The City of Newcastle (CN) maintains 800 kilometres of road network within its Local Government Area. A regular inspection of our road network is conducted assessing damaged areas to prioritise repair work.
CN must establish an injury, loss or damage was caused as a result of our negligence prior to us paying compensation.
The Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) (the Act) is legislation that applies to our responsibility for damages resulting from potholes or any other hazards on its roads. The Act sets out a number of principles to be employed in determining whether it is liable for injury, loss or damage suffered by road users. For example, section 45 of the Act provides non-feasance protection for road authorities:
A roads authority is not liable in proceedings for civil liability to which this Part applies for harm arising from a failure of the authority to carry out road work, or to consider carrying out road work, unless at the time of the alleged failure the authority had actual knowledge of the particular risk the materialisation of which resulted in harm.
Principles concerning management of resources and responsibilities as a Roads Authority are set out under section 42 of the Act:
(a) The functions required to be exercised by the authority are limited by the financial and other resources that are reasonably available to the authority for the purpose of exercising those functions
(b) The General allocation of those resources by the authority is not open to challenge
(c) The functions required to be exercised by the authority are to be determined by reference to the broad range of its activities (and not merely by reference to the matter to which the proceedings relate).
Accordingly, we may not be liable for damages arising from potholes and other hazards unless we were aware of the pothole and other hazards and have been negligent in not addressing the risk within our ability in terms of resources.
We recommend that you seek professional legal advice if you are unsure about whether you are able to claim for your loss or damage.
CN is sympathetic to persons incurring an injury or sustaining a loss. Before we consider payment of compensation, proof supporting your allegation is required that the loss or damage claimed has been caused by negligence on our part and/or our employees or agents.
For a claim to be considered, evidence must be provided to us for consideration. The onus lies on the claimant to provide sufficient evidence or proof to substantiate your claim.
Should you wish to make a claim, please complete the claim for compensation form
. Please include all relevant documentation and photos of the alleged accident/incident to support your claim.
Completion and acceptance of your ‘Claim for Compensation’ form does not represent an admission of liability or a waiver of its rights on the part of CN. We will investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident to establish whether or not we have any legal liability. Your claim will be subject to investigation and assessed on its merits.
The process of investigation and determination can take 6 to 8 weeks. Sometimes there are delays in obtaining information which is beyond our control (i.e. information required from third parties, contractors or witnesses). We endeavour to respond to claims as quickly as possible; but claims brought in negligence are often complicated and we ask for your patience and co-operation during this time.