November 2, 2015
Falls in the street due to potholes are becoming so commonplace in the Highlands that more than £½ million is outstanding in personal injury claims.
According to the Inverness Courier, more than £600,000 has been claimed for injuries related to falls in the street due to potholes in the Highlands over the past six years. As only a fraction of these claims has been resolved in this time, the Highland Council has a potential injury compensation liability in excess of £½ million.
Reporting on the injury claims for falls in the street due to potholes, the Inverness Courier revealed that the largest outstanding claim was made by a resident who suffered a serious back injury when tripping and falling over a pothole in Baron Taylor Street in February 2012. The victim is claiming £147,591 compensation for his injury.
The outstanding claims for injury compensation for falls in the street due to potholes were revealed following a Freedom of Information request to the Highland Council. Many of these date back more than two years and include:
- A claim for £25,615 compensation made by a plaintiff who suffered a leg injury suffered in a trip and fall accident in January 2013 on Fortrose´s Tavern Road.
- A claim for £15,387 compensation dating from an accident in July 2014 when a pedestrian suffered serious facial injuries due to falling over a pothole on Inverness´s Southside Road.
- A claim for £3,637 compensation made in respect of a June 2014 accident, when another Inverness resident sustained a back injury due to a trip and fall accident in the City Centre.
The Highland Council was ranked third-worst of the thirty-two Scottish local authorities for the condition of its roads in last year´s Scottish Maintenance Road Condition Survey, and residents complain that the situation is getting worse. More than six thousand road and pavement maintenance faults were reported to the Highland Council last year – although these figures are likely to include multiple reports of the same fault from different members of the public.
Responding to the significant number of outstanding injury claims for falls in the street due to potholes, a council spokesperson said: “In 2014/15 the council set aside funding to be used in identifying and testing better ways to achieve a shift towards more potholes being repaired permanently rather than temporarily and also to identify cost effective and sustainable recycling techniques for more substantial repairs to road construction”.