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Motorbike accident, road contaminated - council aware
garbo
post Sun, 20 Jan 2019 - 23:52
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This is a very long shot but several weeks ago, i was riding my motorbike on a local road, and it was covered in gravel and mud, I thought it was dangerous so reported it to the council

Today, on the same road, i skidded on the mud and crashed my bike, i was doing about 20mph.

obviously im a bit shaken, but all of a sudden, today, a sunday, they have responded to the call i raised and cleaned the road - without me saying anything

I wonder if the people that assisted said anything.


Anyway, does this give any cause for recompense for repair costs?

Thanks
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post Sun, 20 Jan 2019 - 23:52
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rosturra
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 06:51
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I have no legal training. So regard the following as bar room gut-feel.

I would have thought that you weakened your case by complaining.

As it is now on the record that you knew that the road was 'dangerous' [your words], and yet chose to ride on it.
It is responsibility of driver to drive at a speed appropriate to the road conditions.

I would say it was reckless not to do so. Certainly contributory negligence.

Having said that, the council have a responsibility to maintain the road. Particularly when notified.

Perhaps an initial letter to the council, with photos of damage and road conditions at time of crash, and some quotes,
without mentioning your prior complaint... But noting that the council have taken action to clear road in the meantime.

Problem is that looks a bit scammy.


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garbo
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 07:16
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I did think that, but nobody crashes a new motorbike on purpose.

Shame it wasnt someone else who filled the online form in

The council have an online procedure for claims where they wsnt copies of insurance mot etc
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DancingDad
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 07:29
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General comment on compensation for road conditions is that if council were unaware and reasonably could not be expected to be aware of a particular problem, they can escape compensation claims.
But if they were aware and did nothing then negligence comes into it and the claim is more likely to succeed.


While it can be claimed that you were aware and therefore should have taken steps to avoid, there is nothing to say that you had not or were not riding to the conditions that you were aware of but still got caught out.
The road condition and lack of action by the council is IMO prime here.
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typefish
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 09:33
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QUOTE (garbo @ Sun, 20 Jan 2019 - 23:52) *
This is a very long shot but several weeks ago


QUOTE (rosturra @ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 06:51) *
I would have thought that you weakened your case by complaining


I'd like to think "several weeks" is a good enough time frame for something to be looked into, at the very least
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notmeatloaf
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 10:42
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Where did the mud come from?

S161 of the Highways Act 1980 puts the onus of cleaning mud on the person who caused it. If it is from a farm entrance or similar - which would seem very likely if it was still there over a number of weeks - you should take civil action against the person who deposited the mud.

Because it isn't a defect in the highway I would say you have a weak case against the council unless you can say they acted negligently by not informing the person who had deposited the mud. However seeing as the city to clean the mud isnt theirs and it would be obvious to whoever caused the mud that it was on the road I would say it is a tenuous case.
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DancingDad
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 11:50
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 10:42) *
Where did the mud come from?

S161 of the Highways Act 1980 puts the onus of cleaning mud on the person who caused it. If it is from a farm entrance or similar - which would seem very likely if it was still there over a number of weeks - you should take civil action against the person who deposited the mud.

Because it isn't a defect in the highway I would say you have a weak case against the council unless you can say they acted negligently by not informing the person who had deposited the mud. However seeing as the city to clean the mud isnt theirs and it would be obvious to whoever caused the mud that it was on the road I would say it is a tenuous case.


S161 makes the person who left the mud liable for a criminal offence.
S41 creates the duty for the authority to maintain highways and this includes clearing hazards when notified.
Council failed their duty, IMO a good claim against them.
Whether an alternative against the mud depositor could also be an option depends on identifying them and showing negligence.
And may be a knock on claim from council to them.
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DastardlyDick
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 11:54
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The problem you may have is that if the Council cleared the mud etc after your initial complaint and someone deposited a new lot, which they weren't aware of, then negligence will be difficult to prove.
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garbo
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 12:23
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If i did try to pursue this, are they likely to contact my insurance company?
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DancingDad
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 12:27
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QUOTE (garbo @ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 12:23) *
If i did try to pursue this, are they likely to contact my insurance company?



Why the concern?
As it is not a claim against your insurance (unless you make it one) there is no impact on your no claims
The accident will have a knock on effect on your insurance even though not your fault on the face of it.
And you should be informing (must if asked or part of the T&Cs) your insurance anyway.
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notmeatloaf
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 16:15
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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 11:50) *
S161 makes the person who left the mud liable for a criminal offence.
S41 creates the duty for the authority to maintain highways and this includes clearing hazards when notified.
Council failed their duty, IMO a good claim against them.
Whether an alternative against the mud depositor could also be an option depends on identifying them and showing negligence.
And may be a knock on claim from council to them.

S41 says maintain the highway and keep it clear of ice and snow. Certainly there is no mention of clearing mud in Well-maintained Highways: Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management, which I understand is generally accepted as the list of obligations LAs have.
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cp8759
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 17:49
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 16:15) *
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 11:50) *
S161 makes the person who left the mud liable for a criminal offence.
S41 creates the duty for the authority to maintain highways and this includes clearing hazards when notified.
Council failed their duty, IMO a good claim against them.
Whether an alternative against the mud depositor could also be an option depends on identifying them and showing negligence.
And may be a knock on claim from council to them.

S41 says maintain the highway and keep it clear of ice and snow. Certainly there is no mention of clearing mud in Well-maintained Highways: Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management, which I understand is generally accepted as the list of obligations LAs have.

I would have thought a claim against the LA arises at common law for the tort of negligence, as I understand it the Highways Act simply provides certain statutory defences but nothing more. If there is a hazard on a road, and the authority responsible for that road knows of the hazard and it knows the hazard might cause a risk of injury or damage to property, and it does nothing, a claim for negligence is at least arguable.

If no complaint had been made, the HA could have easily got out of it by saying they had no idea there was mud on the road, end of.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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mickR
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 19:46
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 17:49) *
QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 16:15) *
QUOTE (DancingDad @ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 11:50) *
S161 makes the person who left the mud liable for a criminal offence.
S41 creates the duty for the authority to maintain highways and this includes clearing hazards when notified.
Council failed their duty, IMO a good claim against them.
Whether an alternative against the mud depositor could also be an option depends on identifying them and showing negligence.
And may be a knock on claim from council to them.

S41 says maintain the highway and keep it clear of ice and snow. Certainly there is no mention of clearing mud in Well-maintained Highways: Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management, which I understand is generally accepted as the list of obligations LAs have.

I would have thought a claim against the LA arises at common law for the tort of negligence, as I understand it the Highways Act simply provides certain statutory defences but nothing more. If there is a hazard on a road, and the authority responsible for that road knows of the hazard and it knows the hazard might cause a risk of injury or damage to property, and it does nothing, a claim for negligence is at least arguable.

If no complaint had been made, the HA could have easily got out of it by saying they had no idea there was mud on the road, end of.


Yes that is the case. I've made a successful claim against the LA on exactly those grounds.
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Darkatmosphere
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 20:53
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Based on the OP's description, there is merit to bring a negligence claim against the council, who is in part liable to the road under section 41 of the highways act.
Saying this, this will be long and possibly laborious task ahead, so if your looking for immediate repairs to your bike via the councils "self" insurance, you will be bitterly disappointed.

This post has been edited by Darkatmosphere: Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 20:56


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garbo
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 21:01
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thanks for the replies everyone.

the damage is to my leathers, which are a grand. I never expect the council to do anything speedily so i wont hold my breath
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notmeatloaf
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 21:03
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Well what would be the reasonable response of a local authority to reports of mud on the road?

I live in the countryside and especially around harvest it's usual to get massive clods of mud on the road around field entrances. The thing is, even in dry weather the normal course of traffic soon removed it.

So for the mud to be on the road for several weeks it has realistically been deposited on a fairly frequent basis. I think unless it's exceptional circumstances the LA can hardly clean it dozens of times. And if you're going to impose a duty of care to clean mud what about fallen leaves? They are much worse but I don't want my council tax being spent on a small army of sweepers.

The claim may succeed because the council settle rather than contest. I'm also sympathetic because almost every biker will have had their wheels go from underneath them - normally on diesel in my experience - and I have the scars to show for it.

But IMO if you manage to slide a bike at 20mph there is some element of rider error as well. It's either inappropriate braking or steering, or very very bad luck.
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cp8759
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 21:38
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notmeatloaf given we have no knowledge of the state of the road, I don't think we can say anything about the merits of bringing a claim. There might be an arguable case, depending on how much mud there was.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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garbo
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 21:57
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its a smooth wash of mud over the road, and loose gravel. I dont think its from a farmers field, there are no gates nearby, I think its accumulations over time rather than a sudden or repeat appearance from a tractor
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cp8759
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 22:10
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QUOTE (garbo @ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 21:57) *
its a smooth wash of mud over the road, and loose gravel. I dont think its from a farmers field, there are no gates nearby, I think its accumulations over time rather than a sudden or repeat appearance from a tractor

Can you get us a photo?


--------------------
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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garbo
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 22:13
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yes, but its been cleaned aparently
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