The hole in the roadway will be paid for by the road manager
With the arrival of spring, the condition of roads deteriorates every year - after winter there are holes and cracks that can cause damage to the car. Over 8000 km of national roads in Poland need to be repaired, the worst in this respect is in the Wielkopolskie Voivodeship. For damage to a car caused by poor condition of the surface you can claim compensation from the road manager.
The data collected by GDDKiA show that 39.4% of Polish national roads are in a bad condition, of which 14.1% is described as critical. The worst situation is in the Wielkopolskie Voivodeship, where 47.3% of national roads are eligible for improvement. The lowest number of activities is needed in the Zachodniopomorskie Voivodship, where 85.1% of roads are classified as good or satisfactory. One of the factors influencing the quality of road surface in Poland are frequent temperature fluctuations - drops below and returns above 0oC. After the winter, holes and cracks appear on the roads, which not only endanger driving comfort and safety, but also cause damage to vehicles - especially tyres and rims.
- In the case of damage to a vehicle due to bad road conditions, its owner always has the right to claim compensation. Every year in late winter and early spring, the number of such cases increases rapidly. Drivers must remember that the responsibility for incidents occurring on a hole in the roadway is borne by the manager of the road on which the incident occurred. And it is therefore he who is obliged to repair the damage, i.e. cover the costs of repairing the car or motorcycle. Market practice shows that most managers have third party liability insurance, so drivers are usually compensated by insurers - says Michał Makarczyk, Director of Liquidation of Damages at Compensa TU SA Vienna Insurance Group.
What to do after the damage?
The incident should first be reported to the police, who will draw up a note detailing the circumstances of the damage. Then you have to report the matter to the appropriate road manager, who will either pass on the information about the event to his or her insurer, or provide the injured party with the data about his or her civil liability policy - in the latter case the owner of the damaged vehicle will report to the insurance company. In the context of seeking compensation, it is very important to document the event in a proper manner.
- It is crucial to take pictures of the place where the damage occurred, where bad condition of the road surface is visible, e.g. gaps, as well as to take pictures of all the damage to the vehicle. Wherever possible, statements from possible witnesses may also be collected. It is also worth noting that the road manager's liability policy is voluntary, and in the absence of it, the entity responsible for maintaining the roadway in proper condition will have to cover the damage from its own budget - adds Michał Makarczyk from Compensa.
Repair from own policy
However, for various reasons it may be difficult to receive compensation, e.g. due to the driver violating traffic regulations (e.g. speeding) or a set warning of poor surface condition. In this case, the vehicle owner can also claim compensation if he has a voluntary AC policy. However, the loss adjustment will result in an increase in the premium when buying another insurance. However, there are solutions available on the market that provide support in case of wheel problems and at the same time do not affect the AC contribution.
- After a car has been damaged on a punctured road, it is useful to have additional tyre insurance to ensure the organisation and coverage of the cost of assistance consisting of repairs carried out on site or towing the vehicle to a workshop. What is important is that loss elimination from this insurance does not result in the loss of discounts on civil liability or AC policies held by a given insurance company - explains Michał Makarczyk.