We have a duty to maintain the highway so it is safe to be used by the public.  The council satisfies this duty by undertaking cyclical inspections of the highway and by undertaking repairs as required. It is quite natural for persons that have suffered loss as a result of an incident to assume that the council is liable under any circumstances, but in law the council must be in breach of its statutory duty with no statutory defence to rely upon before a claim can be successful.

Section 58 of the act provides an opportunity to defend a claim as long as we have complied with the policies of inspection and maintenance. It is accepted by the Court that it is unreasonable for a highway authority to keep a network free from every imperfection or to fix every pothole as soon as it appears. Further it is not possible for the Authority to react to a problem of which it is unaware.

Persons that suffer a loss as a result of an incident on the highway can make a claim against the council for compensation. The circumstances of the claim will be investigated to establish if the council has complied with its duty.

Vehicle damage

If you wish to make a claim for damage to a vehicle you can complete the form.

  Download a vehicle damage claim form

Please fully complete the form and return it with all supporting documentation. Please note that any incomplete forms or forms submitted without supporting documentation will be returned to you and the investigation into your claim will be put on hold until we receive the missing information.

Personal injury

If you have suffered a personal injury, you will need to either email claims@torbay.gov.uk or write to us at:

Claims Handling
Town Hall
Castle Circus

Please include the following information in your letter or email:

  • Full name, address, and postcode.
  • National Insurance Number.
  • Date of Birth.
  • Full circumstances of accident.
  • Accident date and time.
  • Injuries sustained. If hospital treatment was required, the name of the hospital.
  • Accident location. Include images and a marked map of the accident location.
  • Marked images of the alleged defect, along with the direction of travel.
  • Witness details.

Please be aware that due to the detailed nature of an investigation into a claim, it may take some time to notify you of the outcome of the investigation. A response to your claim may also be delayed if you do not report the presence of the highway defect using our online reporting system and quote the reference number in the space provided on the claim form.

  Report a highway problem

Insurance fraud is a criminal offence - fraudulent claims will be investigated.