Can I claim for a road accident caused by road conditions?
If you are the victim of a road traffic accident (RTA) which was caused by the condition of the road that you were travelling on, it may be possible to make a compensation claim against the local council. It is important to realise that local authorities are more likely to dispute liability following RTAs, and so it is vital to gather as much evidence as possible.
If your accident was caused by poor road conditions such as potholes, cracks in the road, obscured road signs or road surface damage, it is likely that you are eligible to make a claim and that the road owner, most often the local council, will be liable for the harm caused to you. Local authorities are legally obliged to maintain the safety of roads that are their responsibility, and if the authority has failed in this duty of care, they will be liable for negligence.
The responsibility to maintain safe lighting, road markings and adequate signage is also the responsibility of the road owner. If the road owner is found to be responsible for the suffering caused to you following the RTA, you will be eligible to claim for loss of earnings, physical and emotional damage and vehicle repair or replacement costs.
To build a strong case against the defendant, it will be necessary to provide evidence of the cause of your accident and the injuries and losses you have suffered. This should ideally include:
- Photographs of the road concerned, clearly marking any vulnerabilities, safety concerns or damage
- Copies of your medical records and treatment plans for any injuries sustained
- Estimates for the cost of repair for any car damage
- Written proof of loss of earnings, expenses and other financial losses that you have or are likely to suffer
- Contact details for any witnesses to your accident
To help support your claim, your solicitor will also gather maintenance records from the defendant to confirm any recent work or planned maintenance to the road in question.
Once the evidence has been collected, your solicitor will negotiate the highest compensation award possible on your behalf through demonstrating the liability of the defendant and the damages you have sustained.