More on pothole damage claims

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Our thanks to Phil Lloyd for this valuable contribution to the question of claiming for damage because of hitting a pothole. He says:

"I've followed with interest the recent articles and Chatbox comments on AudlemOnline relating to vehicles damaged by hitting unrepaired potholes. My brother lives some 45 miles away from Audlem (but still pays his council tax to Cheshire East) and is in the process of pursuing a claim for damage to his car after it hit a pothole in the county.

"You reported recently that a local resident had had a claim rejected by Cheshire East and reproduced part of the letter the Council had sent. It would appear, from my brother's experience, that this is a standard letter and your correspondent should not take it to be the end of the matter.

"Perhaps I could refer you, him and readers of AudlemOnline to 'Martin's Money Tips' where Martin Lewis sets out in some detail and with helpful guidance the steps anyone should take in this position.

"I have cut and pasted some relevant words relating to the initial letter that most councils will send in response to a claim. I hope both are of some help to your correspondent and anyone else who suffers damage to their vehicle from the innumerable potholes that are such an unwelcome feature of our local roads."

This is what the Martin Lewis website says:

"Your claim is rejected. There's a fair chance that after you've submitted a first claim, it'll be turned down. If so: Don't be put off: this is quite common. It's a lot easier for organisations to reject people now — even those who will succeed at the next stage.

"If you're rejected, the authority may well quote part of Section 58 of the Highways Act in its rejection letter. That says: "This requires that a court shall have regard to whether the highway authority knew or could reasonably be 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.”

It may sound convincing, but don't give up automatically. Even if the authority/agency was unaware of the pothole because it wasn't reported, you still have a chance. That's because you may still be able to prove the road wasn't maintained properly."

All the details about how to proceed after a rejection can be found at:
http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/pothole-claims

It's not easy but determination is well worthwhile.