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Legal services for Road Traffic Accident 4.8 1177
Based on 1,195 reviews
5 / 5
4 days ago
5 / 5
Sherrie Paterson,
4 days ago

Bad winters and excessive rain have the potential to leave Scotland’s roads in a terrible state, with more than 111,000 potholes reported across Scotland in 2018.

Sadly, defective road surfaces are sometimes the cause of road accidents, with potholes being a particular hazard for cyclists and motorcyclists. Other road surface hazards include:

  • Diesel spills
  • Loose gravel
  • Mud
  • Sunken drain covers

Can you claim?

If you can document your injuries and can prove that they were caused by a pothole or other road defect, you may be able to claim compensation for your pain, suffering, expenses and losses.

For instance, if a pothole has caused your car to jerk suddenly and this has resulted in a soft tissue injury to your neck, shoulders or arms, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. If a diesel spill or loose gravel have caused your vehicle to skid and, as a result, you have sustained injuries such as broken bones or whiplash, you may also be able to make a claim.

In all cases, if you can collect evidence, such as taking photos of the road surface, and seek details of any witnesses, this could help your claim.

Scottish road surface legal obligations

Scottish local authorities have a responsibility to maintain all roads, pavements and cycle paths to a safe standard. The frequency with which they must maintain and inspect surfaces depends on the type of road or pathway concerned; areas that have more traffic or footfall require more regular inspection – in some cases as often as four times a year.

Less frequently-used roads or paths may only require an annual inspection. Details about legal obligations to maintain safe road surfaces are contained in the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984.

Furthermore, local authorities rely on the 2001 Code of Practice – Delivering Best Value in Highway Maintenance and the Well Maintained Highways Code of Practice for Highways maintenance Management 2005. Decisions regarding whether or not a repair will be carried out depend on whether defects meet official ‘Intervention Level’ criteria. Many councils may not act unless the pothole is 2.5 cm or deeper, with the width of the pothole also a factor.

If a council does decide to intervene, it will decide whether this needs to be done within 24 hours, 28 days or an unspecified period.

Reporting a pothole or road defect in Scotland

If you are aware of a pothole or defective road surface in Scotland, you can report it through You can find a link here.

Claim compensation for your injuries

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a defective road surface you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries.

It is a complicated area, and expert advice is essential.

Thompsons' compensation solicitors are experienced in investigating and advising on road accident claims. We have an excellent success rate - we win over 90% of our personal injury cases - and act on a No Win No Fee basis.

Call us on 0800 0891 331 for a no-obligation discussion of your accident and injuries so that you can take your first step towards compensation. 

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