Making a claim
Things to consider, please read the following before making an accident claim:
- Our duty to maintain
- Statutory defence
- Making a claim
- What happens next?
- How long will it take?
- Professional fees
- Referred claims
- Appealing a decision
- Preventing fraud
- Insurance Claims Information For Solicitors
1. Our duty to maintain
We are the Highways Authority for the majority of roads and footpaths in Cheshire East, and have a duty to maintain these under the Highways Act 1980. We carry out regular highways inspections which are designed to identify, record and repair defects which are deemed to be dangerous.
2. Statutory defence
The Highways Act recognises that defects will arise on roads and footpaths, and their appearance does not necessarily mean that CEC has breached its statutory duty. If a defect has caused you to suffer an injury or damage to your property then you are entitled to make a claim for compensation, however the Highways Act provides us with a defence to these claims which we are obliged to use. CEC has a duty to protect the public funds it administers, so legitimate defences will be applied, where appropriate. We will only offer compensation if it is found to have been negligent or in breach of its statutory duty.
3. Making a claim
To make a claim you will need to complete a claim form (PDF, 50KB). Return this to the address at the bottom of the page. Unless the claim form is fully completed we will be unable to process your claim. Please ensure you use the check boxes on the claim form to ensure you have completed the form correctly and enclosed all documentation.
You are required to keep your losses to a minimum in relation to claims involving your property, which means you should arrange any repairs required as soon as possible. Original repair documents and receipts should always be submitted to support your claim. When submitting your claim form please ensure any estimates or invoices are attached. You are advised to keep copies of any original invoices submitted.
4. What happens next?
Your claim will be investigated by CEC or its insurer. Depending on the nature of your claim you may be required to attend a site meeting with a CEC representative.
All claims are decided on an individual basis. We will consider the information that you have provided along with our own evidence, which will include any information you have provided via CEC’s online reporting function or telephone calls you have made to CEC reporting the incident. Liability will be assessed by our claims handlers and they will inform you in writing of the outcome of your claim.
5. How Long Will it Take?
For claims involving damage to property we will aim to provide you with a decision on liability within 3 months. For claims involving personal injury please allow up to 16 weeks.
Please note that these protocol periods in relation to any claim will not commence until the Council is in receipt of all relevant information which will enable us to investigate the claim fully
6. Professional Fees
You have the right to seek independent legal or other professional advice. Our procedures for dealing with compensation claims remain the same whether you make a claim directly or through a third party. If you appoint a third party to act on your behalf we will correspond with them directly and not yourself. You cannot act on behalf of another adult (e.g. a relative) unless you have their written authorisation to do so.
7. Referred claims
Some roads in Cheshire East are the responsibility of other organisations such as the Highways Agency. Problems with road conditions may also be caused by contractors working on our behalf, or for another organisation or private individual. CEC cannot deal with claims on behalf of any other parties. If a claim is received that cannot be dealt with by CEC we will either refer your claim onto the party responsible, or provide you with their contact details (where possible).
8. Appealing the decision
CEC does not have a formal appeal procedure in the event of a compensation claim being denied. All decisions are made in accordance with CEC’s duties under the Highways Act. Any queries or challenges to the decision must be made in writing to our claims handlers not CEC. It is not possible for claims handlers to deal with these enquiries by phone.
9. Preventing fraud
Please be aware that CEC checks all claims to prevent fraud, and your details may be shared with other organisations to carry out further checks. If you have any similar claims against public or private bodies please disclose these with your claim, with a brief summary of the claim and the name of the organisation claimed against.
10. Insurance claims information for solicitors
Ministry of Justice Reforms July 2013 - submission of personal injury claims via the claims portal
As a consequence of the Ministry of Justice reforms relating to personal injury claims, (not exceeding £25,000 damages), all such legally represented claims for incidents occurring on or after 31st July 2013, have to be submitted via the Claims Portal.
The Council’s appointed claims handling agents for Public Liability claims are :
For incidents occurring 31st July 2013 to 31st March 2014 – Public Liability
Topmark Claims Management Limited
160 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4TB
Phone : 0141 331 6831
Any claims being made via the Portal should be directed to Topmark under their organisation ID – D00073
For incidents occurring 1st April 2014 onwards – Public Liability
Gallagher Bassett International Limited
Level 4,Compass House, Rose Wharf, East Street, Leeds, LS9 8EE
Phone : 0113 246 2000
Any claims being made via the Portal should be directed to Gallagher Bassett under their organisation ID D00019
Our address is as follows;
Cheshire East Highways Risk Team