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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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I recently hit a stone that had fallen out of a hedge in Somerset,

Resolved Question:

I recently hit a stone that had fallen out of a hedge in Somerset, I went over the top of it and holed the fuel tank. It was about 18" out in the road, I was in a line of about 5 cars, the one ahead of me was a land rover that drove straight over the top but I had cars behind me and there was a vehicle coming towards me, I could not stop or swerve and had to go over the top. I made an insurance claim but that affects my no claims bonus, I notice the stone is still by the road 10 days later. Who is responsible for obstacles in the road and might I have a claim?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
Alex Hughes : My name is***** and I'm happy to help with your question today. I need to ask you some preliminary questions to be able to help you.
Alex Hughes : Do you know who the hedge belongs to? How did you see the stone fall exactly? How big was it?
Customer:

The hedge bounds a field beside the road. It was already in the road, the vehicle ahead, a Land Rover, drove over it with no problem but I was in a Skoda Octavia, which is a low vehicle but I had no where else to go I had to go over it. It was the size of a large brick. Somerset hedges often grow out of the top of stone and mud banks, I think this was the same.

Alex Hughes : I understand that. But does this particular hedge appear to belong to anyone e.g. Is it the boundary of somebody's house?
Customer:

No it's between the field and the road. There is a driveway to a farm a bout 20 metres away

Alex Hughes : It's going to be very difficult to attribute blame unless you can prove that a) the hedge belongs to someone and b) that person failed to maintain it thus resulting in loss and damage. On the basis of the information you have given I think it will be very difficult and probably quite expensive to get to the bottom of this particular incident and as no personal injury is being claimed you will not be able to make a no win, no fee claim either. The local authority has a duty to keep the highway clear of obstruction etc under the Highways Act 1980 and they have to take reasonable steps to ensure that incidents such as this do not occur. You could report the matter to the council and see if they will accept some responsibility and help you with the cost but I suspect they will deny all liability, as they often do.
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Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
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