THERE was a huge spike in the amount paid out in claims by the County Council in 2016 to motorists for damage to their cars on county roads, compared to the figure for 2015.
In 2015 the total settlement figure for claims from motorists was €29,690.40, but this jumped to €46,726.33 for 2016, according to figures obtained by The Southern Star. Full figures for 2017 were not available at the time of going to press.
The figures for 2016 also showed a significant increase in the number of claims submitted by motorists, which rose from 138 in 2015, to 190.
Almost all of those who submitted a claim in 2016 received a payment, with 183 of them being settled. In 2015, 124 claimants were successful in settling claims, out of a total of 138.
The issue of claiming money from Cork County Council came to light recently when a pothole created chaos for drivers on the N71 at Gaggin outside Bandon, where 11 motorists had to pull in after hitting it.
Liadain O’Driscoll was one of those affected and had to pay €140 for a new alloy and tyre.
‘I filled out the potholes claim form and sent it off on Monday, but they told me it could take weeks to process because they are getting so many claims coming in at the moment,’ said Liadain.
Ballineen motorist Julia McMurray also suffered a similar fate when she hit a pothole near Béal na Bláth and was forced to pay nearly €400 for damage to her car. She was so frustrated that she went back and took pictures of the pothole to show Council officials, but now she is being told it could take seven to eight weeks to process.
‘I got a reply back last week from the Council who said the claim has to be sent to their insurance company in Dublin and that it could be seven to eight weeks before I hear back,’ said Julia.
‘It’s a long time to wait, but I’m hoping I will get some sort of compensation for the damage caused to my car.’
A Council spokesperson recently told The Southern Star that ‘each claim is dealt with on a case-by-case basis, with an input from the relevant local area engineers.’