How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

I damaged a brand new tyre on a pot hole at Christmas. I wrote

This answer was rated:

I damaged a brand new tyre on a pot hole at Christmas. I wrote to the council and they replied "Your claim for compensation has been received by the Essex County Council's Insurance and will now be investigated. Once our investigations have concluded, we will write to you to advise you whether or not the Council will be prepared to meet your claim.
Essex County Council has a period of 12 weeks, from the date of this letter, to fully investigate your claim and provide you with our decision in respect of liability. With this in mind, we will therefore aim to provide you with our decision on or before 12 May 2015."
Please advise how I should respond.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
You just need to write and ask for a response within 14 days or say you will go to the Local government Ombudsman. They are able to investigate complaints on your behalf at:
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
I hope that helps.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex this was my claim, please could you email me so that I can attach my photos and a copy of their response.

Dear sirs,

I would like to report an incident I had with my car and a pot hole in Botney Hill Road, Billericay. It was on Christmas Day 2014 in the evening, in the dark. I have a 2013 Golf and had brand new tyres on the front fitted 15 Dec 2014.

I didn’t know the area. I had just dropped my daughter off at her boyfriend’s house around the corner and was on my way home. I turned into Botney Hill Road from Clock House Road and was only travelling between 20 mph and 30 mph. Shortly after turning into Botney Hill Road my car lights were reflecting on pools of water in the distance and so I braked and slowed down. The width of the road is only 15 ½ feet wide and so it’s a single track road. There were many pot holes but I couldn’t tell how deep they were because they were full of water. I avoided the left hand side pot holes and caught a right hand pot hole on my front wheel. A few yards on I knew there was something wrong with my tyre. I wound the window down and could hear the tyre making a noise. I had no phone signal so I made my way slowly back to where my daughter was staying and called for a rescue service to change my wheel.

When I got home in Hemel Hempstead, a few days later I went back to the garage that had fitted my tyres. They showed me that the tyre was split and I had to fit another new tyre.

I returned a few days ago to take photographs with the intention of reporting the pot holes but they have recently been repaired. The tarmac is fresh and a traffic cone still there. You can clearly see the problem area on Google Earth. There is a lot of water at the “New Road Layout” sign. On the tarmac before the potholes you can just make out the letters “SLOW” It is only just visible in daylight if you study the road. I would recommend this is renewed with a permanent sign. I was travelling in the dark. There are no street lights, white lines or kerbs and it will also get icy.

I have attached a few photographs which show the pot holes made good, the “Slow” road marking needing making good and the damage to my tyre.

I am looking for reimbursement for my new tyre which cost £88.90 and the cost to fit the spare wheel of £100.

Yours faithfully

Christophe XXXX

Send them to:***@******.***
Ok I have the documents now, what is it you would like to know?
Are you saying they didnt do the inspection as they have said?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

They say they carried out an inspection 5 Nov 2014 considered it not dangerous but on 6 Jan 2015 found it in a dangerous state. I hit the pot hole 25 Dec 2014 when it was already very dangerous. I saw the pothole before I slowed down and drove over it and it was still deep enough to burst a brand new tyre. I have proof of when my tyres were fitted and refitted following the damage. Obviously their inspection frequency is not often enough.

Do you think I have a good enough case to take the council to the small claims court?

Sadly no.
This is because it appears they do bi-monthly inspections. They do not have to do it any more regular than that. They have a statutory defence under the Highways Act. If they can show a reasonable system of inspection then that is the defence.
You would need to show:
1) They didnt carry out inspections as suggested
2) They KNEW about the defect
Sadly Councils have this all tied up because of claims. Unless they knew about it or it was of actionable level on inspection and they didnt spot it, the claim would fail.
I am sorry.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok thanks for your help.

I am sorry as I dont want you to waste your time.