Manchester, United Kingdom, (21st December, 2011) – A motoring lawyer partner at Express Solicitors, a national firm of fully accredited solicitors specialising in no win no fee claims, believes minsters’ slashing of £1.2bn off road repair budgets is a prime example of false economy.
The North West motoring lawyer partner at Express Solicitors in Manchester, Rachel Flannigan, commented: “Budgets are being cut at a time when the UK’s roads are plagued with potholes – and winter hasn’t even set in yet. It is false economy because it will cost more to cover personal injury and vehicle damage claims caused by potholes than it will to repair the roads. It‘s a shame the government is being so short-sighted.
“Every year, our firm is seeing more and more pothole related claims, and rightly so. Potholes can cause serious whiplash injuries and extensive damage to vehicles.”
Rachel believes that although budgets have been cut, this will not prevent anybody from winning a rightful claim for damages. If a person were to make a claim against a council for personal injury or vehicle damage due to potholes, the council’s budgetary regulations are not taken into account, and the council has a statutory duty to maintain the roads regardless of cuts to repair budgets.
She points out that the only defence councils have is under Section 58 of the Highways Act, which states that a council or highways agency can defend claims on the basis they had taken reasonable measures to ensure problems such as potholes are found and dealt with swiftly.
The council must prove it had a system of inspection in place whereby they regularly inspect roads and repair them if necessary. The courts will then look to see if they have followed the system they should have.
Rachel adds: “Motorists have been plagued by potholes for years and cutting road repairs budgets will only exacerbate the problem. More potholes will lead to more accidents and councils will end up paying more in damages for injuries. It’s a vicious cycle that will not be helped by road repair cuts.”
The National Audit Office dossier backs up the claim, stating that drivers face a ‘deterioration of road quality’ and higher repair costs which will lead to a surge in insurance and accident claims. Motoring groups said the situation was putting lives and vehicles at risk and the AA accused ministers of forgetting that ‘a stitch in time saves nine’.
For more information, contact Express Solicitors on 0800 294 6250 or visit www.expresssolicitors.com.
About Express Solicitors:
Express Solicitors is a national firm of fully accredited solicitors, which pursues no win no fee personal injury and accident compensation claims for people throughout England and Wales. Express Solicitors comprises 60 employees including three partners and 20 fee earners. From their headquarters in Manchester, solicitors give free over-the-phone legal assessments before they visit accident compensation claimants at home or in hospital. Express Solicitors pride themselves on offering a personal service and can guarantee that whenever a client calls, they will be answered by a qualified personal injury claims solicitor who is quickly able to bring their case notes up on the screen in front of them.
Tel: 0800 294 6250