Making a claim
Should you wish to submit a claim to us you'll need to complete, sign and return a claim form, which can be found in Word or pdf formats under 'Related documents' on this page, along with the accompanying guidance.
Please be advised that as we're responsible for public money we're only able to offer compensation where it's considered that we'd be held legally liable in respect of the incident. Our reasons for this are as follows:
Under Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980, a highways authority is under an obligation to keep their highways in a good state of repair. Section 58 of the Highways Act 1980 imposes a duty upon the authority to carry out regular inspections of the highways in our area for the purpose of maintenance. Courts accept however that no matter how diligent an authority is, it can't prevent or respond immediately to all defects. As a consequence, the simple existence of a defect on the highway doesn't generally render the highway authority automatically liable.
As a council we have a highways policy which stipulates the inspection and repair regime to be followed, which ensures that we're not in breach of Section 58 of the Highways Act. Should we receive complaints or reports of defects in the interim period between scheduled inspections, or in the event that one of our highways technicians records a defect whilst in the area, we would respond accordingly, carrying out emergency repairs when necessary.
Compensation would be payable in the event that we'd failed to adhere to our inspection regime, or failed to repair a known defect within the appropriate time frame. During adverse weather conditions, we may be unable to carry out our routine inspections until the roads are clear of snow/flood water. Once the roads are cleared, if we consider that we acted reasonably to resume inspections and identify and repair defects, in accordance with our duties under the Highways Act we'll look to defend any claim made.
If you decide to claim you'll need to provide full details as requested on the claim form. Any incomplete claim form won't be accepted.
To help identify the defect that caused your incident we advise that you:
- Provide a map or street image (such as Google) with a mark pinpointing the location of where your incident occurred
- Include an image of the defect in the context of the surrounding area
- Specify the defect to which the damage or injury is attributed when multiple defects are present
Failure to pinpoint the exact location and defect causing the incident will mean that the claim can't be considered.
Whilst most claims are honestly made, unfortunately a small proportion of claims are fraudulent. As a result of this, our insurers use various anti-fraud measures, including registering claimant’s details with databases that are shared with other insurers and councils. All information is dealt with in accordance with the Data Protection Act.