Recently I was out on a ride in an area I do not know very well. I was riding carefully around a few bends, and all of a sudden I was thrown from my bike because of a metal grating across the road that was loose and rocking on its axis. I have since checked with local people and it seems that the grating has been like this for about a year, and the local council has not done anything about it at all. Can I bring a claim against them?
In short, Yes. The Local Authority may have breached a statutory duty to keep the road in good repair and be negligent in their failing. To prove this you will need to show that the grating caused a hazard to you and other motorists and that they knew or should have known of the state of the grating. This is where the local contacts you have gained should come in handy, as they are likely to want to help in order to sort out the problems for their own benefit. You need to be aware that the Local Authority may raise the defence that they inspect the road as and when necessary according to their legal duties. If they can show a reasonable system of inspection was in place at the time of the accident and that they were regularly checking, this defence may be enough for them to see off your claim. For this reason you should ensure that you enlist the help of the local people to verify whether this has been done to their knowledge.
Andrew Dalton is a highly experienced trial lawyer who delights in taking on difficult and demanding motorcycle cases. He has a tough and relentless litigation style and is utterly focused on getting the best possible outcomes for his clients.
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