Claim compensation due to a road or street problem
If your property or vehicle has been damaged, or you’ve suffered a personal injury, due to a problem with a road or street and you believe that the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) is responsible, you can make a claim for compensation.
Before you start
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and in considering the latest health advice, measures have been put in place to protect staff. As a result, DfI Roads Claims Unit is currently operating a skeleton service.
As such, claims processing times will be affected, but the unit will try to deal with your online claim submission or email correspondence in due course.
Report the problem that you believe caused damage
If you have not yet reported the problem that you believe caused the property damage, vehicle damage, or personal injury, do this by choosing one of the pages in the following section:
Keep a note of the 'W' reference number you're given after reporting it, as you will be asked for this when completing a claim form.
Providing clear, dated photographs and/ or photographs of the damaged property, may speed up the processing of your claim. This includes:
- close-up shots of the defect - that is, the problem on the road/street that caused the damage/injury
- the defect at a distance and in the context of the surrounding area
Property damage claim
If it is a claim for property damage you will need:
- photographs showing the damage to your property
- receipts or estimates for the repair of your property (see 'Things to note' section)
- details of your insurance company if you're claiming off them for the same incident
Vehicle damage claim
If it's a claim for vehicle damage, you will need:
- a copy of Vehicle Test certificate
- a copy of the first page of certificate V5C (log book) showing the name of the registered keeper and vehicle registration mark
- the date that your motor tax expires
- photographs of the damage to your vehicle
- photographs showing a close-up of the defect that caused the damage and the same defect at a distance showing the surrounding area
- receipts or estimates for the repair of the vehicle (see 'Things to note' section)
- details of your insurance company if you're claiming off them for the same incident
- proof of insurance excess (if applicable)
Personal injury claim
If it's a claim for personal injury, you will need:
- photographs showing a close-up of the defect that caused your injury and the same defect at a distance showing the surrounding area
- name and address of your doctor’s surgery or the hospital you attended
- names and addresses of any witnesses to your accident
Things to note
You should keep the damaged parts/ items as these may need to be inspected by a representative acting on behalf of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI).
You must keep all original receipts/ estimates about the claim, as the originals may be needed by DfI to complete your claim.
If you're unable to scan copies of the requested documents, clear and readable photographs will be accepted by DfI.
If the claim is for personal injury and you are the claimant and are under 18 years of age (a minor), you must nominate a parent or other representative to make this claim on your behalf.
Register an account
When you first open the online claims form below you will need to register an account. To do so you will have to use your email address and then the 'Create an Account' button.
An email will then be sent to you with details of how to set your password. Check your email junk/ spam folder if you believe you have not received the email.
You can find out how any personal information you send to the DfI Roads Claims Unit when using this service will be handled by viewing its privacy notice.
Tracking the progress of a claim
If you have made a claim online you can check its progress at the following link:
You will need your login details and the unique claim reference number that you will be given by the DfI Roads Claims Unit after it registers your claim.
Claiming compensation by email
If you prefer, you can download a claim form, which can be filled in using your device/ computer and then emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org together with your supporting documentation.
You can find the forms at these links:
- Property damage compensation claim form
- Vehicle damage compensation claim form
- Personal injury compensation claim form
Contact DfI Roads Claims Unit if you're unable to use either the online claim forms or use email to send your claim form.
Compensation is not automatically guaranteed. DfI must thoroughly investigate every claim to see if it has a defence to the allegations made.
When its investigations are complete, you will be told of its decision in writing.
Property and vehicle damage
If the decision is taken to pay compensation, the amount offered will be the amount estimated to return your property or vehicle to the condition it was in immediately before the damage.
There is no legal entitlement to provide 'new for old', therefore the amount of compensation paid may be less than the amount claimed.
Personal injury only
If DfI makes an offer of compensation for an injury to a minor, the matter will be referred to a judge to assess if the compensation is fair.
Any compensation paid will be held by the court until the minor reaches the age of 18.
Timescales for claim decisions
The average timescale for a decision to be taken on vehicle damage claims is four months. For personal injury claims it is six months.
For internal flooding of living accommodation, the target is six weeks.
The average timescale for a decision on all other property damage claims is six months.
To investigate your claim thoroughly, DfI Roads Claims Unit may have to check the following:
- highway inspection and repair records
- other records held by DfI (for example, public complaints)
- whether a contractor or other organisation is involved
Once your claim has been thoroughly investigated, a decision is taken to either pay compensation, reject it, or refer it to another party.
Why another party might be involved
From investigations, it may be established that a contractor, utility company, or another person or organisation caused the defect in question.
In those circumstances, details will be passed to that person or organisation to investigate your claim further.
Meeting at the accident site
Personal injury and vehicle damage only
Providing clear, dated photographs as mentioned in the 'Report the problem that you believe caused damage' section above may mean that a meeting on site might not be necessary.
If DfI can't identity the exact location from the photographs, a meeting may be arranged with a member of its staff so that you can show the exact location.
Alternatively, and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be asked to provide better quality photographs.
Property damage and vehicle damage
During its investigation, it may be necessary for a DfI staff member to find the cause of and inspect the damage to your property or vehicle.
In some cases DfI may use the services of a loss adjuster to inspect the damage to your property or vehicle and to advise on the financial aspects of a claim.
Such visits form part of DfI's investigations and do not mean that it is accepting liability.
If you have already carried out the repairs, keep evidence of the damage by either keeping the damaged item(s), where possible, or providing photographs of the damage.
If a claim relates to the sewerage and water
Northern Ireland Water Ltd is responsible for supplying water and sewerage services, and the company has its own claims-handling procedures.
If your claim is as a result of flooding or any other actions or operations taken by or on behalf of NI Water, you should contact Waterline to ask for a claim form.
- Waterline: 0345 744 0088
- Contacting 08 and 03 telephone numbers
Further information may be found at this link:
Making a complaint about how a claim was handled
If you wish to complain about any aspect of how a claim was handled, you can find out what to do on the Complaining about how a claim was handled page.
More useful links
Problems with roads and streets
- Claim compensation due to a road or street problem
- Clearing ice and snow from footways
- Complaining about how a roads-related claim was handled
- Drains, gullies and sewers
- Ice and snow on roads and streets
- Report a pothole
- Report a problem with a crash barrier or guardrail
- Report a problem with a manhole or gully cover
- Report a road drainage fault
- Report a road spillage
- Report a street light fault
- Report an issue with a road sign or marking
- Report an issue with graffiti or fly-posters
- Report an issue with ice or snow
- Report an issue with roadworks
- Report an obstruction on a road or street
- Reporting problems with pavements and private street maintenance
- Road spillages
- Roadside grass cutting, weeds and overgrown hedges or trees
- Track progress of a compensation claim
- Track progress of a reported road fault or issue
- Track progress of a reported street light fault
- Traffic lights and reporting a fault
- When you see animals wandering on the road