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Can you apply for compensation if your car's damaged by a pothole in Sheffield, and how?

Drivers can claim compensation if their car is damaged by a pothole
Drivers can claim compensation if their car is damaged by a pothole
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Sheffield may be shaking off its unwanted reputation as 'pothole city', with recent figures suggesting the city's road surfaces are improving.

But the number of roads needing repairs remains above the national average, statistics show, and recent cold spells have added to the problem as water gets into tiny cracks and freezes, widening them.

READ MORE: 'Wintry weather leading to more potholes on Sheffield's roads'
So how do you claim if your car has been damaged by a pothole?

CHECK FOR DAMAGE

The first thing to do, according to the AA, is check for damage by pulling over as soon as it is safe to do so and inspecting your wheels and tyres.

You should also keep an eye out for any vibrations, your steering wheel not centring properly or the vehicle pulling to one side, and if you notice any such problems make sure you get your car checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.

TAKE PHOTOS

Return to the scene and take notes, make sketches and where safe to do so, take photos of the offending crater.

The AA advises motorists to include a familiar object in any snaps, to illustrate the scale of the pothole.

READ MORE: Driver accidentally hits bollard after swerving potholes along Sheffield road
You should also note exactly where it happened taking down the road name, nearest junction and the position of the pothole. And don't forget to take the contact details of any witnesses.

REPORT

Even if you don't plan to claim compensation, you should report the pothole so it can be repaired before other motorists are affected. You can report problems in Sheffield here.

READ MORE: Potholed roads in Sheffield lead to £90,000 in compensation payouts
Sheffield Council is responsible for the majority of roads in the city but motorways and A roads are managed by Highways England.

REPAIR

The AA recommends getting several quotes before having any repairs done. You should keep all quotes, invoices and receipts as you will need them to support your claim.

CLAIM

Write to the council, if it is a council-maintained road, with as many details as possible, along with copies of your quotes, invoices and receipts.

Local authorities are not necessarily liable if the pothole had not been reported and they had taken reasonable steps to inspect their roads without the fault being identified.

Many councils require a hole to be at least 40mm deep - roughly the height of two 20p coins - to count as a pothole, though you can still claim if your car hit a shallower hole.

APPEAL

Councils are legally required to follow a road inspection and repair policy, according to the AA, setting out the frequency of inspections, how big a hole must be before it needs fixing and how quickly repairs should be made.

If your claim is rejected, you can ask to see the council's road inspection reports and use these to support an appeal.

Where the repair bill is particularly hefty, the AA advises drivers to speak to their insurer or seek legal advice.