Tomorrow I'll be making my first ever compensation claim.
I thought I'd include the image because it made me laugh. I google imaged 'compensation man' and this is what I got. It is contained on the website of 'access2compensation'
Anyway, I'm not physically injured, although I'm quite surprised I'm not. I was cycling along the A3 as normal this morning. I'd stopped, behind a bus at some lights and on turning green, I headed off behind the bus and up the cycle lane, I kept pace with the bus for about 50m and then all of a sudden I hit the mother of all potholes. The bus had gone straight over the top of it and as I wasn't able to see it, I just rode straight through it.
In so doing, both my front and back lights popped out of their housings and both smashed on the cycle lane. Actually, I tell a lie. The back one popped out completely, the front one stayed firm but the front of it literally ripped off and just left the bit of black plastic that constitutes the back of the light. Amazingly I didn't pop a tyre and my wheels remained unbuckled. I'm not sure how, as this thing was about 75 cm across and about 20 cm deep. It baffles me, how something like this can suddenly appear out of nowhere and not be spotted because as far as I remember I don't recall seeing it yesterday or the day before.
After some ringing round, I eventually got through to TFL who are responsible for the maintenance of the 220km of bus lanes in London and lodged the report of the pothole and then asked whether I could claim for my damaged lights. The customer services representative said certainly and put me through to a firm of what I assume are solicitors, that deal with compensation claims of this type. The guy I spoke to said he would send me out some claim forms, do some further investigation and then come back with a response to my request, but he said it sounded fairly straightforward and on that basis, he didn't think it would take very long.
Am I right to complain? To be honest if I hadn't bought the lights just 2 weeks ago I'm not sure I would have bothered, but the set cost me £35 and although it's not a huge amount of money, I think it's worth claiming for, if it's possible. After all there was nothing I could have done to avoid it (cue, lots of people saying, I should have been watching where I was going). Incidentally, I was recounting the tale to a work colleague who cycles the same route as me and he said 'Oh yeah, I saw that this morning and did think someone ought to ring the council and tell them about it' so I feel slightly vindicated and not completely mad.
So whaddya reckon. Am I just fuelling compensation culture, or am I fully justified in making my claim? Answers on a postcard please (or an online comment if you must).