If you have been injured or suffered loss or damage to property and believe your local council is responsible you can make a compensation claim against them. You may want to claim for an injury if you trip on a pavement, or hurt yourself on council property that you deem to be unsafe or dangerous, or if your property is damaged due to council actions. For example, if a council-operated or owned vehicle damages your car or the fencing around your home. Claiming against local councils should be fairly straightforward; you are entitled to compensation if council actions or negligence have caused you or your property damage or injury. If you have any doubts regarding whether you have a claim contact a specialist law firm who will be able to advise you
At Accident Advice Helpline we can help you with your claim. The first step is to contact your council; usually this will need to be in writing, either on a form specifically provided for the purpose of claiming compensation, or in a letter. You can find out exactly what you need to do from your local council website or by contacting them by phone, or we can offer you advice. Remember to keep copies of any contact that you have. It is very unlikely that you can make a claim over the phone, as the council will want your account of the incident in writing. You should be sure to include any supporting evidence, such as photos or statements from witnesses. It may be possible to make the claim through your insurance company if it is related to damage to a car or property. The insurer will then deal with the council and claim the money from them if they are liable. Your insurance premiums will not be affected if the council is shown to be at fault and this is generally an easier way to make a claim than by dealing with the council personally.
Once your claim has been received the council will pass it to their insurers or to an investigation agency which will deal with the claim and determine whether they believe any compensation is due. The council will probably be unable to answer your queries on the subject as they will be required not to comment on the matter if an outside party is dealing with it. This is to ensure you do not receive conflicting information. As a specialist law firm we will be able to help you understand the procedure, so contact us for help and advice.
Things to remember
There are several points to bear in mind if you are making a claim for compensation against the council:
- The process may take some time to complete, so do not expect a particularly fast response
- The council may seek to retrieve any debts owed to them by anyone who is paid compensation. These debts may be deducted from your pay-out, so check with your council to see if they have a policy on this and if it affects you
- Anyone on benefits who receives compensation must declare it to the benefits agency, because your benefits may be affected.
If you are making a claim against the council for compensation the most important thing to do is provide as much evidence as possible and keep copies of all correspondence. If you have a valid case you will receive the level of compensation due to you.
Date Published: October 17, 2013
Author: David Brown