On the 31st January 2013, it was reported in the Manchester Evening News that councils in Greater Manchester have had to foot an £8million compensation bill due to the poor quality of roads and pot holes in the area.
The recent bad weather and new spending cuts are really stretching local authorities, meaning that roads are been left unattended to.
Pot holes can pose as a potential hazard for road users; this is especially so for cyclists and motorcyclists. If someone is riding a motorbike/bicycle and they hit a deep pot hole it could cause them to fall off resulting in serious injuries. There have been cases where motorcyclists have suffered from severe head injuries, fractured bones, and back injuries following a fall due to a pot hole in the road. This is simply unacceptable. Road users pay road license tax, fuel duty tax, VAT on the fuel duty tax, congestion charges and parking fees; yet local council authorities continue to fail in their duty by keeping roads pot hole free.
A report by Which?, states that councils in England and Wales have paid out a staggering £22.8million to motorists who have made a compensation claim for an injury or car damage caused by poorly maintained roads. Not only are pot holes a danger to cyclists and motorbike riders, they can also increase the risk of other road traffic accidents and collisions, as some cars may aim to swerve out of the way of the larger pot holes to avoid such damage.
Express Solicitors have recently handled a case involving an injury sustained by a passenger, when a coach went over a large defect in the road. The coach driver warned the passengers of the defect in the road, as the company knew where it was from previous journeys. However, as the coach went over the hole our client was thrown out of his seat and landed on his back in the aisle. He sustained serious injuries that have had severe long-term health repercussions. The client was first offered a settlement of £35,000 and then £200,000 both of which Express Solicitors advised he turn down. A settlement was finally agreed on, following many medical examinations, totaling £770, 333.
It is the responsibility of local authorities and national bodies to ensure that roads and pavements are safe and free from defects that could cause possible harm. If authorities fail in their duty, they should be held liable for the damage and distress caused.
If you have suffered an injury, due to a defect in the road, please feel free to call Express Solicitors free of charge, to obtain free legal advice and help with your claim on 0800 158 5274.