Arrive Alive has released a statement to inform South African motorists that they are able to claim from government if their car is damaged a pothole.
As the maintenance of roads falls under government jurisdiction, it should be held liable to pay for damages a car sustains as a result of failing to keep up with this responsibility.
“There is a responsibility on the side of the authority to maintain roads and repair potholes. It will however also be a matter for the law of evidence as well as a matter to establish blame. The question would be whether there was negligence on the part of the roads or municipal authority in not repairing that pothole – thereby removing a clear and present danger to the road user,” Arrive Alive said. “There are reported cases in our law of significant damages awarded to people injured in accidents caused by these potholes.”
However, several things need to be verified before a claim is processed, and this includes whether it is a national or municipal road.
“Claims for damages from potholes on national roads are therefore directed to Sanral and from there to the specific contractor on that stretch of road,” Arrive Alive said.
In the case of the pothole being on a municipal road, Arrive Alive had the following to say: “The road users would have to approach that specific municipal authority or department of public works and enquire from them which documentation to complete, and to whom to submit such a claim. This might, unfortunately, take more time and is also dependent on the efficiency of that municipal office.”
Claims will, however, be finely scrutinized to prevent fraud from enclosing details such as where exactly the potholes are, when the damage was incurred and the condition of the vehicle.
The motorist’s ID document, driver’s licence, car registration details, a declaration and three written quotes for repair are also required in order for the claim to be verified.
“It is also important to show that there are not two claims for the same damage – so you may not claim from both your insurer and the insurer from the road works company,” Arrive Alive said.