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How to photograph a pothole or pavement defect

Defects in the road or pavement can cause serious injury to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike. Local councils and authorities have a duty to regularly inspect highways and repair defects that they find or that are reported to them by the public.

However if you are injured due to a pothole or defect in the road, it is important to obtain specialist legal advice and gather evidence to support your pothole claim as quickly as possible.

Gathering evidence for a pothole compensation claim
Photo by Amanda Slater via Creative Commons

Gathering evidence of a pothole

  • If the defect is in a road, ensure you are not placing yourself or others in danger by photographing.
  • Take several photographs of the pothole in daylight. Don't take photographs from directly above as this will make determining depth difficult. Try to take wider angle photographs that show the location with the pothole in the foreground.
  • If possible take measurements of length, width and most importantly depth. It's unlikely that you to have a ruler or tape measure with you, but you can use an everyday item such as a fifty pence piece or a mobile phone to provide a scale for the dimensions of the hole.
  • Make a note of the road name, direction of travel, any nearby streets or junctions and the exact location of the defect in relation to the road.
  • Check if there's any video footage of the accident. If shops are nearby they may have CCTV cameras positioned, or know if anyone else has had an incident at the same location. If there is video footage contact the owner promptly as most CCTV will usually be wiped after 28 days.
  • Pass all this evidence, including a description of the accident, to your solicitor to progress your pothole injury claim.
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Try to ensure that you do this as soon as possible, as potholes and defects can be quickly repaired following the report of an accident.

Reporting a Pothole

To prevent further accidents it is advisable to report the pothole or pavement defect to your local authority for them to repair. This can be done by visiting www.gov.uk/report-pothole or www.gov.uk/report-problem-pavement, entering your post code and then accessing your local council's service.


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