A Guide To Making A Cycling Pothole Claim

Unfortunately, potholes are an increasingly common feature on British roads. They present a significant risk of harm to every road user, especially cyclists. If you collided with one and were injured, this guide explains if you could make a cycling pothole claim.

We start by explaining who could be liable for a pothole repair, as different parties have responsibilities for different roads. Additionally, it is important to note that not all cycling accidents that result from a pothole will mean a personal injury claim can be made. There are certain criteria that will need to be satisfied for you to have an eligible pothole injury claim. For this reason, we examine the criteria below so you can determine whether you could seek personal injury compensation.

After this, we detail the evidence that you can use to support a pothole claim against the party in charge. If you have decided to make a cycling pothole claim, you may be interested in how much compensation could be awarded if your case is successful. Therefore, we look at how it is calculated, taking into consideration the impacts of the injury, both physical and financial.

The article closes by explaining the benefits of a No Win No Fee agreement and how a solicitor representing you under this basis requires no up front fees.

You can call our dedicated team of advisors at any point while reading. They can assess your potential pothole accident claim for free. If eligible, they can connect you with a solicitor from our panel to get started. Find out how we can help by:

A pothole in the road.

Jump To A Section

  1. Can I Make A Cycling Pothole Claim?
  2. Who Is Liable For Pothole Injuries?
  3. How Do You Make A Cycling Pothole Claim?
  4. How Much Compensation For A Pothole Accident Claim?
  5. Why Make A No Win No Fee Cycling Pothole Claim?
  6. More Resources About Cyclist Compensation Claims

Can I Make A Cycling Pothole Claim?

The Highways Act 1980 applies a duty of care to those who have a responsibility for roads and highways, such as local authorities or those in charge of operating, maintaining and improving motorways and major A roads. These parties need to ensure the highway is maintained so it’s reasonably passable for ordinary traffic without danger caused by its condition

Local roads are mainly controlled by local authorities, although private roads may be managed by companies or individuals. The National Highways are responsible for motorways and larger roads in England. However, motorways and some dual carriageways are off-limits to cyclists. Therefore, pothole cycling claims are usually made against the council and local authorities.

You may have a valid pothole claim for personal injury after hitting a pothole on your bike if you can demonstrate the following:

  • A duty of care was in place by the Highways Act 1980 or another piece of legislation.
  • Those responsible breached this duty. For example, a dangerous pothole that had been reported was not attended to in a timely manner.
  • Because of this breach, you suffered physical and/or emotional injuries after being involved in an accident caused by this pothole.

Speak to our advisors for free guidance. They can explain who might be liable for the pothole problem and assess the strength of your cycling pothole claim in one phone call.

What Is A Pothole?

A pothole is a hollow of varying size created in the asphalt of the road surface when it collapses. It is caused over time by traffic and weather conditions. Potholes can vary in size and depth and are frequently disguised or difficult to avoid on the road surface. They represent a significant hazard to a cyclist who fails to avoid one.

Because of this, the local authority in charge of the roads and car parks must take the repair of potholes seriously. They have a duty of care to regularly check road surface conditions.

Potholes class as road defects.

Who Is Liable For Pothole Injuries?

As stated, unless the road you were injured on was private or unadopted, cycling pothole claims are typically made against the local authority. But whether you may be able to claim or not depends on whether the authority responsible for the road can prove that reasonable measures were taken to ensure that it wasn’t dangerous. If the pothole is not fixed within a reasonable timescale and an injury ensues, a personal injury compensation claim could be made.

Collision with a pothole can throw a cyclist off their bike easily. This has the potential to cause a life-altering serious injury, such as a head injury, spinal damage and even a fatal accident.

With this in mind, make sure your cycling pothole claim covers all of the injuries you experienced. For guidance on your case it’s a good idea to chat with our advisors on the number above.

How Do You Make A Cycling Pothole Claim?

Central to setting out a solid claim for compensation after a pothole accident is evidence. You can collect evidence in support of your cycling pothole claim. The following could help:

  • Take pictures of the pothole capturing with a measuring stick the width and depth.
  • Obtain any CCTV footage that shows your accident.
  • Get treatment and request copies of the medical notes.
  • Gather the contact details of any eyewitnesses.
  • Keep a diary of dates and treatments.
  • Gather evidence of expenses related to the injuries.

An evidence note book and glasses.

How Much Compensation For A Pothole Accident Claim?

In a successful personal injury claim, compensation can be awarded for two types of losses. These are called general and special damages. The first considers the physical, as well as any psychological damage

To get an accurate idea of these impacts, a medical assessment might be necessary. A solicitor from our panel can help arrange this for eligible claimants. Using medical findings as a guide, those tasked with calculating general damages for personal injury claims can also refer to documents like the Judicial College Guidelines (17th edition).

This publication lists injuries and applies a guideline award bracket to each of them. Strictly for guidance, we’ve compiled an excerpt from the JCG below to illustrate. Please note our topline figure is not part of the JCG. 

Compensation Guidelines

Area of InjurySeverityGuideline BracketsNotes
Multiple Severe Injury and Special DamagesSevere Up to £1 million plus.Awards like this reflect several severe areas of injury and the special damages award for care cost, lost earnings and medical bills.
Tetraplegia(a) Also known as Quadriplegia£396,140 to £493,000At the top end will be cases of physical pain or where there is a significant effect on senses or communication.
Head(b) Moderately Severe £267,340 to £344,150A serious disability with substantial reliance on others and need for professional care.
Knee(a) Severe (ii)£63,610 to £85,100Fractures that continue into knee joint causing constant pain and limiting movement.
Ankle(b) Severe £38,210 to £61,090Injuries that require a long period of treatment and may involve time in plaster and the insertion of surgical pins.
Shoulder (a) Severe £23,430 to £58,610Often associated to injuries of the neck and brachial plexus that cause significant disability.
Back (b) Moderate (i) £33,880 to £47,320This bracket covers some compression and crush fracture injuries to the lumbar vertebrae causing constant pain.
Neck(b) Moderate (i) £30,500 to £46,970Dislocations and fractures that may require spinal fusion surgery and as well as certain soft tissue injuries.
Leg(c) Less Serious Leg Injuries (i)£21,920 to £33,880Soft tissue injuries and fractures from which an incomplete recovery is made.
Wrist(c) Less Severe£15,370 to £29,900Injuries of a lesser severity although symptoms such as stiffness and pain persist.

In addition to general damages, a head of loss known as special damages may be included in the settlement of your cycling pothole claim. This award is based on the financial harm and monetary losses the cycling injury caused. You can submit documented evidence showing:

  • Proof of any medical bills you needed to pay for.
  • Evidence of parking or public transport fares to vital hospital appointments.
  • The invoices for adaptations made to your home.
  • Amounts paid to domestic carers who helped you recover.
  • Payslips that reveal a drop in income.

Why not get free guidance about claiming special and general damages from one of our knowledgeable advisors right now? You can connect either by phone, by email or through the live chat option below.

How Long Will It Take To Make A Cyclist Pothole Claim?

There is no fixed answer to this question. Each claim varies according to the individual circumstances. However, these factors may have a bearing:

  • The extent of your injuries and the recovery involved.
  • The speed of communication between the two parties involved.
  • Whether they accept liability or contest it.

Other factors can determine how long a cycling pothole claim takes. For more information, it’s a good idea to chat with our advisors on the number above.

Why Make A No Win No Fee Cycling Pothole Claim?

If our advisors find you eligible to launch a cycling pothole claim, they can connect you with a solicitor from our panel of personal injury experts. They offer a type of No Win No Fee contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to launch your claim.

This allows claimants to instruct a solicitor without upfront costs or fees for their services. There are no fees to pay as the claim develops either. Under a CFA you will not pay a fee for completed services to the solicitor if the claim fails.

When a claim is successful, a small success fee is deducted. It is legally capped at a certain percentage. This allows claimants to keep the bulk of their payout.

To enquire further about any aspect of the claims process, simply:

A No Win No Fee solicitor notes details about your cycling pothole claim.

More Resources About Cyclist Compensation Claims

In addition to information on cycling pothole claims, these guides may help:

Some external resources:

In conclusion, we appreciate you reading our guide on a cycling pothole claim. Please reach out to the team with any other questions or concerns.