Actions before small claims court with council

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  • 1990xrider
    1990xrider Posts: 105
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    sheramber said:
    We burst two tyres on a similar hole at the side of a narrow single track road. The council refused the claim on the grounds that it wasn’t carriageway so not their responsibility.
    Was that the fast claim or court? In their rejection they didn't mention anything about it not being their responsibility rather that it was "not considered dangerous". 
  • 1990xrider
    1990xrider Posts: 105
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    edited 22 August 2023 at 5:07PM
    Today I have sent the LBA via RM signed for so should be with the council tommorow. To avoid any potential issues, I've given them 14 days as per the guidelines I believe anything less than that is not looked upon too favourably. I will keep you all updated as i feel like a lot of people could be interested in this if they too face pothole damage

    Council has recieved, 2 week countdown to a response (or not) starts now!
  • 1990xrider
    1990xrider Posts: 105
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    edited 24 August 2023 at 2:08PM
    Ok we've got a response.
    A very basic one which is just a repetition of what theyv'e said before. here it is 

    Dear ___

     

    We write in reference to previous correspondence and the aforementioned claim.

     

    Although we note your comments, we can confirm that the defect in question was not considered to be dangerous at the time of your incident. We can also confirm that although damage has occurred to your vehicle, it does not automatically make the defect dangerous. Damage caused by a pot hole does not automatically give rise to a successful claim for compensation. Accidents such as this do happen but it does not automatically mean that liability rests with Essex County Council. As we have previously explained, it must be proved that Essex County Council has failed in its duty under Section 41 of the Highways Act in order for a claim to be successful.

     

    In addition, please do note that even in the event that the defect could have been categorised as being dangerous, Essex County Council would seek to rely upon the statutory Defence available to it under Section 58 (1) of the Highways Act 1980. This provides a defence for the Highway Authority, as long as it can prove that it has taken reasonable steps to ensure the highway was not dangerous and had been maintained to a reasonable standard.

     

    Whilst we are sympathetic to your situation, we must advise that Essex County Council has a duty to protect the public purse and as such cannot offer compensation when there is a legal defence to such claims. It is for this reason that we must confirm that liability in this matter remains denied. Should you wish to pursue your claim further, then the correct course of action is to seek resolution through the small claims court. We suggest that you may wish to seek independent legal advice before taking such action.

     

    Kind regards,

     

    Insurance Team

    Legal & Assurance


    I'm wondering - is this a response to my lba or a response to earlier correspondence? It seems remarkably quick. They were given 2 weeks to respond and they've responded in 2 days. 

    Again, it seems like they are not denying having known about the pothole for an extended period of time, or that they disbelieve my account. 


    Also I find it funny how they don't seem 100% certain of its danger. They say it wasn't considered dangerous, but then seem to imply there's a possibility it may ahve been dangerous etc.

    I'm irritated because they haven't responded to any individual points, eg, the evidence i have given that shows the hole was not measured correctly after the accident. 



     

  • Ectophile
    Ectophile Posts: 7,214
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    I'm sure they have a standard letter that they send out in response to every claim.  If they can get you to give up the claim before it's even started, then that's a win for them, and it only costs them the postage.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • tedted
    tedted Posts: 367
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    you wont get anywhere as you trying to claim betterment and at that speed no chance
  • 1990xrider
    1990xrider Posts: 105
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    edited 24 August 2023 at 4:00PM
    tedted said:
    you wont get anywhere as you trying to claim betterment and at that speed no chance
    So how are you suggesting my shock absorbers broke and my suspension links snapped ? 

    The pothole is eight inches deep. 

    My car had its MOT three months to the day of the accident and absolutely nothing wrong was found relating to suspension and shock absorbers. If need be I will go to the garages and get them to put in a letter or something 

    There is no reason for me to lie. It is an awful lot of effort to go to for nearly 400! 

  • tedted
    tedted Posts: 367
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    your claiming for both sides and that pothole is not steep its quite a small slope and at the speed you state ie 2 mph nothing should have broke and if it did it would be the n/s
  • 1990xrider
    1990xrider Posts: 105
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    tedted said:
    your claiming for both sides and that pothole is not steep its quite a small slope and at the speed you state ie 2 mph nothing should have broke and if it did it would be the n/s
    It's eight inches deep. What's the n s
  • Car_54
    Car_54 Posts: 8,103
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    tedted said:
    your claiming for both sides and that pothole is not steep its quite a small slope and at the speed you state ie 2 mph nothing should have broke and if it did it would be the n/s
    It's eight inches deep. What's the n s
    Nearside. Or 'left' in English.
  • 1990xrider
    1990xrider Posts: 105
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    edited 24 August 2023 at 4:27PM
    tedted said:
    your claiming for both sides and that pothole is not steep its quite a small slope and at the speed you state ie 2 mph nothing should have broke and if it did it would be the n/s
    Obviously something did break I heard rattling after hitting the hole. Two mechanics two garages each found faults after the accident. 

    The council have not suggested the claim is spurious. Obviously they have the opportunity to do so in court. 
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