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Claiming from the council

webboowebboo Posts: 2,855
edited June 2017 in Road general
Anyone had experience of claiming for injuries resulting from a crash due to an imperfect road surface from your local council.
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  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Can you expect a 'perfect' road surface ?
  • debelidebeli Posts: 582
    I have no experience. I have crashed many, many times over the decades. Sometimes I have been unhurt; sometimes I have been injured. Sometimes the bike has had a wallop; sometimes it has escaped injury.

    On occasion the reason, beyond my own momentary inattention, might have been ascribed to a poor road surface.

    These things happen.

    Life is full of such incidents. I am not sure why someone would want to pursue another party in an attempt to attach blame to them and generate some financial benefit.

    To my mind it is slightly egregious and gauche even to consider the action. The local council is not a 'baddie' in a cowboy film. It is the local-government body that attempts to manage local finances to the wider benefit of the community. What a strange instinct it is to see them as a party from whom to squeeze money after falling off a bicycle. I may be wrong.
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,655
    Simply put, first you have to show the road was dangerous, then the council will be able to rely on their 'reasonable' defence.

    (Complex, it's sections 41 and 58 of the Highways Act 1980).

    So, how big, what happened, how long has it been there, what type of road?
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  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,655
    debeli wrote:

    Life is full of such incidents. I am not sure why someone would want to pursue another party in an attempt to attach blame to them and generate some financial benefit.

    To my mind it is slightly egregious and gauche even to consider the action. The local council is not a 'baddie' in a cowboy film. It is the local-government body that attempts to manage local finances to the wider benefit of the community. What a strange instinct it is to see them as a party from whom to squeeze money after falling off a bicycle. I may be wrong.

    Well, an injury isn't just a suck it up snowflake type thing. And, if he has financial losses arising out of actual negligence, why shouldn't he?
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  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,267
    You need to check if the road damage is recent/old and had been reported and therefore it is council negligence no to fix it.

    Bear in mind they are obliged to fix a pothole if it is at least 40 mm deep, so rutted road surface and shallow holes are not their problem...
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,928
    debeli wrote:

    Life is full of such incidents. I am not sure why someone would want to pursue another party in an attempt to attach blame to them and generate some financial benefit.

    To my mind it is slightly egregious and gauche even to consider the action. The local council is not a 'baddie' in a cowboy film. It is the local-government body that attempts to manage local finances to the wider benefit of the community. What a strange instinct it is to see them as a party from whom to squeeze money after falling off a bicycle. I may be wrong.

    Well, an injury isn't just a suck it up snowflake type thing. And, if he has financial losses arising out of actual negligence, why shouldn't he?

    Yepp, we have no idea what is behind seeking the advice so surely we should not be going down the "Suck it up" route...well, not for at least another hour or so :-)

    Be interesting to see the high level detail behind the query as I suspect that many who have been through the process can provide informal guidance on the chances, best options, etc. I would have thought you have to start with being able to prove negligence in some way and, as Ugo states, that the council might have been reasonably expected to fix the defect before the incident (don't forget that even large potholes only become a council liability after accurate reporting and/or maintenance inspection, etc.).
  • arthur_scrimshawarthur_scrimshaw Posts: 2,602
    You also need to report the road issue that caused your crash, it will look bad if you try to claim but failed to warn the council of the problem and give them the chance to put it right before someone else gets hurt.
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,655
    He should report it, of course. Because that's a contemporaneous evidential plus. And may prevent risk to others.

    It's also important, if possible, to get some photos done asap.
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  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,855
    Thanks for the replies. The road surface in question is on a minor road at the top of a blind summit and the tarmac is raised like mini sleeping policeman. While I was waiting for a rescue a couple of guys stopped to offer asssistance and it was one of them that pointed it out saying it had nearly caused him to crash, I thought I'd hit a pothole at first.
    This will cost me least 2 days earnings as well damaged clothing, handle bar tape, scuffed saddle etc.
    I have some photos, I will probably go take some more when I feel better able to drive.
  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 5,740
    never ride faster than you can see to be safe.
  • ZMC888ZMC888 Posts: 292
    I complained about smashing a wheel and ruining a new Conti GP4000 on a pot hole. Reported where it was and that the road (country lane) was cracking due to water damage and would need repairing soon. I detailed the exact places by GPS and with a local OS map.

    I got a short response from the local CC engineer.

    1. We don't care about cyclists - if the road is passable with care (eg a car) screw you.
    2. We don't care about country lanes, only main roads as we don't have enough money to maintain country roads as main roads are important for the economy.
    3. You can't simply tell us about something like frost or water damage or a road that might need surface dressing or drainage unblocking before it looks like a lunar landscape, that takes too much of our precious time.
    4. You may ONLY mark on a map where there is a pot hole on our council website. No other type of damage is acceptable to be reported. No other kind of road than an A or B road.

    In short they don't care, you'd have to take them to court. You'd probably lose, they'll just say it was 'passable with care' and that you didn't use enough care and attention. Bad luck if you didn't know the road and some giant pot hole is under a puddle. :roll:
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    That was their actual words?

    Really?
    I don't do smileys.

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  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,928
    never ride faster than you can see to be safe.
    There's a lot to be said for this . I am often left slack-jawed following riders around blind corners on single track lanes who seem to base their speed on an assumption that they can somehow see around the corner and it is safe...the problem comes when they meet some simple obstruction like a stick or rock, a pheasant/sheep or, worst of them all, a road user coming the other way who is also taking the same approach!
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,855
    In this case if I'd been walking I would tripped over this lump, it was that hidden.
  • thistle_(mbnw)thistle_(mbnw) Posts: 4,041
    My experience? You'll probably have to take it to court before you'll get anything.

    They will say that they have inspected the road as per their (internally) agreed schedule and it was in perfect condition on the last occasion, even though it probably wasn't.
    Even if you produce hard evidence that the road has been in that state for a long time (e.g. previous letters complaining about it) they will just say they never received the complaints even if they are hand delivered or send by recorded delivery.

    I've not yet tried taking a council to court for anything - I'm not sure how much is involved and don't have the time for the hassle. I suspect if you did try, the pothole would get repaired quickly.

    From what the OP described though, it sounds like someone has already repaired/reinstated something and left it proud of the surface? Around here don't consider it a pothole/defect because it's above the surface, not below (holes don't stick out above the ground).
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,855
    Just googling crash caused by road defect there seems to be a few no win no fee solicitors who deal with these cases as long as you have injured your self. It seems to fall in to the same category as tripping over raised paving slabs.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,050
    Many claims are made by car drivers against councils for damage to expensive alloy wheels and suspension components and get compensation. Why not a cyclist claiming damage too? Ask on car forums how they went about it. It's cheaper for councils to pay out on claims than repair roads/go to court.
  • reacherreacher Posts: 416
    webboo wrote:
    In this case if I'd been walking I would tripped over this lump, it was that hidden.

    In that case you have learned a lesson then, slow down when you can't see what's ahead
    And suck it up as a hard lesson and stop trying to jump on the claim off the council gravy train that you and others seem to think that tripping over stuff on the road or pavement requires a substantial reward funded by the taxpayer, do you realy think that with all the thousands upon thousands of miles of road and pavements in the UK that every single yard is going to be billiard table flat ? If you want perfect flat stay on the turbo your completely unrealistic to expect every yard of road to be perfect.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,855
    reacher wrote:
    webboo wrote:
    In this case if I'd been walking I would tripped over this lump, it was that hidden.

    In that case you have learned a lesson then, slow down when you can't see what's ahead
    And suck it up as a hard lesson and stop trying to jump on the claim off the council gravy train that you and others seem to think that tripping over stuff on the road or pavement requires a substantial reward funded by the taxpayer, do you realy think that with all the thousands upon thousands of miles of road and pavements in the UK that every single yard is going to be billiard table flat ? If you want perfect flat stay on the turbo your completely unrealistic to expect every yard of road to be perfect.
    Are you such [email protected] in real life.
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,655
    reacher wrote:
    webboo wrote:
    In this case if I'd been walking I would tripped over this lump, it was that hidden.

    In that case you have learned a lesson then, slow down when you can't see what's ahead
    And suck it up as a hard lesson and stop trying to jump on the claim off the council gravy train that you and others seem to think that tripping over stuff on the road or pavement requires a substantial reward funded by the taxpayer, do you realy think that with all the thousands upon thousands of miles of road and pavements in the UK that every single yard is going to be billiard table flat ? If you want perfect flat stay on the turbo your completely unrealistic to expect every yard of road to be perfect.

    At what level of intervention/fault do you consider that you get off the gravy train and onto the justice train?
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  • reacherreacher Posts: 416
    webboo wrote:
    reacher wrote:
    webboo wrote:
    In this case if I'd been walking I would tripped over this lump, it was that hidden.

    In that case you have learned a lesson then, slow down when you can't see what's ahead
    And suck it up as a hard lesson and stop trying to jump on the claim off the council gravy train that you and others seem to think that tripping over stuff on the road or pavement requires a substantial reward funded by the taxpayer, do you realy think that with all the thousands upon thousands of miles of road and pavements in the UK that every single yard is going to be billiard table flat ? If you want perfect flat stay on the turbo your completely unrealistic to expect every yard of road to be perfect.
    Are you such [email protected] in real life.

    now don't go getting all upset an all an start name calling just because i told you that its morally wrong to claim for something like that. Tell us all what you expect the roads to be like in this country then, your saying they should all be perfectly smooth an flat and that the council should have teams of men an trucks out doing this so that you can ride around with your eyes half closed in a daydream ?
    Have you stopped to consider for one moment that if everyone did what you did an claimed every time they came off a bike the country would be paying out non stop to you people ?
    Don't you think we have more important things to spend money on in this country than making sure every inch of road is suitable for people who cant ride a bike without falling off at what amounts to in your own words a bit of a rise in the road ?
    With a bit of luck you an all the others that try this will get nothing an the money saved can go to paying for services like hospitals and other things that are essential instead of lining your pocket and costing the taxpayer a fortune in forcing the councils to pay you and others like you.
  • reacherreacher Posts: 416
    reacher wrote:
    webboo wrote:
    In this case if I'd been walking I would tripped over this lump, it was that hidden.

    In that case you have learned a lesson then, slow down when you can't see what's ahead
    And suck it up as a hard lesson and stop trying to jump on the claim off the council gravy train that you and others seem to think that tripping over stuff on the road or pavement requires a substantial reward funded by the taxpayer, do you realy think that with all the thousands upon thousands of miles of road and pavements in the UK that every single yard is going to be billiard table flat ? If you want perfect flat stay on the turbo your completely unrealistic to expect every yard of road to be perfect.

    At what level of intervention/fault do you consider that you get off the gravy train and onto the justice train?

    none, learn to ride a bike, keep your eyes open and stop trying to get money that needs to be spent on things that are essential not people scraping theirs knees because they fell off the bike on a road they did not need to ride on, you want smooth road then go and find one an go up an down that particular piece of road, like bike riders have never fallen off bikes an all of a sudden you do so you now need to get a reward for doing so ?
    Jesus, wish i had known about this particular wheeze when i was a kid, would be a zillionaire by now
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    webboo wrote:
    and the tarmac is raised like mini sleeping policeman. While I was waiting for a rescue a couple of guys stopped to offer asssistance and it was one of them that pointed it out saying it had nearly caused him to crash, I thought I'd hit a pothole at first.

    was it intentionally like that as some kind of traffic calming? a few places round here have them, kind of like rumble strips, usually on the entrance to villages or where the speed limit changes.
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  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,855
    reacher wrote:
    webboo wrote:
    reacher wrote:
    webboo wrote:
    In this case if I'd been walking I would tripped over this lump, it was that hidden.

    In that case you have learned a lesson then, slow down when you can't see what's ahead
    And suck it up as a hard lesson and stop trying to jump on the claim off the council gravy train that you and others seem to think that tripping over stuff on the road or pavement requires a substantial reward funded by the taxpayer, do you realy think that with all the thousands upon thousands of miles of road and pavements in the UK that every single yard is going to be billiard table flat ? If you want perfect flat stay on the turbo your completely unrealistic to expect every yard of road to be perfect.
    Are you such [email protected] in real life.

    now don't go getting all upset an all an start name calling just because i told you that its morally wrong to claim for something like that. Tell us all what you expect the roads to be like in this country then, your saying they should all be perfectly smooth an flat and that the council should have teams of men an trucks out doing this so that you can ride around with your eyes half closed in a daydream ?
    Have you stopped to consider for one moment that if everyone did what you did an claimed every time they came off a bike the country would be paying out non stop to you people ?
    Don't you think we have more important things to spend money on in this country than making sure every inch of road is suitable for people who cant ride a bike without falling off at what amounts to in your own words a bit of a rise in the road ?
    With a bit of luck you an all the others that try this will get nothing an the money saved can go to paying for services like hospitals and other things that are essential instead of lining your pocket and costing the taxpayer a fortune in forcing the councils to pay you and others like you.
    So the money I already pay in tax, council tax and national insurance and vat goes where. I pay my council tax in the vain it actually goes in to my local infrastructure. So if no one bothers to hold the local council to their statutory duty to maintain the roads why should they bother
    Could you explain how no one making a claim for negligence against their local council benefits the NHS while your at it.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,855
    Chris Bass wrote:
    webboo wrote:
    and the tarmac is raised like mini sleeping policeman. While I was waiting for a rescue a couple of guys stopped to offer asssistance and it was one of them that pointed it out saying it had nearly caused him to crash, I thought I'd hit a pothole at first.

    was it intentionally like that as some kind of traffic calming? a few places round here have them, kind of like rumble strips, usually on the entrance to villages or where the speed limit changes.
    No it wasn't for traffic calming, it was probably due to the council going with the cheapest tender for the road surface not bothering to check the quality. Then it gets deformed by heavy farm vehicles.
    You only have to look at quality of surface dressing, they are supposed to bed the clippings in. But don't bother leaving if for vehicles to it for then. So it a nightmare on a bike.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,050
    One should not expect perfect flat smooth roads. One can expect to ride along a reasonable road surface free of major defects caused by negligent councils not bothering to repair faults in their infrastructure to such an extent that it causes you to be thrown from a bike and sustain an injury that would have been avoidable had that defect not existed or had been repaired. There are some really poor roads out there and I expect them to get worse not better. Our council marks them with white paint and gives them numbers. They've been like that do long the markings are now in the hole. Shocking.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,855
    reacher wrote:
    reacher wrote:
    webboo wrote:
    In this case if I'd been walking I would tripped over this lump, it was that hidden.

    In that case you have learned a lesson then, slow down when you can't see what's ahead
    And suck it up as a hard lesson and stop trying to jump on the claim off the council gravy train that you and others seem to think that tripping over stuff on the road or pavement requires a substantial reward funded by the taxpayer, do you realy think that with all the thousands upon thousands of miles of road and pavements in the UK that every single yard is going to be billiard table flat ? If you want perfect flat stay on the turbo your completely unrealistic to expect every yard of road to be perfect.

    At what level of intervention/fault do you consider that you get off the gravy train and onto the justice train?

    none, learn to ride a bike, keep your eyes open and stop trying to get money that needs to be spent on things that are essential not people scraping theirs knees because they fell off the bike on a road they did not need to ride on, you want smooth road then go and find one an go up an down that particular piece of road, like bike riders have never fallen off bikes an all of a sudden you do so you now need to get a reward for doing so ?
    Jesus, wish i had known about this particular wheeze when i was a kid, would be a zillionaire by now
    Yes maybe we should all stop Cycling then folks like me wouldn't crash and have to spend 6 hours in an already over burden A & E department having X-rays and CT scans at god knows what cost. Maybe we should start charging people who need the NHS when the injury is their own fault and use that money for the roads.
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    Claiming for this is fu**ing embarrassing in my opinion.
    You chose to ride, you knew if you fell off you could miss work.
    I came off on ice a few years ago and broke both hands. It didnt even cross my mind to make a claim and im self employed and missed a hell of a lot longer than 2 days. I just rode 10 miles home and took myself down the hospital.
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    Have to say I disagree with most of this thread. The roads have long since passed any sembalence of what could be considered 'reasonable', I'm fairly certain that things will remain in that sorry state until the councils start to realise that poor repair costs more money than actually maintaining the things. Claiming for damage caused will probably help move things along, I'm all for it.
  • reacherreacher Posts: 416
    For christs sake just man up sunshine, theirs an enormous amount of money going on people like you making claims that is needed on more important stuff like essential services as proved in Manchester, watch the road even get off if your insure I'm not against genuine claims but a tumble ? Really, are you that desperate for compensation for a scraped knee, every kid that rides a bikes comes off at some stage, it's part of being on a bike, sounds to me like you had nothing more than a scraped knee an suddenly you feel like you should get a few thousand quid to help you get over it, ffs i'v had road rash you wouldn't believe an got on the bike the next day
    Maybe you should consider putting stabilisers on your bike son !
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