Make a claim
Before you invest your time making a claim against Essex County Council
you should be aware that 90% of claims against us are rejected.
- It’s 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 avoid the defect from appearing
- An injury or damage as a result of an incident doesn’t give an automatic right to compensation
responsible for road or pavement defects
Most roads and pavements in Essex 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. More information about our
inspections is available in the Highway Maintenance Policy and General Principles and Highway Maintenance and Inspection Strategies.
Some roads (or parts of roads) are
the responsibility of other organisations such as Highways England, or
your local borough, city or district council.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Thurrock Council are responsible
for the roads and pavements within their borough boundaries. You should contact them directly.
Alternatively road or pavement issues
may have been caused by:
- contractors working on our behalf
- utility companies
- private individuals
We can’t deal with claims on behalf of other organisations or individuals, but we will either forward your claim, or provide contact details for the relevant party where possible.
Proof of negligence
To make a successful claim you will
need to prove that we have been negligent, and failed in our duty to maintain
public roads and pavements to an appropriate standard.
The Highway Maintenance Policy and General Principles and Highway Maintenance and Inspection Strategies sets out Essex County Council’s approach
to providing the highways maintenance service in accordance with statutory
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 or injury, and that you
have suffered a loss
If the above can be proven, we will
then need to consider if the existence of the defect was as a result of our
failure to adhere to our statutory duties. A consideration does not mean that a
claim will be successful or a payment made.
Report a road or
Before you make a claim you must report the defect using our online Report a Highway Problem tool.
You will be sent an enquiry number
for your report and this will need to be provided as part of your claim.
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.
We check all claims to prevent fraud,
and your details may be shared with other organisations to carry out further
If you’ve 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 must keep copies of all estimates
and invoices for repair work as these will be needed if your claim is
Making a claim
You must have
reported the road or pavement defect to us before you submit a claim.
Make an insurance claim online
What happens next?
All claims are decided on an
Your claim will be investigated by
Essex County Council directly. We will:
- consider the information that you’ve provided
- any reports that have been made regarding the defect
- our inspection and maintenance records of the area
This information will be used to
determine whether the defect or incident was as a direct result of any
negligence by, or on behalf of Essex County Council.
Ultimately, only a court can decide
whether or not the defect is dangerous, and whether Essex County Council has
If we believe that your claim would
not be successful in court, then your claim will be rejected and you will be
informed of our reasons in writing.
How long will it
The time it takes to complete a case
depends on the type and complexity of the claim.
Once your claim has been allocated to
a file handler, we will write to you and confirm the maximum time in which you
can expect to receive your decision.
Only a court can decide whether or not the defect is dangerous, and whether Essex County Council has been negligent. It is for this reason that any queries or challenges to theliability decision must be made in writing and sent to:
Essex County Council
Or by email to email@example.com
Upon receipt of your appeal, your claim will be reviewed and we will confirm the outcome of your review in writing.
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
Essex County Council are submitted to us directly. We are a registered
compensator on the Portal and can be found by searching ‘Essex County Council’
within the compensator details, or by entering our Portal ID: G00441.
For Highways Personal Liability
claims, the defendant details must be entered as follows:
Essex County Council