Damage from a pothole - who is actually liable?

The Winter 2020 / 2021 caused many accidents on Germany's roads due to its cold and wet weather. While the question of guilt is usually cleared up quickly in a typical accident, things look different with damage caused by a defective road. Should you be harmed by a Pothole the question of liability may arise for you. tuningblog.eu - The tuning magazine! clarifies this.

Damage from a pothole

At the moment there are accumulations of Potholes on the streets. The weather is to blame. The more often the road surface is exposed to the change from frost to thaw, the higher the probability that a pothole is created. Roads with a high volume of traffic and / or with existing damage are particularly prone to potholes.

But how does a pothole even come about?

In winter freezes the water retention at low temperatures in the Gravel layer under the road surface. The frozen water expands and lifts the asphalt surface. When the ice thaws, puddles of water appear under the road surface, which softens the subsoil. As soon as you pass such a street with your vehicle, the road surface collapses under the weight of the vehicle and crumbles. The pothole is born.

Document the damage immediately!

Are you about one Pothole driven that has caused damage to the car, then it makes sense an immediate damage report to be documented by the vehicle. In addition to your own documentation through photos witnesses were also called in become. Is a pothole so big that your vehicle has one considerable damage and is no longer ready to drive, for example, then you should the police to record the accident consult. Because only who does his damage properly logged and records, has a right to Compensation. But who regulates such damage? Is it the Partial insurance, the Comprehensive insurance or the responsible authority?

Fully comprehensive insurance or authorities have to pay!

If you have now chosen partial comprehensive insurance, we have to disappoint. Because she's coming not for damage from a pothole on. In this case, you are only on the safe side if you have one Comprehensive insurance completed. Fully comprehensive insurance will in most cases cover the repair costs in the event of damage caused by a pothole. In principle, however, it is important to check whether the responsible Municipality or authority can be made liable. This is for the roadworthy condition of the roads responsible.

Your own duty of care is the top priority!

Is a road so damaged by a pothole that you as the driver shouldn't have expected thatto suffer damage and is this road not adequately secured by traffic signs indicating this, the municipality or the competent authority liable be made. However, the authorities often reject their jurisdiction and invoke that Visual driving requirement of the applicable road traffic regulations (StVO). This means that participants in road traffic are only allowed to drive so fast that they can stop within the visible area. This also includes a pothole. Thus, a legal dispute often arises, depending on the Individual case must be decided. Especially if a vehicle lowered is, the chances are for regulation by the relevant authority low. At least when the lowering is not registered or greater than noted in the papers. In conclusion, it remains to be said that one's own duty of care is the top priority for every participant in road traffic.

Summary information on the damage caused by a pothole:

  • Municipalities are in addition Committed, on road damage to point out
  • burden of proof lies with the driver (Fully comprehensive insurance usually pays for the damage)
  • similar to a pothole are the so-called "Blow-ups" (Bulge that can burst)
  • known damage from a pothole are:
    - flat tires
    - bent rims
    - higher wear
    - broken springs
    - The track is misaligned
    - Defects in the suspension
    - Spoilers or underbody panels tear off
    - Damage to the oil pan
    - defective shock absorbers
  • Procedure in the event of damage through a pothole:
    - Document the scene of the accident
    - Take pictures of the car
    - have a second person testify
    - in the event of serious damage or a dangerous pothole, the Police turn on
    - Capture pothole with pictures (when safely possible to measure the depth and width of the pothole)
    - possibly fEating warning signs name and if possible take photos
  • The building contractor is by law Committed to indicate the poor condition of the road with warning signs (Failures can be interpreted as intent)
  • Road damages are within a short time remove
  • It is usually difficult for drivers to go to court in the event of accidents and damage caused by potholes Law to get (The burden of proof lies with the injured party)
    - Missing warning signs?
    - Should the driver have recognized the pothole?
    - Was the car moving at a reasonable pace?
    - Should the driver have expected potholes?
  • Toll roads can be used by the road operator in the event of slight negligence in lead to liability. Road operator must prove that he has suffered damage no guilt is attributable.
  • Driver stands always responsible for yourself and must drive in such a way that he can avoid damage from potholes.
  • Fully comprehensive insurance Usually takes over pothole damage (damage to axles, spoilers, tie rods, rims and chassis are almost always covered)
  • Partial comprehensive insurance usually comes not for damage from potholes
  • How to avoid damage from a pothole?
    - Drive particularly carefully (in accordance with Section 3 (1) of the German Road Traffic Act)
    - Pay attention to the warning signs and adjust your speed.

Of course that had not been the case.

tuningblog.eu has a lot of other articles on the subject of auto & tuning in stock. Do you want to see them all? Just click HERE and look around. But also planned changes in the law, violations in road traffic, current regulations in the field of STVO or on the subject inspection we would like to inform you regularly. Everything you can find in the category "Test sites, laws, offenses, information". Following an excerpt of the last information:

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  1. says: Tyler Padleton

    Thank you for this informative post about damage from potholes. I recently ran into a pothole and had to take my car to the garage because my rear left tire was over. Now the road has finally been rehabilitated, but that didn't really help me either. Good indication that an immediate damage report on the vehicle must be documented.

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