A retired fire fighter who broke his ankle when he fell down a pothole is warning those who suffer an accident to take photographs of the hazard to help them pursue compensation.

The 62-year-old, from Chorley in Lancashire was returning home from Appleby Bridge Station, Chorley after a day in Manchester. It was dark and raining and as he stepped off the pavement on Station Road his foot landed in a 10-inch deep pothole.

The foot–wide pothole was full of water meaning he had no chance of spotting the hazard beforehand.

He suffered a broken right foot which needed to be in plaster for six weeks and then needed a splint for a further period of time.

Thompsons Solicitors were instructed to investigate a claim

The fire fighter in Liverpool and Southport for 25 years, contacted his trade union, the FBU for advice following the accident and the union’s lawyers Thompsons Solicitors were instructed to investigate a claim.

He had returned to the place of the accident to take photographs of the hazard to help provide evidence.

Northern Rail Holdings, who was responsible for the stretch of road, admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.

The FBU member said: “I knew it was important to take photographs of the hazard straight away as the hole could have been fixed by the time my claim was entered. I’d urge anyone who has a similar accident to get evidence in this way. It certainly helped my case to run smoothly.”

He still suffers from residual pain in his ankle.

He added: “I was miserable after the accident because it was near Christmas and there had been a heavy snowfall. I was stuck in the house unable to enjoy the festivities to the full.“

Significant hazard to both pedestrians and vehicles

Gillian Chapman from Thompsons Solicitors said: “This pothole had obviously been there for some time and had grown to the point where it was a significant hazard to both pedestrians and vehicles. Photographs of hazards like this allow us to provide solid evidence in an area of law which can at times be complex.

“Northern Rail Holdings should have had a system of inspection and maintenance in place to ensure that holes like this were spotted and repaired before accidents like this are allowed to happen.

Kevin Brown from the FBU added: “We provide free legal services to all of our members, including those who are now retired. Our member was injured through no fault of his own, disrupting his life significantly for a number of weeks. It is only right that he was compensated.”