You can make an insurance claim against the Council in respect of personal injury and/or loss of or damage to personal property.
Insurance claims against the Council including schools
Ministry of Justice Portal: Council and Maintained Schools
Any claims being made using the Ministry of Justic Portal should be submitted against Stockton on Tees Borough Council under our Portal ID - G00626.
Ministry of Justice Portal: Academy Schools
A number of schools have converted to Academies, you can check the status of a school on the Find a School webpage. Any claims involving Academies should be submitted directly to them.
Fraudulent insurance claims
We are committed to protecting public funds, to help prevent and detect fraud we may share information relating to claims with other organisations.
If someone deliberately provides false or misleading information in relation to an insurance claim, Police will be informed and action will be taken to recover costs.
Making a Highway Claim
A highway claim involves loss, damage or injury arising from an accident on the public highway such as a road or footpath. For example a trip, slip or fall due to the condition of the footpath or road, or damage to a vehicle resulting from the condition of the road such as a pothole.
There is no automatic right to compensation as the Highways Act 1980 provides the Council with a statutory defence against claims under Section 58 of the Act where we can prove that we took all reasonable steps to avoid the defect from occurring.
The Council has a duty to protect the public funds it administers and we will therefore apply the statutory defence where appropriate. As a result around 90% of all claims are rejected.
In order to succeed with a highway claim you will need to prove that the Council has been negligent and failed in its duty to maintain the public highway to an appropriate standard. This means proving that at the time of the incident:
- a hazardous defect existed on a highway maintained by the Council.
- the highway had not been maintained appropriately with regard to its importance and use and was therefore dangerous.
- the defect was the direct cause of the incident and that you have suffered loss as a result.
Submitting Your Highway Claim
You will firstly need to ensure that the defect is reported to us. You can report the damage online or call us on 01642 391959.
To make a claim use the online form above. You will need to provide copies of relevant supporting information with the claim form, such as:
- estimates and invoices for any repair works required or undertaken to damaged property
- for vehicle damage - Insurance certificate
- for vehicle damage - MOT certificate
- for vehicle damage - Vehicle Registration Document (V5)
- confirmation of the precise location of the defect responsible for the incident
- photos of the defect responsible for the incident and of the damage or injuries sustained
What Happens Next
You will receive an acknowledgement of your claim within 21 days of receipt of all valid supporting documents. The Council will investigate the incident and we will inform you when our enquiries are complete or whether we require any additional information from you.
The Council will consider the information you have provided in conjunction with our inspection and maintenance records of the area together with any reports that have been received in respect of the defect in order to determine whether there is any liability on the Council.
We will contact you within 90 days of the date of our acknowledgement to advise whether your claim has been accepted or not.
Some claims involving a personal injury may be dealt with by a claims handling company appointed by the Council. The process will remain the same, however all correspondence will be from/to the claims handling company, not the Council.
Appealing the Decision
If your claim is rejected you will be provided with an explanation as to why this is the case. Our decision to deny liability on a claim will be based upon the facts and the law, and will be consistent with case law as applied by the courts and in accordance with our duties under the Highways Act.
Should you disagree with the Council or its claims handler's decision you must submit queries or challenges in writing or by email. Upon receipt of your appeal, your claim will be reviewed and we will confirm the outcome in writing. Should you remain dissatisfied with the Council or its claims handler's decision you may seek independent legal advice.