Making a Claim - Frequently Asked Questions
Can I claim compensation from Strathcona County?
How long do I have to submit my claim?
How is my claim evaluated/resolved?
How do I submit a claim?
When can I expect a response?
What if a County tree falls on my property?
What if I receive damage to my property due to a sewer backup or water main break?
What if my vehicle is damaged as a result of potholes or other disrepair on a public road?
What if my vehicle or property is damaged as a result of construction work?
What if I am injured?
Strathcona County will only compensate damages when it is legally liable for the damage sustained, as stipulated in the Municipal Government Act of Alberta and other provincial legislation.
We suggest in all cases of property damage you contact your insurance company or broker. Depending on the type of property damaged and the insurance policy you purchased, you may be eligible for greater compensation than you could legally recover from Strathcona County or a third party, such as a contractor. If your insurance provider believes the County or a contractor is responsible for your damage, they will pursue recovery on your behalf from any responsible parties after they have settled your claim.
If you have suffered damages to your property or injuries to your person and you believe you can demonstrate Strathcona County is responsible, you may submit a claim for review. When submitting claims, the Claim Submission Procedure must be followed in order for your claim to be considered. You will receive a written response within 30 days of receipt of your properly completed claim package.
Limitation periods for claims against municipalities are governed by provincial law, and basic guidelines are as follows:
- Snow, slush and ice – 21 days
- Road repairs or non-repair – 30 days
- All other actions – 2 years
Legal counsel may be able to advise you of any exceptions to the above-noted time frames.
For each claim received, an investigation into the circumstances of the incident will be conducted and appropriate service departments consulted. Considerations in claim evaluation may include:
- Particular facts of the claim or alleged loss
- The applicable law
- Whether Strathcona County has legal responsibility
- Whether Strathcona County or their employees were negligent
- The claimant’s role in the situation
- The nature and extent of damages claimed along with the supporting documentation
Depending on value or dollar amount of your claim, a claims adjuster and/or legal counsel may be appointed by Strathcona County to handle the claim and all related communication. Please note that all injury claims will be handled by a claims adjuster regardless of value.
Possible resolutions to claims may include:
- Transferred to the responsible party or entity (i.e. contractor)
- Denial where there is no evidence of County negligence
- A negotiated settlement or reimbursement of your damages
See the Claim Submission Procedure.
A written response will be provided to you within 30 days of receipt of a properly completed claim package at County offices.
Where damage to private property occurs as a result of a falling County tree or a branch falling from a County tree, and the incident was not readily foreseeable, it is considered to be an accident or an “act of God”. An “act of God” means an extraordinary occurrence or a circumstance that could not have been readily foreseen and which could not have been prevented. An example of an “act of God” is where damage occurs to private property during strong winds as a result of a tree being blown over or damaged by the intensity of the wind where the tree is considered to be sound and healthy.
In such cases, the County’s Recreation, Parks and Culture (RPC) crews will remove the damaged tree or branches and clean up any tree debris. Owners of damaged property will be advised that they are responsible for the cost of repairs to their property and to make a claim against their insurance company for the property damage, if they are insured.
If a falling tree branch or tree has caused damage to a vehicle, fence, wall, roof or some other private building structure, and the claimant believes that they can demonstrate that the County has been negligent in its maintenance of the offending tree, the Claim Submission Procedure may be followed.
If there is flooding in your basement, contact the Utilities department at 780-467-7785. Any drainage concerns should be reported to Transportation and Agriculture Services at 780-417-7100.
We recommend you contact your insurance company first regarding any damages. If your insurer believes the County is responsible for your damage, they will proceed with recovery as stipulated in your home or business insurance policy.
If you receive damage to your property and you believe it is the direct result of services provided by the County or negligent provision thereof, you may submit a claim following the Claim Submission Procedure.
*Please be advised Strathcona County will only accept responsibility or provide compensation when it is legally liable for the damage sustained.
If you see a pothole, rut, cave-in or other disrepair on the road, call Transportation and Agriculture Services (TAS) at 780-417-7100. Crews will be dispatched promptly to the affected site and repairs arranged as soon as possible. If you have received damage to your vehicle as a result of the disrepair, you may submit a claim following the Claim Submission Procedure.
* Please be aware that Strathcona County will only consider for reimbursement those claims where County personnel knew or should have known of the disrepair and did not repair the road or place hazard signage in a timely fashion after being advised of the issue.
Call Capital Planning and Construction at 780-464-8277 to advise of the incident. Your inquiry may then be directed to Risk Management for further investigation. In cases where contractors have been hired for construction, renovation or repairs to public property, that contractor is then responsible for any injury or damage that may arise as a result of their work. Contact information for the responsible contractor may be obtained either from Capital Planning and Construction or Risk Management, if needed.
If you have been injured on Strathcona County premises or while riding Transit buses, you may be eligible for reimbursement of your necessary medical expenses incurred as a result of the injury, but only if the County has been negligent in providing a reasonable level of safety to the public in areas designated for their use. In these cases, a claims adjuster will be assigned to evaluate your claim, collect further information, and recommend settlement or other courses of action. Ensure you report your injury to County personnel as soon as possible to allow for prompt medical care, completion of incident reporting, and the immediate correction of any factors that may have contributed to your injury.