Motorists Can File Claims for Damage from Potholes“Cracked Road” Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/phanlop88
Have you ever been driving, and just narrowly missed a big pothole? Or have you been the unfortunate one to hit the growing pothole, and had to pull over to change a flat tire? As the ground thaws, refreezes, and thaws again, potholes develop… and sometimes very quickly. But fortunately for those who now sustain damage from a pothole on Michigan Highways, they may be able to file a claim for damage sustained to their vehicle from a pothole. To learn more, to learn what claims qualify, read this MDOT press release.
February 13, 2014 — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has a claims process for motorists whose vehicles have been damaged by hitting a pothole on a state trunkline, but certain conditions apply.
First, the pothole must be located on a state trunkline. A state trunkline is a highway with an M, I or US prefix, like M-1, I-75 and US-131. MDOT only has jurisdiction over state trunklines. Other roads are under the jurisdiction of counties, cities or villages.
Additionally, to prove a highway defect claim, state law requires a motorist to show that the road agency failed to maintain the highway in reasonable repair. The motorist must show that MDOT knew of the condition and had an opportunity to repair it, or that the condition existed for more than 30 days. Few claims are eligible for payment because potholes develop quickly.
A claim form and instructions are available on the MDOT website at: http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,4616,7-151-9615_30883-93194–,00.html.
Claims for less than $1,000 must be submitted to the MDOT regional office or transportation service center (TSC) that covers the county where the incident occurred. MDOT regional offices and TSCs can be located on the MDOT website at: http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,4616,7-151-9623-36042–,00.html.
If a claim is for $1,000 or more, it must be filed with the Michigan Court of Claims in Lansing. Contact information for the court is available on the pothole claims page on the MDOT website.