Filing a claim with the City of Haverhill
Please submit all damage claims against the City in writing either in person or by postal mail (email is not currently considered legal presentment).
Claims should include the following information:
Contact Information (Name, address, phone)
Date of Loss
Details on Loss (all details regarding what happened)
Additional Information (any suplemental information you wish to submit--photos, bills, etc).
Once we receieve the claim, we time stamp it and submit it to the City Solicitor, all departments involved, and the City's Insurance Company for processing. You will ultimately be contacted IN WRITING by Argo Insurance. The response time varies greatly on the volume of claims received and can average above 5 months for pot hole claims during high season.
Claims can be mailed or hand-delivered (email or fax are not considered legal presentment) to the:
Claims are filed with the City Clerk's Office. All claims should be detailed and contain as much information as possible - including date and location of incident, claiment's contact information, copies of receipts for repairs, photos, etc. Upon receipt of the claim, the City Clerk's Office will foward the claim to our insurance agent (James Page Insurance) and City Solicitor for review. The insurance company will follow-up with the claimant regarding a decision on the claim, in writing.
Note employees of the City cannot provide advice to you on what statutory sections are, or maybe applicable to your claim; nor can they provide advice to you regarding the content or manner of filing of any claim you decide to file.
The statutory sections attached, portions of Chapter 258 and Chapter 84 of the Massachusetts General Laws, are provided only as a courtesy and are not intended to constitute any legal advice from the City of Haverhill. There may also be other applicable provisions of law, not identified herein.
Chapter 258: Section 4. Instituting claims; final denial; limitation of actions
Section 4. A civil action shall not be instituted against a public employer on a claim for damages under this chapter unless the claimant shall have first presented his claim in writing to the executive officer of such public employer within two years after the date upon which the cause of action arose, and such claim shall have been finally denied by such executive officer in writing and sent by certified or registered mail, or as otherwise provided by this section. The failure of the executive officer to deny such claim in writing within six months after the date upon which it is presented, or the failure to reach final arbitration, settlement or compromise of such claim according to the provisions of section five, shall be deemed a final denial of such claim. No civil action shall be brought more than three years after the date upon which such cause of action accrued. Disposition of any claim by the executive officer of a public employer shall not be competent evidence of liability or amount of damages.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraph, in the case of a city or town, presentment of a claim pursuant to this section shall be deemed sufficient if presented to any of the following: mayor, city manager, town manager, corporation counsel, city solicitor, town counsel, city clerk, town clerk, chairman of the board of selectmen, or executive secretary of the board of selectmen; provided, however, that in the case of the commonwealth, or any department, office, commission, committee, council, board, division, bureau, institution, agency or authority thereof, presentment of a claim pursuant to this section shall be deemed sufficient if presented to the attorney general.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to such claims as may be asserted by third-party complaint, cross claim, or counter-claim, or to small claims brought against housing authorities pursuant to sections twenty-one to twenty-five, inclusive, of chapter two hundred and eighteen; provided however, that no small claim shall be brought against a housing authority more than three years after the date upon which the cause of action arose.
CHAPTER 84. REPAIR OF WAYS AND BRIDGES
DAMAGES FOR DEFECTS IN WAYS
Chapter 84: Section 18. Notice of injury; contents; limitation of action
Section 18. A person so injured shall, within thirty days thereafter, give to the county, city, town or person by law obliged to keep said way in repair, notice of the name and place of residence of the person injured, and the time, place and cause of said injury or damage; and if the said county, city, town or person does not pay the amount thereof, he may recover the same in an action of tort if brought within three years after the date of such injury or damage. Such notice shall not be invalid or insufficient solely by reason of any inaccuracy in stating the name or place of residence of the person injured, or the time, place or cause of the injury, if it is shown that there was no intention to mislead and that the party entitled to notice was not in fact misled thereby. The words "place of residence of the person injured", as used in this and the two following sections, shall include the street and number, if any, of his residence as well as the name of the city or town thereof. Failure to give such notice for such injury or damage sustained by reason of snow or ice shall not be a defense under this section unless the defendant proves that he was prejudiced thereby.
CHAPTER 84. REPAIR OF WAYS AND BRIDGES
DAMAGES FOR DEFECTS IN WAYS
Chapter 84: Section 19. Service of notice
Section 19. Such notice shall be in writing, signed by the person injured or by some one in his behalf, and may be given, in the case of a county, to one of the county commissioners or the county treasurer; in the case of a city, to the mayor, the city clerk or treasurer; in the case of a town, to one of the selectmen or to the town clerk or treasurer. If the person injured dies within the time required for giving the notice, his executor or administrator may give such notice within thirty days after his appointment. If by reason of physical or mental incapacity it is impossible for the person injured to give the notice within the time required, he may give it within thirty days after such incapacity has been removed, and if he dies within said thirty days his executor or administrator may give the notice within thirty days after his appointment. Any form of written communication signed by the person so injured, or by some person in his behalf, or by his executor or administrator, or by some person in behalf of such executor or administrator, which contains the information that the person was so injured, giving the name and place of residence of the person injured and the time, place and cause of the injury or damage, shall be considered a sufficient notice.