Highways and footways insurance claims

wwwwIf you are considering making a claim against Caerphilly County Borough Council for damage or injury sustained whilst using the highways and footways you should be aware that on average 84% of claims against us are unsuccessful.

It is our duty to protect public funds, and the Highways Act 1980 gives us a statutory defence against claims, as long we can prove that we took all reasonable steps to maintain the road or pavement.

Just because you have suffered damage or an injury as a result of an incident does not give you an automatic right to compensation.

Other organisations responsible for highway and footway defects

Most roads and pavements in Caerphilly county borough are our responsibility. We have a statutory duty under the Highways Act 1980 to carry out routine safety inspections at varying frequencies to identify any road or pavement in need of repair.

Some roads are the responsibility of other organisations such as SWTRA. Alternatively, road or pavement issues may have been caused by:

  • contractors working on our behalf
  • utility companies
  • private individuals

More information about our inspections is available in the our Highways Maintenance Strategy.

We cannot deal with claims on behalf of other organisations or individuals, but we will forward your claim to them, where you give us permission to do so.

Proving negligence

To make a successful claim you will need to prove that we have been negligent, and failed in our duty to maintain the highway or footway to an appropriate standard.

Our Highways Maintenance Strategy sets out our approach to providing the highways maintenance service in accordance with our statutory duties.  

You will need to provide evidence that, at the time of the incident:

  • a defect existed on a road or pavement maintained by us

  • the defect is one that would be considered to be dangerous

  • the defect was the direct cause of the incident, and that you have suffered an injury or loss as a direct result of the incident

If you can prove any of the above, we will then need to investigate if the existence of the defect was because of our failure to adhere to our statutory duties. Just because we investigate does not mean that a claim will be successful or a payment made. 

Appointing a representative

You have the right to seek independent professional or legal advice at any stage of your claim. However, we deal with all compensation claims in the same way, and instructing a solicitor or legal representative will not progress your claim any quicker.

If you choose to appoint a third party to act on your behalf, we will correspond with them directly.

If you are acting on behalf of another adult, we will require a signed written statement from the claimant, confirming they are happy for you to do so.

Fraud prevention

Insurance fraud can take many forms, from exaggeration of the value of genuine claims to completely made up incidents or losses to attempt to obtain money.

We take ALL insurance fraud very seriously indeed, and we will check all claims against various databases to prevent fraud. You will be asked to provide evidence for all claims made. By submitting a claim to us you are agreeing that your details may be shared with other organisations to carry out further checks.

Any fraudulent claim will be referred to the police for criminal action to be considered.

Repairing property damage

If you have made a claim for property damage you must keep your losses to a minimum and arrange for any repairs to be completed as soon as possible.

You should take photographs of the damage on every claim.

You must keep copies of all estimates and invoices for repair work as these we will be needed if your claim is successful.

Making a claim

Before you make a claim, you must report the defect to us. Visit our report a highways issue section for information

Once reported you will be given an enquiry number which you will need to provide on your claim form.

Download an insurance claim form (PDF)

What happens next?

All claims are decided on a case by case basis.

Your claim will be investigated by Caerphilly County Borough Council directly. We will:

  • consider the information that you’ve provided
  • request and consider reports that have been made regarding the defect
  • request and consider our inspection and maintenance records of the area

We will use this information to determine whether the defect or incident was as a direct result of any negligence by, or on behalf of Caerphilly County Borough Council.

Ultimately, only a court can decide whether or not the defect is dangerous, and whether Caerphilly County Borough Council has been negligent.

If we believe that your claim would not be successful in court, we will reject the claim and inform you of our reasons in writing.

How long will it take?

The time it takes to complete a case depends on the type and complexity of the claim, however you will normally receive a liability decision within 40 working days of your claim being submitted in the case of a damage only claim.

Once your claim has been allocated to a claims handler, we will write to you and confirm the maximum time in which you can expect to receive your decision. Further questions may be asked at this time, and answering these as fully as possible will avoid delays in the investigations.

Challenging a decision

Only a court can decide whether Caerphilly County Borough Council has been negligent. It is for this reason that unfortunately our corporate complaints procedure does not apply to insurance claims. Any queries or challenges to our liability decision must be made in writing and sent to:

Insurance & Risk Management Department
Penallta House
Tredomen Park
Ystrad Mynach
CF82 7PG
Or by email to Insurance@caerphilly.gov.uk

Upon receipt of your correspondence we will review your claim and confirm the outcome in writing. However if our decision is not accepted then we recommend you seek independent legal advice before commencing any legal action, to ensure that you are given professional advice on the prospects of your claim succeeding in court, and to avoid you being responsible for legal costs that you cannot recover.

Claims by third party solicitors and other legal professionals

Personal Injury claims for accidents occurring from 31 July 2013 must be submitted using the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury (Employers’ Liability and Public Liability) Claims.

Please ensure that all claims against Caerphilly County borough Council are submitted to us directly. We are a registered compensator on the Portal and can be found by searching ‘Caerphilly County Council’ within the compensator details, or by entering our Portal ID: G00281.

For Highways Personal Liability claims, the defendant details must be entered as follows:

Caerphilly County Borough Council
Penallta House
Tredomen Park
Ystrad Mynach
CF82 7PG