Woman launches compensation claim over potholes

A driver in Basildon is taking her local council to court after it refused to pay for repairs caused by a pothole collision.

Angela Nicholson, 45, had to pay £600 for new alloy wheels and other components after the chassis on her Jaguar X-Type car was damaged by a pothole in the Wickford Avenue area of Pitsea, reports the Echo.

Essex County Council inspectors received a complaint from Ms Nicholson but after inspecting the road, declined to pay the bill as the road was in "reasonable condition".

Commenting on the case, Ms Nicholson told the newspaper, "The road is absolutely awful. People driving down there have to slow down to about three miles per hour because it's so bad, but this council reckons that is reasonable."

Essex County Council's spokesperson refused to comment on the case but said all compensation claims are considered equally.

A small claims court will hear both side's arguments in the coming months unless a settlement can be reached.

Potholes remain a common concern for residents across the UK and many council elections are fought over poorly maintained roads.

But what many people don't realise is that they could be in line to receive a compensation settlement if they are injured in an accident caused by a crack, hole or fissure in the road.

While investigations will look into the driving behaviour of the injured party, with local authority defence solicitors often opting to blame the motorist for the damage, it is the council's obligation to ensure roads are maintained to an acceptable standard.

Earlier this year it emerged that a claimant won £22,969 in compensation from North Somerset Council after falling over a hole in a pavement and breaking his thumb, reports the Bristol Post.

A similar suit in the Bristol area cost the same council £51,434 after a resident's ankle was caught in a pothole, causing them to jar their foot and have lasting injuries.

By Chris Stevenson