Please read the following before making an accident claim:
ECC is the Highways Authority for the majority of roads and
footpaths in Essex, and has a duty to maintain these under the
Highways Act 1980.
We carry out regular highways inspections which are designed
to identify, record and repair defects which are deemed to be
The Highways Act recognises that defects will arise on roads and
footpaths, and their appearance does not necessarily mean that
ECC has breached its statutory duty.
If a defect has caused you to suffer an injury or damage to your
property then you are entitled to make a claim for compensation,
however the Highways Act provides ECC with a defence to these
claims which we are obliged to use.
ECC has a duty to protect the public funds it administers, so
legitimate defences will be applied, where appropriate. ECC will
only offer compensation if it is found to have been negligent or in
breach of its statutory duty..
To make a claim you will need to complete a claim form which can be obtained by telephoning Essex County Council on 0845 603 7631.
The form needs to provide enough detail to identify the exact
site, and likely cause of your accident..
You are required to keep your losses to a minimum in relation to
claims involving your property, which means you should arrange
any repairs required as soon as possible.
Original repair documents and receipts should always be
submitted to support your claim. You are advised to keep copies
of any original invoices submitted.
Your claim will be investigated by ECC or its insurer. Depending
on the nature of your claim you may be required to attend a site
meeting with an ECC representative.
All claims are decided on an individual basis. We will consider the
information that you have provided along with our own evidence,
which will include any information you have provided via ECC’s
online reporting function or telephone calls you have made to
ECC reporting the incident.
Ultimately only a court can decide whether ECC is liable to pay
compensation. If it is considered that a court would not award
compensation, then your claim will be denied.
You will be informed in writing of the decision. If the claim
is rejected you will be provided with an explanation for this
For claims involving damage to property we will aim to provide you
with a decision on liability within 3 months. For claims involving
personal injury please allow up to 16 weeks.
You have the right to seek independent legal or other professional
advice. Our procedures for dealing with compensation claims
remain the same whether you make a claim directly or through a
If you appoint a third party to act on your behalf we will
correspond with them directly and not yourself.
You cannot act on behalf of another adult (eg a relative) unless
you have their written authorisation to do so.
Some roads in Essex are the responsibility of other organisations
such as the Highways Agency. Problems with road conditions
may also be caused by contractors working on our behalf, or for
another organisation or private individual.
ECC cannot deal with claims on behalf of any other parties. If a
claim is received that cannot be dealt with by ECC we will either
refer your claim onto the party responsible, or provide you with
their contact details (where possible).
ECC does not have a formal appeal procedure in the event of a
compensation claim being denied. All decisions are made in
accordance with ECC’s duties under the Highways Act.
Any queries or challenges to the ECC’s decision must be made in
writing. It is not possible for claims handlers to deal with these
enquiries by phone.
Please be aware that ECC checks all claims to prevent fraud, and
your details may be shared with other organisations to carry out
If you have any similar claims against public or private bodies
please disclose these with your claim, with a brief summary of the
claim and the name of the organisation claimed against.