Road surface defect

Road surface problems such as potholes, gravel and missing drain covers can all be hazardous to cyclists.

However, cyclists who suffer injury or damage to their bike due to a hazardous road surface may be able to claim for personal injury, as well as damage to their cycle and cycling equipment.

To succeed with a claim involving a hazardous road surface, evidence is required of the specific nature of the problem and any investigations must identify fault on the part of the roads’ authority, contractor or some other responsible organisation.

Success in claims involving hazardous road surfaces very much depends on whether fault can be established, which often requires expert testimony. At Cycle Law Scotland, we have access to experts in road conditions and road defects.

If you have sustained injury or damage because of a hazardous road surface, you should:

  • Inform the police immediately and certainly within 14 days.
  • If you or someone in your party has been injured, ask the police to attend the accident scene.
  • Inform the local council of the problem and keep a note of that record, including the name of the person you spoke to.
  • Obtain details of any witnesses at the scene and ask them to confirm the presence and extent of the road surface defect or diesel spill.
  • Take photographs and measurements – if you’re unable to do this, ask someone to take photographs for you.
  • Note a full description, along with a sketch, of the accident scene, including road number, direction of travel, speed on approach and weather conditions. Retain this information.

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