Making a Claim Against the Council
If you have suffered personal injury or damage to your property as a result of actions by the Council you may consider making a claim against the Council. For the claim to be successful you will need to prove that the Council has been negligent and has not done everything that is reasonable to protect you or your property. There is no automatic entitlement to compensation when something happens, the alleged incident may not have been the fault of the Council.
You have 6 years from the date of the incident to claim for property damage and 3 years for personal injury claims.
In order to protect public funds we will use the information you provide in relation to your claim to detect and prevent fraud, this information may be shared with other departments within the Council and with other organisations for the same purpose. Any person found to be making a fraudulent claim (or assisting in the making of a fraudulent claim) would be liable to prosecution.
*Please note Cannock Chase DC is not a Highways Authority and is therefore not responsible for dealing with pothole claims or other matters relating to public roads in Staffordshire. All claims relating to Highways including claims for potholes need to be sent to Staffordshire County Council www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Highways/Contact.aspx
HOW YOUR CLAIM IS HANDLED
To inform the Council of your claim please write to the Insurance Section at the address given below, giving the following information:
- Full name, address & telephone number
- Age and date of birth
- National Insurance Number
- Exact time and date of the incident/accident
- The precise location of the incident, indicating landmarks where possible (shops, houses, churches, street signs etc) – please include a sketch or photographs
- Written details of how the incident/accident happened together with a photograph, if possible, of any hazard or obstruction which you believe to have been the cause of the incident
- Details of injuries and/or property damage
- The names and addresses of any witnesses
- Confirmation that the information given in your letter of claim is correct
Please do not dispose of any damaged items prior to the Council confirming whether they wish to inspect the property concerned, if you do so this may result in a reduced settlement being paid in the event of liability having been accepted.
Your letter of claim will be forwarded to the Council’s Insurers within 2 working days of receipt; the insurers will acknowledge receipt of your letter giving details of the claim reference number and the claim handler.
The Council will pass all relevant information to their insurers and your claim will be investigated, the Council’s insurers will decide whether or not the Council is at fault. The law allows up to three months for this to take place. Sometimes the claims handler may request further information from you, if they do, the three month period may commence when this is received.
For personal injury claims the insurers may send you a form to complete so that they can approach your General Practitioner or hospital for a report or copy records. For severe injuries a report from an independent consultant who has examined you may be required, these can take some months to obtain.
Some smaller claims for property damage only will be dealt with directly by the Council’s Insurance section, if this is the case your letter of claim will be acknowledged within 2 working day of receipt.
The Council and its insurer always aim to deal with all claims within the timescales set down by law.
If the Council or their Insurer decides that the Council was not at fault they will write to you and explain why. If you wish to discuss the decision you can speak directly to the person who sent you the letter. If it is decided that the Council is responsible you will be sent a letter offering compensation together with an “acceptance” letter which should be signed and returned. If you accept the offer you will need to do so in writing confirming who any settlement cheques should be made payable to, if you disagree with the level of compensation offered you should respond to the person who sent you the letter outlining your reasons why.
You may seek independent legal advice at any stage throughout this process. If you disagree with the decision made you may then seek legal advice and go to court.
Complaints with regard to the handling of your claim will be dealt with via the Council’s Complaints Procedure, however, we are unable to deal with disagreements regarding the outcome of your claim under this procedure and these should be dealt with as outlined above.
Contact details (Please note all Insurance matters for Stafford Borough & Cannock Chase District are dealt with by Cannock Chase DC).:
P O Box 28
01543 464679 or 01543 464357