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Pot hole damage to vehicle

By mickey - 2 March 2012 76

Hello Fellow Rioters.

Yesterday on my drive to work, my little Hyundai Getz hit a pot hole and suffered a broken wheel and tyre. I had to wait for 2 hours after calling the NRMA for a tow truck to come and drop off the car to a mechanic in Braddon.

I was charged 255$ for the tow – that after being a NRMA roadside assistance member. On top of that I will be charged another  ~300$ for a new wheel and tyre, and that excludes any suspension damage. Mine was the 6th car to have been damaged from the same pot hole.

My question is – how can I make a claim to the ACT government for damages. Apart from the fact that I had to spend 550$ on the car, I had to take the day off work, as I was only able to get to the mechanic at around 12 in the afternoon – and I am yet to get my car back.

I have been advised that I should contact Canberra Connect – has anyone been succesful in getting their claim reimbursed in a similar situation. Like I said, I was the 6th car to have been damaged by this pot hole. I have the name and number of another lady who also suffered a similar fate who can be a witness if required.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

PS. This pot hole was near the exit ramp towards tuggeranong parkway on william hovell drive – just under the bridge at glenloch interchange. This was subsequently patched up while me and 2 other cars were waiting for the tow trucks to arrive, approximately 11am yesterday.

What’s Your opinion?


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Pot hole damage to vehicle
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Keijidosha 4:40 pm 02 Mar 12

I’d be surprised if you get a cent out of the Government for the repair costs to your car.

I’ve been through a similar situation with a pothole and the Government apparently has a rule for this kind of thing. As far as they are concerned the pothole doesn’t exist until someone notifies Canberra Connect/TAMS (usually the person who falls foul of said pothole). From that point the Government has 48 hours to repair the road surface before they become liable for any damage caused to vehicles.
So what you need to do is call CC and ask when they were notified of the pothole. If it was more than 48 hours before you ran through it, then you have a case for claim.

That aside, the fee you have been charged for the replacement wheel & tyre sounds pretty steep. If it is a standard steel wheel you could pick one up from a wrecker for $50 tops.

liability 4:39 pm 02 Mar 12

Chance of success, pretty much nil.

The ACT Government, for most matters, is a self insurer, i.e. there is no insurance company and you have to claim directly from the government. Forgetting the issue of whether your claim has any merit, which it most likely doesn’t, they will stuff you around for many, many months.

Usual practice is that the government will pass you around from department to department for a while and will then ask you to put your claim in writing. Once you do this you will eventually receive a letter, either from TAMS or possibly the ACT Government Solicitor, rejecting your claim. If you want to take it further you will then have to commence proceedings in the ACT Magistrates Court against the government.

The ACT Government, generally speaking, will vigorously defend most claims against it. Most insurance companies will generally pay up fairly quickly if they think there client is at fault, or often will make a commercial decision in such small claims just to pay it, as it will cost them more in admin costs to fight it. However, the ACT Government seems to have an unwritten policy of fighting all claims.

I have been involved in matters, through work, where an ACT Government vehicle has run into a parked car. You would think that was a fairly straight forward matter and the the ACT Government would pay for the cost of repairs for the other vehicle, after the usual “get three quotes” business. Yes, they did pay up, but it took nearly 9 months to get the money from them, and they only paid when the innocent party commenced Court proceedings.

Summary – worth making a phone call or two to TAMS, but don’t expect anything.

Zeital 4:30 pm 02 Mar 12

mickey said :

smeeagain said :

mickey said :

I had a spare but it was pouring and the spare was low on air as well. To make matters worse, while waiting with my hazard lights on – the battery died 😀

Sounds to me like you need to undertake some basic maintenance on your vehicle, which includes regularly checking your spare tyre. The battery should last longer than that with the hazards on too.

I agree 😀
It was the mrs’ car, I guess that means I still have to check on it regularly.

…. i can’t believe how many women think cars will magically fix themselfs …

carnardly said :

If you had a real car, you might’ve just bounced on over a pothol rather than sinking into it.

🙂

my very real car would be eaten alive by a pot hole like that so shut yer trap

mickey 3:59 pm 02 Mar 12

smeeagain said :

mickey said :

I had a spare but it was pouring and the spare was low on air as well. To make matters worse, while waiting with my hazard lights on – the battery died 😀

Sounds to me like you need to undertake some basic maintenance on your vehicle, which includes regularly checking your spare tyre. The battery should last longer than that with the hazards on too.

I agree 😀
It was the mrs’ car, I guess that means I still have to check on it regularly.

Jim Jones 3:57 pm 02 Mar 12

Tetranitrate said :

Jim Jones said :

Yes, I’ve driven down Northbourne, and all over Canberra on a very regular basis.

If you went to any rural or regional town and tried to tell them that the roads in Canberra were ‘downright shameful’ they’d probably punch you in the mouth.

oh dear, I guess I’m dealing with a real tough guy here. Please don’t punch me in the mouth, I’m ever so scared.

Jim Jones said :

People in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, etc. would just laugh at you.

Now you’re just getting ridiculous.

I didn’t say I would punch you in the mouth, I suggested that residents of rural and residential areas would like to do so (because roads are in a far worse state in these places than in Canberra).

I wouldn’t punch you in the mouth because (a) I don’t know who you are, (b) I don’t know where you are, (c) I don’t really care anyway and, finally, (d) I don’t have a habit of punching people in the mouth.

Residents of State capitals would laugh at you because the roads there are far worse than Canberra’s roads. Nothing ridiculous about it – the hyperbole about the shocking state of Canberra’s roads, on the other hand …

mickey 3:57 pm 02 Mar 12

sylasgreen said :

That’s a weird NRMA membership mentioned there…

Standard roadside assist has 20km of towing in metro areas – which is within the distance to Braddon from that onramp you mention (according to google maps, anyway), unless they went on a bit of a tour…

If that’s the membership type you have, then I’d contact NRMA and see about resolving the towing charge. (you DO have a receipt for the towing, right?)

As to suing the government? You say they came and fixed the problem while you were waiting, which is within 2 hours. That seems….reasonable to me.

It’d be hard to argue that they’re at fault for extreme weather conditions causing a pothole.

There is no intention of ‘suing’ the government, I just want to claim for repair costs for the wheel. And obviously claim for towing from NRMA. I do have an invoice, I will be getting the receipt by email, hopefully in the next day or 2.

ForReal 3:43 pm 02 Mar 12

This has bugged me for years – we pay taxes in anticipation that these services – road, water, sewer etc. – are fit for use; as the OP attests, this road is evidently unfit for the purpose intended (safe, secure transit etc.?)!

Might there be a connection here with the rash of concrete scratching that’s been going on over recent years – presumably in response to pedestrians tripping and falling on exposed edges resulting in injury.

I’d be very interested in reading the legal advice (yeah sure, as if) that the ACT Gov. received that prompted the concrete work; one hopes it says something like ‘surfaces that cause damage or injury to citizens or property are to be made good and that such damage or injury is a ACT Gov. liability’.

Any legal boffs want to set things straight?

smeeagain 3:38 pm 02 Mar 12

mickey said :

I had a spare but it was pouring and the spare was low on air as well. To make matters worse, while waiting with my hazard lights on – the battery died 😀

Sounds to me like you need to undertake some basic maintenance on your vehicle, which includes regularly checking your spare tyre. The battery should last longer than that with the hazards on too.

Tetranitrate 3:31 pm 02 Mar 12

Jim Jones said :

Yes, I’ve driven down Northbourne, and all over Canberra on a very regular basis.

If you went to any rural or regional town and tried to tell them that the roads in Canberra were ‘downright shameful’ they’d probably punch you in the mouth.

oh dear, I guess I’m dealing with a real tough guy here. Please don’t punch me in the mouth, I’m ever so scared.

Jim Jones said :

People in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, etc. would just laugh at you.

Now you’re just getting ridiculous.

sylasgreen 3:12 pm 02 Mar 12

That’s a weird NRMA membership mentioned there…

Standard roadside assist has 20km of towing in metro areas – which is within the distance to Braddon from that onramp you mention (according to google maps, anyway), unless they went on a bit of a tour…

If that’s the membership type you have, then I’d contact NRMA and see about resolving the towing charge. (you DO have a receipt for the towing, right?)

As to suing the government? You say they came and fixed the problem while you were waiting, which is within 2 hours. That seems….reasonable to me. It’d be hard to argue that they’re at fault for extreme weather conditions causing a pothole.

carnardly 3:08 pm 02 Mar 12

If you had a real car, you might’ve just bounced on over a pothol rather than sinking into it. 🙂

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 3:08 pm 02 Mar 12

I’d write a letter making a claim and see what happens. About all you have to lose is 10 minutes, a piece of paper, an envelope, a postage stamp and the time it takes to mail it.

Jim Jones 3:03 pm 02 Mar 12

Tetranitrate said :

Jim Jones said :

Insurance and/or suck it up.

“The state of the roads in the ACT is downright shameful”

Have you ever left the ACT and seen the state of roads elsewhere? I dare you to name another town that has roads in better conditions.

Up until the past 48 hours or so, Queanbeyan. Admittedly that’s probably not the case anymore.

I do wish I was joking but I’m not, have you actually driven down Northbourne lately?

Between the potholes and the rubbish chip-sealing on major roads (Adelaide avenue and the Parkway) that leaves bare, ‘shiny’ areas devoid of any grip I do wonder where the money all goes.

Yes, I’ve driven down Northbourne, and all over Canberra on a very regular basis.

If you went to any rural or regional town and tried to tell them that the roads in Canberra were ‘downright shameful’ they’d probably punch you in the mouth.

People in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, etc. would just laugh at you.

gladbag 2:58 pm 02 Mar 12

About a year ago I put in a claim for damaging my car on a crater in Sutton Rd that had been there for a while. I have not heard back from them yet, however, I am sure they will respond one day. The only good result was that the hole was immediately repaired. Unfortunately there are plenty more potholes on that stretch of road, which makes driving in a little car at night pretty eventful.

AsproBoy 2:54 pm 02 Mar 12

One of most prominent markers of the decay of western society is the tendency to want to apportion blame to someone else when something bad happens to us.

The radio has been full of warnings over the last three days to slow down, drive to the conditions and watch out for potholes …oh and also for the poor bastards who were out in the rain trying to fix them.
TAMs can’t get to every pot hole within minutes of it appearing or getting bigger. Theses dudes were already risking their lives fixing the potholes whilst drivers ignored the belting rain and the reduced road work speed limits.

Maybe after your wallet is $550 lighter, the next time it buckets down you will be a little more careful.

Chop71 2:49 pm 02 Mar 12

I reckon your entitled to $1,000s possibly even into the 10s of thousands. I mean you Huyndai would almost be a write off and you could even lose your job having a day off like that.

After you’ve had a complete Pedders inspection, get yourself a doctors certificate claiming whiplash and stress, then it’s straight off to the lawyers. I wouln’t bother turning up to work over the next 6 months, just do it though the court system.

I mean seriously this rain is a 1 in a 100 year event, I am sure you’re entitled to something.

crackerpants 2:38 pm 02 Mar 12

I don’t know if this is helpful or not…

A few years back I drove on Namatjira/Sulwood Drive when it had just been resurfaced, and just been heavily rained on. My car, and a bunch of others, were badly bitumen-stained. I emailed Canberra Connect/TAMS, and was referred straight away to the contractor’s depot for assessment, and then they gave me a card to take to a professional detailer.

I’m pretty sure it was the contractor footing the bill though, as they resurfaced a road under the wrong weather conditions, so like I said, not sure if this is helpful or not. But it can’t hurt to ask.

Tetranitrate 2:35 pm 02 Mar 12

Jim Jones said :

Insurance and/or suck it up.

“The state of the roads in the ACT is downright shameful”

Have you ever left the ACT and seen the state of roads elsewhere? I dare you to name another town that has roads in better conditions.

Up until the past 48 hours or so, Queanbeyan. Admittedly that’s probably not the case anymore.

I do wish I was joking but I’m not, have you actually driven down Northbourne lately?

Between the potholes and the rubbish chip-sealing on major roads (Adelaide avenue and the Parkway) that leaves bare, ‘shiny’ areas devoid of any grip I do wonder where the money all goes.

Jim Jones 2:32 pm 02 Mar 12

pajs said :

mickey said :

pajs said :

My suggestion is you pay for the repair of your own car, caused by your own driving, and stop expecting to shift your private costs to ACT taxpayers.

haha thanks pajs. you either do not drive a vehicle or have not had a tryst with one of these pot holes as yet, and i sincerely hope you never do. 🙂

Actually, I drove that exact stretch twice yesterday, including hitting a pothole on the way home just before going under the bridge before coming up to the right turn onto Bindubi. It would never had ocurred to me, should I have gotten a flat from that pothole, that this was the government’s fault.

Surely you’ve spend enough time here to realise that anything bad is the gummint’s fault!?

Conversely, anything good comes as a result of working really hard and being a battler and being repeatedly beaten as a child (see ‘discipline’).

Holden Caulfield 2:31 pm 02 Mar 12

qbngeek said :

…or might take it in to pedders to get it checked thoroghly…

I lol’d.

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