Don’t Be Deterred
If (or when!) your claim gets rejected under section 58 of the Highways Act, don’t panic – this is to be expected and not the end of the story.
This statutory defence allows a council or highways agency to defend claims on the basis that they had taken reasonable measures to ensure that problems such as potholes are found and dealt with swiftly. All councils should have a reasonable system in place whereby they regularly inspect roads and repair them if necessary. Provided they have followed their system as they should, they may be able to reject your claim. However, if you can prove that they haven’t, or that their system differs from the recommendations of the national recommended standards for highway maintenance, then you may be able to claim.
Please visit http://www.ukroadsliaisongroup.org/roads/code_of_practice.htm to see the current code of practice and the “Well Maintained Highways” guidelines councils need to adhere to. Whilst you are on this website, you might want to download a copy of ‘Highway Risks and Liability Claims’ as this will inform you of how and why the council will defend against your claim.