The claims process

What we need

To process your claim, you will need to submit the following information:

  • completed claim form
  • exact location of the incident
  • time and date of the incident
  • two independent quotes or estimates for repairs if appropriate
  • proof of vehicle ownership if appropriate
  • photos (not compulsory but they will help to support and validate your claim)
    • when taking photos of potholes please include a wide shot to show the general location (including landmarks or road names) as well as any close-ups
    • even if a defect has been repaired since your incident please include this as it helps us identify the correct location
    • photos of injuries and/or damage to property, for example tyres, wheels, personal possessions

Please do not put yourself at risk on the highway to take photographs.

What happens next

  • we will acknowledge receipt of your claim within 10 working days
  • all claims will be investigated in full
  • we will inform you within 90 days whether or not we will agree to assist you or if your claim has been refused
  • we set targets for all claims to avoid delay in coming to a decision - we are working on your claim so please be patient with us!
  • personal injury claims are forwarded to our insurers who will appoint representatives to act on their behalf – they will contact you directly

How we make a decision

Once we have investigated all the circumstances of the incident, we make a decision based on a strict legal liability basis. Regrettably we cannot assess claims from a moral standpoint and can only settle claims where we have failed in our statutory duties.

The council has a public liability policy to cover such events, however, the excess is £100,000. We are therefore duty bound to protect council public funds where we have a legal defence to a claim.

Civil claims are settled on an indemnity basis. This means that we are unable to put you in a better financial position than you were before the incident occurred. Therefore, a deduction is made for wear and tear.


As you are making a civil claim, unfortunately there is no right to appeal. If you disagree with our decision, you should seek your own independent legal advice.