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Compensation claims against the council

If you experience damage, loss or harm in relation to yourself or your belongings, you may wish to make a claim for compensation against the council.

The council will only make a payment of compensation when it is found to be legally liable for your loss. The onus is on you as the claimant to prove your claim, which includes providing full details of the incident including accurate dates, locations and details of the incident to enable us to investigate the claim properly.

You also have a duty to take all reasonable steps to minimise the value and extent of any loss. Do not dispose of any damaged property without the prior agreement of the council, as this may affect your claim.

There are two ways in which you can proceed with a claim. One option is to claim through your own insurer and the other option is to claim directly against the council. Both these options are explained below. You should read both options and decide which is best for you.

Claiming through your own insurers:

If you make a claim through your own insurer, your insurer will most likely cover your loss on a 'new for old basis' and then seek to recover the costs from the council. If the council is proven to have been legally liable for your loss then your insurer should recover both their costs and any excess payment you have made to them. Your premium payments should not be affected if the council is found to be legally liable for your loss.

Claiming directly to the council:

If you wish to make a claim for compensation directly against the council, you can use our online claim form, which can be found at the link below.

http://goo.gl/forms/WvvEzrzVMU

If you would prefer to send us a letter of claim, please send it to:

Insurance Team

London Borough of Sutton

Civic Offices

St Nicholas Way

Sutton SM1 1EA

If you choose to send us a letter it must include:

  • Your name & address
  • Your date of birth
  • Your national insurance number
  • Details of the incident such as exact location & date & time etc
  • An indication of the injury or damage to property
  • An explanation of how or why you feel the council have acted negligently

Please try and include as much information as possible and include any photographs or maps of the location, if necessary. The more information you provide the council, the easier it will be to investigate & reach a decision of liability

There are some important points to note if you wish to make a claim directly against the council:

1. We will acknowledge your claim within seven working days and then begin our investigation. Depending on how quickly we are able to determine if the council is legally liable for your loss, the council will write out to you with our decision. This process will take no longer than three months, usually less. This complies with the Civil Procedure Rules, which are set out by the Ministry of Justice.

2. If the council is found to be legally liable for your loss, the council's liability is limited to the value of the loss immediately prior to your incident. In other words, any payments made will not be on a 'new for old basis', as would be the case through your own insurers.

3. If you claim benefits, any payment made to settle your claim might affect benefits payments and any settlement that is paid to you must be declared.

4. The council may explore an option to use the payment of a claim to recover any current debt that you may owe the council (such as any council tax arrears).

5. Fraudulent claims will be prosecuted and could result in imprisonment.

General insurance enquiries

Any general council insurance enquiries can be made by calling the Insurance Team on 020 8770 5353.

Note to claimant legal representatives

The London Borough of Sutton is registered on the Claims Portal and claims can be submitted directly by selecting us as the relevant defendant/compensator. Our Portal ID is G00302.

Help and advice

A compensation claim is a legal claim and can be very complicated. You may wish to seek independent legal advice either before you make a claim or if you disagree with any decision reached. Before appointing a solicitor we advise you check how much any legal service will cost and how they will be funded. Alternatively, the Citizens Advice Bureau can give guidance on making a claim. To get details of your local Citizens Advice Bureau office please visit their website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/.