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Cyclist Sues After Pothole Accident

21 Oct 2015, 2:44 PM

Warren Peters, a 45-year-old surveyor from West Sussex, was riding his bicycle along a stretch of road on his seven mile journey home from work when his front wheel hit a pothole in the road. Mr. Peters was left unrecognisable after he was thrown from his bicycle into the road. He suffered multiple fractures to his face and two black eyes as well as multiple cuts and bruises. He looked more like the victim of a vicious mugging rather than a pothole.

A man who fell off his bike after it hit a pothole in the road has filed a compensation claim against his local council.

The pothole into which Mr Peters crashed was five inches deep and 2 foot across. Mr Peters is suing West Sussex County Council as they are responsible for road maintenance and for repairing potholes. pic_13

Mr Peters recalled his accident and said, “There was surface water across the road and a car was coming up behind me, which meant I had to stick to the inside line rather than go round it. There was this massive pothole there hidden by the water and I went straight into it. The bike just stopped dead and I was catapulted over the handlebars. All I can remember is my face hitting the ground. There was a big chunk taken out of my cycle helmet. If I hadn’t been wearing it, I dread to think what would have happened.”

Mr. Peters added, “What happened next is very vague. Apparently I tried to phone for an ambulance but I don’t remember. A chap in a car stopped and a lady stopped and someone else and I sat in the back of a car. In the end I managed to contact my wife Gillian and she came and picked me up. She took me to Queen Alexandria Hospital in Cosham and I was there for two nights while they operated on my face. I may have to go back for another operation and in the meantime I can’t eat properly because of the damage to my jaw. I suffered multiple fractures, including a broken nose and cracked jaw and needed an awful lot of stitches. I was trying to go green by cycling to work, but now I go by car.”

British Cycling said that Mr. Peters is just one of thousands of cyclists injured by the poor state of roads in Britain, made worse by frosts in February. The AA says that insurance claims of this nature have trebled in recent months with many motorists and cyclists hitting potholes hidden by rainwater.

West Sussex County Council has since had the pothole repaired. The council’s policy states that this pothole should have been given the priority as it was at least 10cm deep. Repairs of this nature should be carried out within 72 hours.

A spokesperson for the council said, “Our team of pothole patrols are working to ensure speedy repairs are made. The works schedule is put together on a priority basis. We will continue to make every reasonable effort to deal with hazards as soon as is practicably possible.

Bike accident claims involving badly maintained roads are fairly common particularly with budget strapped authorities struggling to meet all their commitments. Anyone who has had a bike accident due to a poorly maintained road can make a claim for personal injury compensation. Macks Solicitors has specialist lawyers who will be pleased to give expert advice without obligation on making a claim for a bike accident.

Rebecca Montague, a personal injury lawyer at Macks Solicitors said “Obtaining a copy of the Local Authorities current highway policy document can be extremely useful in cases concerning potholes in roads. It can help to establish when a pothole is considered dangerous and how long the Council have to repair it.”

“This firm have handled many cases similar to the one above and are always happy to advise cyclists who have been injured as a result of the poor condition of the road.”

If you have suffered injuries in an accident involving a pothole then you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Macks Solicitors free on 0800 980 9385 to find out if you can make a claim with no obligation, or alternatively complete our online claim form and we will get back to you.

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