Cyclist and Motorbike Pothole Injury Claims
Potholes can cause problems to all kinds of road users, and for cyclists and motorcyclists in particular, they can be incredibly dangerous.
Department for Transport figures for 2019, show ten cyclists died and 262 were badly maimed, as a result of potholes in our roads. One in seven 'motorcyclsts report being injured or their motorcycles damaged as a result of potholes.
If you have been injured after colliding with a pothole, on any road, including motorways, whilst on your ‘bike, contact MG Legal’s expert road traffic accident solicitors, for an informative, friendly, and no obligation chat.
No win no fee accident compensation solicitors
It’s no secret that our roads are in an awful state of repair, with
cycling groups fearing that they are more likely to suffer from pothole accidents now than ever before as councils face harsh budget cuts, despite there being no decrease in the council tax we all pay.
Car drivers, cyclists and motorbike riders, are having to spend £1.7 billion per year to fix the damage caused to their cars, cycles, and motorbikes, as a result of damage caused by potholes, and uneven road surfaces. Analysis of government figures by the AA found that pothole-related accidents resulting in injuries were far more likely to involve a cyclist or biker than any other kind of crash.
In 2017, 545 vehicles were involved in injury crashes where the road surface was a contributory factor. Nearly half of those vehicles, 45 percent, were bicycles or motorcycles. At MG Legal, our team of personal injury experts believe that you shouldn’t have to pay upfront costs, and listen to legal jargon, if you have been injured as a result of another’s negligence. MG Legal’s expert team of personal injury solicitors have a success rate in excess of 99% and specialise in road traffic accidents, with many of our clients being injured motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Potholes causing road traffic accidents
Potholes and other road defects, such as bumps, cracks or changes in the street surface, can cause serious injury to road users, particularly cyclists and motorcyclists.
A slight knock, or bumpy ride as a result of riding over a deep pothole can throw you from your bike, causing serious injury, and damage to your ‘bike. If you have been injured by as a result of colliding with a pothole, uneven road surface, or sudden change in the road surface, then, other than being annoyed, injured, and devastated at your pride and joy being damaged, you’ll want to know who you can pursue in order to get your cycle, or motorbike repaired, and if you are injured, make a claim for personal injury compensation, damage to your cycling wear, and any earnings you have lost, by being off work. So, who do you bring a claim against, if you have been injured by colliding with a pothole? Well, quite simply, your local council is responsible for the maintenance and repair of all local walkways, roads and paths. Wherever you live it is your local council’s duty to ensure roads and pavements in their constituency are kept free of defects so that cyclists, motorcyclists, and other road users can travel safely. Maintenance of motorways and other major roads are the responsibility of the Highways Agency. If potholes along a public highway render the road unsafe for cyclists, motorcyclists, or passing vehicles, a notice can be served on the Highway Authority, requiring it to repair the road. Such a notice can be served under section 56 of the Highways Act.
Subject to Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980, the Highway Authority has Duty to maintain highways maintainable at public expense.
Section 41 (1) of the Highways Act, makes the highway authority responsible for maintaining the highway, at the public expense.
Both your local council, and the Highways Authority must ensure that regular checks are carried out to identify any potential hazards and ensure any found defects are repaired within a reasonable amount of time. These timescales are determined by the relevant local council, and each road the council is responsible for is graded according to its importance in the area.
If the council or the Highways Agency fail in their duty to maintain and repair roads and pavements, causing you suffer an injury while riding your ‘bike, you can make a claim for the pain and suffering it has caused you.
Are there any Defences to a pothole claim?
As any injured party can bring a claim under Section 41 of the Highways Act, accusing the local council or highways authority of neglecting their statutory duty, and causing them to be injured, the council or highways authority can seek to rely upon a ‘Section 58 Defence.
The most salient part of Section 58 of the Highways Act offers a defence to the council or highways authority, if it can be proven, that the authority had taken such care as in the circumstances was reasonably required to secure that the part of the highway to which the action relates was not dangerous for traffic.
The Section 58 Defence will take into account the following:
The character of the highway, and the traffic which was reasonably to be expected to use it
the standard of maintenance appropriate for a highway of that character and used by such traffic;
the state of repair in which a reasonable person would have expected to find the highway; whether the highway authority knew, or could reasonably have been expected to know, that the condition of the part of the highway to which the action relates was likely to cause danger to users of the highway;
where the highway authority could not reasonably have been expected to repair that part of the highway before the cause of action arose, what warning notices of its condition had been displayed.
What evidence do I need to start a cycle accident claim?
The key things to remember when bringing a cycle accident claim are that the burden of establishing a breach of section 41 of the Highways Act rests with the claimant. Evidence relevant to ‘danger’ includes not just photographs and measurements but also location information, inspection history, existence or otherwise of complaints and the opinion of inspectors. A post-accident repair is not necessarily evidence of breach of duty.
And with the above in mind, what MG Legal’s cycle accident claims specialists do to ensure your claim for personal injury compensation has every chance of being successful, is to ask the council, and highways authority for their inspection records for the 12 months prior to your accident, check when their inspection took place, and then seek their most recent inspection records. You won’t be surprised to hear that the council and highways authority often miss potholes and defects on more than one of their inspections.
So, if you have been injured in a road traffic accident, where a pothole has thrown you from your ‘bike, or caused you injury some other way, you need, if possible, to take a measurement of the pothole, and ensure that your camera, or the mobile ‘phone you use to take the pictures, has a date stamp, to prove the date you were injured. Were there any witnesses to your road traffic accident? If so, take their names, addresses, email address and contact telephone number; our personal injury specialists may need to contact the witnesses to the incident if liability is in dispute. if there are any road markings, or points of interest nearby, take pictures of them, as our investigating agents may need them to find the pothole, when they go out to prepare a locus report.
How can MG Legal help with my pothole personal injury claim?
In a online world full of injury ‘lawyers’ and accident management companies, that aren’t appropriately qualified, MG Legal are fully-qualified solicitors, specialising in all things personal injury, with a wealth of knowledge of road traffic accidents, and ‘bike and 'cycle accident claims. Unlike other solicitors, we only offer our services in the fields of law we specialise in. If you instruct MG Legal’s personal injury experts in relation to a claim for personal injury, arising out of a collision with a pothole, then you’ll be one of the hundreds of clients we have successfully won compensation for, in very similar circumstances. Our solicitors are tried and tested, and our clients love us. Read our reviews. If we can help you, then you will not find a personal injury team who will put more work in on your matter.
How long do I have to make a claim for personal injury?
Usually, if you are injured in a road traffic accident, then you have three years from the date of the collision within which to pursue a claim for personal injury. The three year time limit is Subject to the Limitation Act 1980, but as with most things, there are exceptions, so, if you were under 18 years old at time of your road traffic accident, then you have three years from your 18th birthday within which to make a personal injury claim. Time limits may also differ if you are acting on behalf of someone with limited mental capacity, if you are acting as guardian or subject a lasting power of attorney. If you have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to contact one of MG Legal’s personal injury experts, here…
How much personal injury compensation will I receive?
Some of the awards MG Legal’s road traffic accident experts have obtained for our clients are as follows:
Hand Injuries – arguably cosmetically and functionally the most important parts of the upper limbs. The Judicial Studies Board recognises this, and with this in mind, the loss of a hand is valued not far short of the amount which one of our injured clients would be awarded for the loss of their arm. With this in mind, the total or effective loss of both hands, rendering your hands as almost no use, is valued at between £132,040 and £189,110. This sum is for the personal injury aspect of the claim, alone, and does not include the obviously large sums for lost earnings, care costs, house renovations and changes, travel expenses, and medical expenses.
Loss of a thumb – where the thumb has been injured to the degree where it is severed at the base, and whilst grafted back on, is rendered useless, or where completely amputated, which is, unfortunately an injury that the personal injury team at MG Legal see all too often in motorcycle accidents, then your claim for personal injury alone, is valued between £33,330 and £51,460.
Head injuries - ranging from fatal skull fractures and brain damage to minor concussion and cuts, are very common injuries to cyclists, and motorcyclists. Recent hospital data, from 2019, shows that over 40% of cyclists, and 45% of child cyclists, suffer head injuries, when they are involved in a road traffic accident. The numbers of motorcyclists injured is similar to that of cyclists.
For less severe head injuries where the injured cyclist or motorcyclist will have made a good recovery, enabling them to partake in normal family and work life, but some injury may remain, the same resulting in poor concentration, which could interfere with lifestyle leisure activities, compensatory awards range from £14,380 to £40,410.
Injuries to the legs – Moderate injuries to the legs, consisting of multiple fractures, or severe crushing injuries to one leg, then our personal injury specialists have seen awards of £26,050 to £36,790 awarded.
Facial Injuries – serious or multiple fractures to the nose, requiring an operation to enable the injured person to breath, and leaving a degree of cosmetic deformity, would attract an award of £9,990 to £21, 700. The figures are rather wide for any cosmetic injury as it is one of the areas the judiciary have decided that an injured persons age and sex have an impact on the amount of personal injury compensation. Younger people, in their early 30’s and younger, are usually awarded more compensation for injuries resulting in scarring and deformity.
All compensatory awards are given by the 15th Edition of the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines. Please note that the awards stated are for the personal injury element of your claim for personal injury, only, and if you have sustained any lost earnings, or it is noted that you will suffer lost earnings in future, this could dramatically increase your award for personal injury. Any award for lost earnings, care, medical treatment, and damage to your cycle of motorbike, are called special damages, and are calculated separately to your claim for personal injury.