Successful claim following broken ankle after pothole fall

Posted by Malcolm Johnson on

Who are BL Claims Solicitors

BL Claims Solicitors specialise in personal injury, clinical negligence and travel claims, providing our clients with hands-on support, nationally.

We are rated as one of the top firms in the UK and believe in speaking to our clients in jargon-free language and ensuring you're speaking to a highly qualified lawyer right from the outset

We recently took on a case from our client, Mrs S, who had fallen into a pothole whilst walking her young grandson down a local road in Shoreham by Sea in January 2011.

We arranged a CFA and insurance with Accident Line for her to take action against the local highway authority. We sent a letter of claim to the local authority who denied liability. Following this, we proceeded to instruct a highways expert who gave us a favourable report, together with an orthopaedic surgeon. Our client had suffered a broken ankle and at the time of her first report, her prognosis was not entirely certain.

In July 2012 we issued proceedings against the local authority, who entered a Defence denying liability. Although our client's case was valued at less than £25,000, we managed to obtain an order from the court putting the case in the multi track and thereby secured the right to use expert evidence at trial.

Expert evidence was crucial because part of our pleading was that the highway authority had not complied with national guidelines for the repair of potholes, nor had they given any good reason for their departure from those guidelines. We also made use of a "Notice to Admit" to try and bring home to the court, the need for us to prove certain matters by way of expert evidence. The orthopaedic evidence was agreed and updated.

Fortunately our client had made a good recovery. We had early on in the case taken statements from her husband and two local residents who had seen the hole develop. These were updated during the litigation, and the parties proceeded to exchange documentary evidence.

In July 2013, the local authority offered the sum of £7,000 plus costs on a claim that we had valued at around £8,000 to £9,000. 

BL Claims Solicitors are here to help

If you would like to talk to someone and discuss a potential claim please call us on 0344 620 6600 anytime between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, or if you would prefer you can email us at

About the Author

Malcolm is an Senior Associate in our London office, with nearly twenty years' experience.

Malcolm Johnson
Email Malcolm
020 7814 5441

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