Highway incidents - claiming compensation for injury or damage
October 2013: Claims for vehicle damage as a result of defects in road surfaces are currently taking six to eight weeks to process. We apologise for any delays you have experienced.
All Hampshire’s roads and footways are routinely inspected to ensure they are maintained to a safe standard. However, defects can occur in the surface of the road, particularly during periods of wet or cold weather. Where defects cause damage to vehicles, claims for compensation are considered and investigated.
During 2013 the County Council has received a large number of vehicle damage claims due to the effect last winter’s weather had on the roads.
If you have submitted a claim and have not yet heard from us, we do apologise for the length of time it has taken to respond. We have reallocated staff resources to deal with the increased number of claims, and would like to reassure you that we will do our best to respond to you within the next six to eight weeks.
Your safety is our first priority
The County Council aims to ensure that everyone has a safe journey when using Hampshire’s roads.
Unfortunately incidents can occur due to defects with the roads. If you do suffer damage to your vehicle or are injured because of a road defect, it is important that you report the fault immediately.
If you suffer loss or injury as a result of an incident you also have the right to claim compensation. The forms do this are here.
The Claims Portal
Solicitors, claims managers and other professional representatives for personal injury claimants should note that the County Council is registered on the Claims Portal and will receive personal injury claims submitted there.
What happens when you make a claim
please complete the claim form giving full and accurate details of the incident. Photographs of the defect involved in the incident will be of particular assistance with our investigation
for claims involving a vehicle, please supply evidence of your right to drive that vehicle on the public highway (eg copies of your Driving License, Insurance Certificate, MOT Certificate, etc.) and the original repair documents and receipts so that we can asses the value of your claim
the County Council will acknowledge receipt of your claim within 5 days
we will carefully investigate your claim considering all the known facts and the law
we will accept or reject your claim, depending on whether or not we consider a court would award compensation on the facts presented
we will inform you of our views on liability and your claim for compensation in writing, usually within 30 days for damage only claims and 90 days for personal injury claims
Please be aware that many claims are rejected because
there is no automatic right to compensation
the law recognises that the highway network cannot remain in perfect condition at all times and that defects will arise
the County Council does not have to pay compensation when we can prove that we have fulfilled our obligations to carry out inspections and undertake repairs. We are able to do that in most cases
If we reject your claim, you still have the right to pursue the matter through the courts. However, you may wish to consider seeking independent legal advice before taking this course of action
You should also note that
County Council procedures are the same whether you make a claim directly, or through a third party.
we can normally supply road inspection data without the need for you to make a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act. This only duplicates the work we have to do to process your claim in any event and so can divert us from other duties
we are obliged to detect and prevent fraudulent claims. We may therefore pass your information to other bodies including the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE) run by Insurance Database Services Ltd (IDSL) and the Motor Insurers Anti-Fraud Register run by the Association of British Insurers (ABI)