Trips and Falls Caused by Potholes All You Need to Know

Trips and Falls Caused by Potholes: All You Need to Know

Potholes may be a somewhat regular occurrence on roads and pavements throughout Scotland, but they can be hazardous and cause accidents as well as significant injuries to both pedestrians and cyclists.

It’s widely reported that Scotland has a ‘pothole problem’ that needs tackled which was only magnified when, just this week in Glasgow City Centre, a sinkhole emerged on North Fredrick Street just off George Square. The large hole that suddenly appeared, likely caused by erosion underneath the ground’s surface from poor water drainage, has been cordoned off for public safety and Glasgow City Council are working to establish the cause and a solution, as a priority.

Whilst sinkholes are not a widespread occurrence, potholes unfortunately are. A recent report from the Scottish Government shows that the number of potholes on Scotland’s major roads has increased fivefold in the last 13 years. The figures show 3,981 potholes were reported on trunk roads in 2007/8, compared to 20,988 in the last full financial year.

Your local council or Transport Scotland has a duty to keep road surfaces, pavements and walkways safe for use – and as part of this, they should fill in potholes as quickly as possible after they’ve been reported, to keep members of the public safe. If they’re left, potholes can get worse over time. For drivers, this can cause road accidents as large potholes can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. But on pavements they can also lead to slips, trips, and falls, causing painful injuries for pedestrians. These injuries can be wide ranging and can result in anything from a skinned knee to a broken bone to a long-lasting disability that could prevent you from working for an extended period of time.

Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we have significant experience handling these types of claims. Whilst these cases can often be tricky, we have an impressive track record of success and will work tirelessly to win the maximum financial settlement possible. If you’d like more information get in touch today, or keep reading to find out more.

 

Am I Eligible to Make a Pothole Claim?

In order to be eligible to claim compensation from a pothole accident, you will need to satisfy a few simple criteria. The most crucial of which are;

  • Whilst it can vary, most Scottish courts will require potholes to be at least 20mm deep on pavements or 40mm deep on roads, and 300mm wide, to be classed as potholes and not ‘carriageway defects’.
  • The accident needs to have happened in the last three years, or your injury became apparent within the last three years.

 

Who is Responsible for the Pothole?

Unfortunately, potholes can pop up anywhere whether it’s on a public street, private property, or in your workplace. In regards to your claim for compensation following any injuries you’ve sustained, it’s the location of the pothole that will dictate who your claim will be made against.

If you’re the victim of a pothole accident at your work, and it can be proven that your employer has failed to mee the required Health and Safety standards set out by law, then you will have a viable route to claiming compensation against your employer.

Most pothole accidents will happen on public roads, which are the responsibility of either your local council or Transport Scotland. Local councils are responsible for the maintenance of all roads in their area – except motorways and trunk roads – in terms of section 1 of the 1984 Roads (Scotland) Act. In terms of the maintenance and management of these main roads, this falls under the jurisdiction of Transport Scotland.

A key aspect to a successful claim against the council following a pothole accident is being able to prove that the council ought to have repaired it already, therefore if there’s evidence of either a complaint or that the pothole has been there for a lengthy period of time, this can greatly support your claim.

If the pothole you fell or tripped into was on private land, you may be able to make a pothole accident claim if there has been negligence on the part of the landowner to maintain the safety of the surface or provide adequate warning if there are any hazards. For a case such as this, we’d highly recommend expert legal advice so if this has happened to you, get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee Solicitors today.

 

What Evidence Do I Need to Make a Claim?

The well-known saying ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ is especially true when it comes to compensation claims for pothole accidents. To ensure a successful resolution to your case, we need to prove that the responsible party whether that’s the council, a landowner or your employer, breached their duty of care to ensure that the road or pavement was safe and usable. As such, it’s important to gather as much specific information and evidence as you can at the time. Try to record the following:

  • Photographic evidence of the pothole and surrounding area. The pictures should clearly demonstrate the size, location and depth of the pothole. To help with this, it’s a good idea to place a ruler or a recognisable item, like a coin or your keys into the pothole when taking the photo. This will help to clearly demonstrate the size of the pothole that caused your accident
  • For cyclists, photographic evidence of any damage to your bike
  • Statements from any witnesses who saw the accident
  • Full contact details for any witnesses
  • The date, time and exact location of the accident

Most importantly of course, if necessary, seek medical attention as soon as possible and report to your GP following any hospital admissions. Finally, be sure to report the pothole to the relevant body whether that is your local council or Transport Scotland.

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.

 

 

 

The Personal Injury Horrors of Halloween How to Stay Safe

The Personal Injury Horrors of Halloween: How to Stay Safe

It’s that time of year again when the nights get darker, the air gets crisp, and the leaves turn a golden brown. Halloween is a night of spooks and scares filled with pumpkin carving, silly costumes and far too many sweets. However, with more people out and about over Halloween heading to fancy dress parties or out trick-or-treating, the various hazards could turn your night into a real-life horror movie.

According to data analysed by Churchill Car Insurance, the risk for young trick-or-treaters being hit by a car greatly increases during the Halloween period. October 31st sees a higher number of children aged 10 and under being hit by cars on Britain’s roads than at any other point during the four-week period around Halloween.

Tragically, road traffic incidents increase by 75% compared to the rest of the month, with 49 child pedestrians involved in road traffic accidents on Halloween in 2019. This is near twice the average number for the two weeks before and after Halloween (17th October to 14th November).

We would advise parents to be extra vigilant when letting their children go trick-or-treating and to ensure that they are always accompanied, especially when leaving the house after dark. It is not just children who are at risk on Halloween either, as there is an average of 295 accidents involving adults on this day every year, which is 12 per cent higher than the annual average.

Although it’s the scariest night of the year, it’s not all doom and gloom and there are steps you can take to keep yourself and your family safe this Halloween. Get in touch today if you would like more information and advice or keep reading to find out our top tips for staying safe during the spooky season.

What are some of the most common personal injury dangers around Halloween?

There’s not one specific cause for the increased risk of injury around Halloween, rather it’s a dangerous combination of the darker nights, the higher number of children out and about, and unfortunately, the increased likelihood of drink driving from adults attending parties.

Some of the most common personal injury dangers around Halloween season include:

  • Pedestrian related road accidents when trick-or-treating
  • Road crash accidents involving drunk drivers
  • Chemical burns from fake blood and/or novelty products
  • Slips, trips and falls from Halloween displays

 

Am I liable if a child gets injured whilst trick-or-treating on my property?

If you’re stocking up on sweets ahead of Halloween night for any visiting trick-or-treaters, just remember that as a homeowner or an occupier of a property, you owe a duty of care to any visitors and you may find yourself liable if any accidents are caused by the dangerous condition of your property. This duty of care is a legal requirement under The Occupier’s Liability (Scotland) Act 1960 to ensure that your property is reasonably safe.

Make sure the outside of your property is sufficiently well-lit, so any visiting trick-or-treaters can identify and avoid any potential hazards such as raised slabs that they could trip over, or soggy leaves that could cause someone to slip and fall. Make sure to keep your pathway and any steps clear from both decorations and debris. If there are any defects you’re concerned about, it could be worth fencing this area off or displaying a clear warning notice.

How can I stay safe this Halloween?

With Halloween just around the corner, we want to make you and your family enjoy this time and keep yourselves as safe as possible during this spooky period. To stay safe, keep our top tips below in mind:

Top Tips for Drivers

  • Drivers should enter and exit driveways slowly.
  • Never drive under when tired or under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
  • Take extra care when driving in and around residential areas and keep a close eye out for children walking on the roads.

Top Tips for Trick-or-Treating

  • Make sure kids are accompanied by a responsible adult, especially when it’s dark.
  • Plan your route in advance so you’re comfortable with which houses you’ll be visiting. It’s best to stick to your own neighbourhood.
  • Stay in well-lit areas if possible but if not, make sure children have a flashlight or reflective clothing to increase their visibility.
  • Advise children to always look both ways before crossing the road.

Top Tips for Costumes

  • Be sure to choose fire-resistant costumes and wigs.
  • Make sure all face paint for Halloween is non-toxic and child safe.
  • Make sure that your child’s costume doesn’t create a tripping hazard and prevent them from being able to walk without risk of injury.

Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we’d like to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Halloween and we hope you have a safe and fun-filled night.

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.

Road Traffic Accidents in Scotland Top 10 Most Dangerous Roads

Road Traffic Accidents in Scotland: Top 10 Most Dangerous Roads

Considering the vast number of cars on the road at any given time across the UK, it isn’t surprising that road traffic accidents occur on a daily basis up and down the country. Yet their frequency doesn’t negate from their seriousness, and we understand the devastation and disruption that these accidents can have on your life.

It isn’t of course an even picture across the UK, and tragically, Scotland has some of the worst injury and casualty rates from road traffic accidents. In fact, those living in the North-East of Scotland are the most likely in Britain to suffer a serious or fatal injury in a road traffic accident, with residents in the rural area of Banff and Buchan, more than twice as likely to be killed than the national average.

It is a worrying trend that is consistent throughout Scotland and although the rate of minor injuries is roughly the same as those of England and Wales, new statistics have shown that the rate of serious and fatal injuries is overall higher in Scotland. Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we deal with more road traffic crashes than any other form of accident. We have years of experience and the relevant expertise to fully understand your case. Get in touch today if you would like more information and advice or keep reading to find out some of the most hazardous stretches of road in Scotland.

 

Why are the road traffic accident rates in Scotland higher?

Whilst there are many factors that can contribute to or cause road traffic accidents, from a general lack of concentration all the way to drink driving, there are factors specific to Scotland that are likely the reason for the higher accident and casualty rates.

Scotland is home to many rural roads, especially in the North and whilst many may assume that rural roads are safer because they are quieter, they’re forgetting the many unseen hazards that muddy, windy and narrow rural roads can present. In fact, the Department for Transport’s figures shows that across all age groups, 57% of all fatalities occur on rural roads, with this increasing to 71% for young drivers aged between 17-24 years old.

Common causes of car accidents on rural roads include failure to look, loss of control, travelling too fast for the conditions and unmanaged accident blackspots. These blackspots are prevalent across Scotland and account for a higher-than-average number of road accidents, due to factors such as hidden or poorly signposted junctions, hidden dips in the road, and unexpected sharp bends on fast roads.

 

What are the most dangerous roads in Scotland?

Up to date statistics on the number of road traffic accidents which cause serious injury or fatality, were recently unveiled by the Scottish Government. The figures show that between the start of 2017 and the summer of 2019, there were 785 serious or fatal accidents on Scotland’s trunk roads. At least one person lost their life in 137 of these. The most dangerous road in Scotland, the A82, heads up the top 10 list. See the rest below:

  1. A82 (Glasgow to Inverness via Fort William)

  2. A9 (Falkirk to Thurso)

  3. A90 (Edinburgh to Fraserburgh via Dundee and Aberdeen)

  4. A77 (Glasgow to Portpatrick)

  5. A96 (Aberdeen to Inverness)

  6. M8 (Edinburgh to Glasgow)

  7. M74 (A74(M)) (Gretna to Glasgow)

  8. A85 (Perth to Oban)

  9. A92 (Dunfermline to Aberdeen)

  10. A83 (Argyll)

An accident hotspot that’s a little closer to home, is the Shawhead flyover in Coatbridge, on the doorstep of our Airdrie office. Installed as part of the M8/A8 improvement project, the flyover consists of crossroads with traffic lights, replacing the previously existing roundabouts. However, it has been branded a ‘death trap’ by many local residents and MSP’s due to the numerous accidents since its installation in 2019, the most recent of which occurred in March 2021.

 

What do I do if I’m injured in a road traffic accident in Scotland that wasn’t my fault?

We completely understand how distressing it is to be involved in a road traffic accident. Just try your best to stay calm and remember as many details as you can, as these can help to support your claim if you weren’t at fault. Try to record the following:

  • Names, addresses and contact details of all drivers involved
  • Vehicle registration details for all vehicles involved
  • Accident date and time
  • Accident location
  • Full contact details of any witnesses

Most importantly of course, if necessary, seek medical attention as soon as possible and report to your GP following any hospital admissions. And remember to always report the accident to the police.

If you have been injured in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.