Highways Authority liability after accident
Good morning all
I've posted the following on other cycling sites, as i'm interested in any comments or experience you may have.
In late January 2010, i hit a pothole on the way home from work. 10 minutes later i awoke to find myself being loaded into an ambulance and taken to Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry, where i spent the next week, due to a bleed on the brain, plus other sundry injuries. If i hadn't been wearing a helmet, things would have been a lot, lot worse, of that i'm sure.
Anyway i made a claim for liability through a solicitor to the Highways authority.
I received their response last week; they are denying liability based on a Section 58 Defence. They provided copy documentation that they inspected this particular section of the road i had the accident on in November 2009 and that some work was done to tidy the road up (where the accident was). My solicitor has advised that if i can provide a witness to state that the pothole that caused the crash was there in November and July 2009 (when the Authority did their routine inspection) and that it was missed, then we may be able to proceed. As you can probably guess i'm not in a position to provide a witness.
Having thought about the Highways Authority decision on it liability, i have a number of questions i need to raise with my solicitor before i advise her how i want to proceed. Some of these are around the fact we've just had a particularly bad winter (when i didn't ride for about a month due to the roads being too dangerous), other are around the fact that i sustained what i consider to be reasonably serious injuries etc etc.
I'm wondering whether the Highways Authority has done this as a bluff and they do in fact realise they are liable but are trying it on, to see if i stop my action. As well as the Ambulance, the Police were also at the scene (as i was in the middle of the road) and they phoned Highways to advise of the extent of the pothole. It was then filled in, although not very well as it's already degraded somewhat
Sorry for the long post, but i would appreciate any advise, experience or comments you may have. If you have any cases that i could look at, then i would be very grateful. I have already found a couple to pass to my solicitor
thanks in advance