Somerset council has paid out more than £1.8 million in a single pothole claim.

The revelation has been made after documents show that a third party claim for “general damages” after a crash due to a pothole, saw a person awarded a staggering £1,836,000 in compensation.

The Somerset County Gazette also used a Freedom of Information request to unearth 31 further claims totaling £2.1 million between 2016 and 2017, according to the BBC.

The same FOI also found the most common claim for compensation is due to potholes.

Councils across the UK are responsible for the upkeep of highways within the local area, and therefore are responsible when roads are not maintained correctly, resulting often in claims from motorists who have had their car damaged due to poor road conditions.

However, a spokesperson for Somerset County Council has pointed out that those who seek compensation must have proof that the council has breached its “statutory duty” before being able to claim. They said: “Often events occur that are unfortunate but not due to any party’s negligence.

“As such, there is no automatic entitlement to compensation or any guarantee that making a claim will be successful.”

The smallest pay out was just £11.99, with the reason for the claim being stated as “damage to clothing caused by overgrown brambles that were not maintained.”

Between 2014 and 2015 Somerset County Council also paid out more than £170,000 to 28 separate claimants, with that number increasing considerably the following year to £900,000 between 33 claimants.

Aidan Rennie-Jones


October 9, 2017