How much compensation for falling in a pothole am I likely to receive for a broken ankle and cuts to my hands and face?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Provided that your pothole accident was caused by negligence of the local authority and you are able to prove that this was the case, the Injuries Board assess how much compensation for falling in a pothole you are entitled to receive as ‘general damages’ for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

The claims assessment will be based on the severity of your injuries as detailed in the medical assessment form submitted by your doctor alongside your application for assessment. You can also recover any expenses you have incurred, or will incur in the future as “Special Damages” when you claim compensation for falling in a pothole.

The Injuries Board will use the Book of Quantum as a guide to the level of compensation for falling in a pothole which is applicable in your case. As an example, a fracture to the ankle which is likely to see a full recovery should result in pothole accident compensation awarded in the region of €16,700 to €35,300, and up to a maximum of €84,200 if permanent damage has been caused.

Soft tissue injuries are much more difficult to estimate and will depend on the degree of visibility of the cuts and how they have affected your physical appearance. Higher compensation amounts are typically awarded to women if cuts are likely to result in permanent scarring.

However, compensation for falling in a pothole will not be assessed by the Injuries Board if the local authority denies liability for your injuries. The local authority also has the right to reject any recommended compensation amount suggested by the Injuries Board after an assessment has been completed.

Just as the local authority is allowed to reject the Injuries Board assessment of your pothole injury compensation claim, you are also within your rights to do so if you believe that you are entitled to a higher amount of compensation for falling in a pothole. If the Injuries Board assessment is rejected by either party, the claim will need to be resolved by negotiation between a solicitor and the local authority´s insurers or litigation through the Irish courts.

It may also be possible to negotiate a settlement of compensation for falling in a pothole directly with the insurance company rather than waiting for the Injuries Board to complete their assessment of your pothole injury compensation claim, although this is not something you should attempt without legal representation.

Therefore, in order to obtain a more accurate estimate of how much compensation for falling in a pothole you might be entitled to receive and the best process for obtaining the maximum settlement of pothole injury compensation, you should discuss the circumstances of your accident with a solicitor at the first possible opportunity.