. You will have to pay legal fees here if you lose and you may have to consider getting legal advice first. While this may be a way for you to receive the compensation that you think that you deserve, it may also cost you more if you lose. So careful consideration is required before taking this route.


Your Safety

At Cavendish Motor Company, 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.


Correct Wheel Alignment Saves Money


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 Ashington give us as a call today to book your appointment on 01670 201 090.