If you suffer loss or injury as a result of an incident you may have the right to claim compensation
If you wish to make a claim for compensation then you are starting a legal process against Hampshire County Council, as the Highway Authority.
- The law
Hampshire County Council has a duty to maintain the highways and footways it is responsible for. The County Council does not have an obligation to keep the roads and paths free from all mud, debris and water. However, the County Council will endeavour to clear this when time and resources permit, or if it is considered a hazard which requires action.
The County Council is not responsible for private or unadopted roads and paths, motorways, works carried out by third party contractors and statutory undertakers (such as private utilities).
The County Council cannot make payments in respect of compensation as a result of its highway works. When Parliament passed the relevant legislation that requires the maintenance of public highways (Highways Act 1980) there was no requirement on highway authorities to pay compensation to residents or businesses that might be affected by such works, or for the extra fuel costs. Hampshire County Council always tries to ensure that works are scheduled in a way that minimises disruption and inconvenience, but even if that occurs, there is no legal basis on which we can make compensation payments.
- What happens when you make legal claim for compensation
You need to complete a claim form which is stating that you wish to pursue a civil claim against Hampshire County Council, as Highway Authority. You are starting the process of ‘suing’ Hampshire County Council – which you could pursue through to the County Court, if you wished. Your completed claim form is your evidence of the circumstances of your claim as well as details of what you are claiming for. It is a document that would be presented to the Court and you will be held to account if the information is untrue. The County Council will acknowledge receipt of your claim within 5 working days.
Your claim will be fully investigated considering all the known facts and legal liability will be determined in accordance with the law. The County Council will accept or reject your claim, depending on whether or not it is considered that a court would award compensation on the facts presented. If the County Council accept liability, or when the court upholds a claim, claims will be settled promptly. If the County Council deny liability, you will be provided with a detailed letter setting out the legal reasons (based on the statutory Defence afforded by Parliament) that support why there is no liability to you.
The County Council will inform you of the decision on liability and your claim for compensation in writing, usually within 90 days, in accordance with the Ministry of Justice guidelines.
You are entitled to seek independent legal advice at any stage of your claim.
- Claiming for damage
In order to process your claim, the below documentation is required:
- Any estimates, quotes and receipts
- Photographs of defect and surrounding area to show location
- Photographs of damage
- Vehicle MOT Certificate
- Drivers Insurance Certificate
- Driving Licence – Photo card and paper counterpart
Failure to provide this documentation may cause a delay in the processing of your claim.
- Claiming for personal injury
You will need to supply copies of the following documents:
- claimant’s date of birth and National Insurance number
- claimant’s doctor and hospital / medical centre address with dates of attendance
Due to the nature of personal injury claims, no details of costs incurred by the claimant are required at this stage. This information will be obtained at a later date, should the claim be successful.
- Reasons claims are rejected
- 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 if 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
- Make a claim
Following submission of a Claim against Hampshire County Council our Legal Service will review the information provided to make a decision on liability and notify you accordingly under guidelines introduced by the Lord Chancellor. Under these guidelines, Hampshire County Council has three months in which to provide you with our decision on liability.
If you're happy you understand the conditions and want to go ahead:
Solicitors, claims managers and other professional representatives for personal injury claimants should note that Hampshire County Council is registered on the Claims Portal and will receive personal injury claims submitted there.