April 24, 2014

Potholes – bad news for you and your car

Many people suffer injuries from potholes, either as a result of stumbling in them or by driving or cycling over them. Potholes are often not easily seen but, if you are injured because of one, reporting it to your local Council and getting prompt medical attention is essential.

The risk of injury
When you trip in a pothole in the pavement, most often you’ll just stumble before recovering your footing. However, some accidents involving potholes can result in more serious injuries.

Most common injuries sustained by pedestrians when tripping in potholes are:

• Sprained or broken ankles from putting a foot in a pothole, and
• Sprained or broken wrists when people instinctively put out their arms/hands forward to break the fall.

If you drive or cycle over a pothole you might suffer soft-tissue injuries to your neck or back from being jolted in your seat or, more seriously, broken bones or head injuries if you are thrown off your bike.

Potholes often develop at the edges of roads, so the risk is higher for cyclists and unless the road is clear of other traffic then it’s not always that easy to simply cycle around potholes.

With the wet weather, or burst pipes, many deeper potholes can fill with water and become a greater hazard particularly at night when they’re less visible.

What you should do
If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident caused by a pothole, you should take the following steps:

1. Consult a doctor as soon as possible
2. Gather as much evidence as you can about the pothole, including its size and depth, and obtain photographs of the pothole and the surrounding area, in particular the position of the pothole on the road or pavement so it can easily be identified.
3. Report it immediately to your local Council. Most Councils have links on their websites or online forms you can complete. Keep receipts for any damage to your vehicle, as well as any other expenses such as medical treatment.

If you have suffered injury as a result of a pothole, whether you were walking, cycling or driving, then contact us now for specialist personal injury advice on 0800 923 2068 or email [email protected] to find out more.

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