A Pothole Damaged My Car
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A Pothole Damaged My Car

A Pothole Damaged My Car

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A Pothole Damaged My Car

Too many factors that could have been prevented often contribute to vehicle accidents. This can cause not only property damage to your car but also significant personal injuries. 

If you're here because you searched for "a pothole damaged my car," you're not the only one dealing with the consequences of a car accident that wasn't your fault. A pothole may seem innocuous. After all, there are plenty of cities and towns throughout the country that ignore fixing potholes. Over time as more vehicles drive over these potholes, they get worse. This can cause damage to your vehicle. Research has found that certain states are more likely to have pothole damage than others. In total, drivers across the United States spend over $3 billion each year fixing damage caused directly by potholes. 

The states with the worst potholes include New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Nebraska, Michigan, Indiana, and Washington. Several cities are also commonly known for being a nightmare with potholes, including Grand Junction, Colorado, Reno, Nevada, and Burlington, Vermont. Potholes can and do happen anywhere. And it can be difficult to anticipate when one may cause serious damage to your vehicle. When this damage happens, you may have grounds to file a claim. You might first contact an attorney and ask them: a pothole damaged my car, what are my options now?

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FAQ

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  • When Do I Have Grounds for a Pothole Damage Claim?

    Pothole damage to your vehicle can be extensive. Damage to the struts, hubcaps, tires, or alignment can quickly add up, leading to thousands of dollars spent with your mechanic or through your insurance company. 

    When applicable, filing a pothole damage claim for your vehicle is easy, but deciding whether or not it makes sense to do so is a different matter. 

    A pothole damage claim is also known as a "single-car accident." This means you'll contact your insurance company to file an at-fault accident claim. Per the insurance company, striking a pothole is considered a collision, meaning that any deductible for collision on your insurance policy would apply, and the next time your rates are up for renewal you may experience an increase because you filed what is known as an at-fault claim. Sometimes the damage sustained from hitting a pothole with your car is lower than your deductible, which means there's no point in filing a claim.

  • Are There Any Other Options for Pursuing a Claim?

    One of the most important things you can do after realizing that a pothole damaged your car is to determine the type of road on which it happened. The road may be a county, city, or state road. Depending on the area in which you live, you may be able to get reimbursed, but this can be a lengthy process, so always evaluate the pros and cons of doing so. 

    If your car only suffered minor scratches or no damage at all, you're better off avoiding any official claim process because the time, energy, and increase in your insurance rates are simply not worth it. If you do have grounds to pursue a claim against a city, county, or state for damage reimbursement, the most important thing you can do is document it. You'll want to have a photo of the pothole at the time the accident happened, a photo of the damage done to your vehicle, the date and time of the accident, and get a minimum of two different estimates from mechanics. 

    Some states make it easier to file damage claims than others, but certain states also require that you provide proof that the road commission was aware of the pothole for at least 30 days and took no proactive steps to repair it. 

    Trying to avoid potholes is one of the easiest ways to prevent a pothole from damaging your car. If you notice that the number of potholes in an area in which you frequently drive is increasing or is getting worse, talk to local officials. If your neighborhood has a lot of potholes, you may contact public officials to ask about getting the problem fixed and many major cities have specific lines for handling these kinds of complaints.

  • Can a Pothole Really Cause a Lot of Damage?

    It often catches many drivers off guard just how much damage a pothole can cause to their car. While you might be lucky enough to drive away from the scene with no damage at all, potholes can cause severe damage to vehicles. 

    It may cause a flat tire or it can do more severe damage to your wheels and suspension. Immediately check your vehicle for signs of damage after you hit a pothole. It is far better to pull over and grab the evidence from the scene at the time even if you are not yet sure how severe the damage is on your car. You may later get an estimate from a mechanic that can help you file a pothole damage claim, but it is good to have a picture of the exact situation at the time it occurred as this will make it easier to open a damage claim or to file an insurance case.

    Unfortunately, too many people realize that they've struck a pothole after it is too late. They may not even remember where the incident occurred. 

    If you later discover that your car has significant damage, or if you uncover problems on your vehicle that you believe are tied to a pothole you hit earlier, you may need to return to the scene of the incident to gather evidence. This is very important especially if you need to file a claim with your insurance company or contact a government agency about the pothole.

  • Is a Pothole a Poor Road Condition?

    According to a White House fact sheet from 2021, one in five miles of highways and major roads and bridges throughout the country are in poor condition. This can lead to a variety of poor road conditions that can cause damage to your vehicle. 

    Some of the most common examples of poor road conditions include poor road design, wheel ruts, shoulder drop-offs, unsafe construction zones, missing guardrails, missing barriers, uncleared ice and snow, and potholes. Even a driver who is otherwise relatively safe can get into a serious accident or deal with significant property damages when faced with poor road conditions. 

    The government is responsible for maintaining roads and you may be able to file a claim against the government if the pothole damage was severe enough. You need to show that the government, however, was negligent, such as that they should have known about the poor road condition or did know about it and failed to correct that road condition within a reasonable amount of time. Many potholes are present for quite a long period of time and cause damage to multiple people's vehicles before they are reported and fixed. 

    If you struck a pothole even if it did not cause serious damage, you may consider contacting your local officials to increase the chances that they will take steps to remove it because this could help you avoid any future problems and also avoid other people getting hurt in the pothole. As people drive quickly or heavier cars over the pothole, the conditions can get worse. If you need assistance with filing a pothole damage claim or believe that your insurance company has acted in bad faith after you've opened a pothole damage claim, now is a great time to contact the attorneys at Morgan & Morgan to discuss your legal options.

  • What if I Got Injured?

    Most cases involving a car striking a pothole lead to only property damage, but this is not always the case. It is possible that you may suffer substantial injuries and damages personally as well as to your vehicle, and it is very important in these situations to retain the right lawyers to help you. You may still need to continue with your claim against the government entity responsible for fixing the pothole, but you will need to get medical attention for your injuries and to receive a formal diagnosis. 

    This is very important to do as soon as possible after the accident has happened, since this may be your only opportunity to start reporting your symptoms and to get appropriate treatment. You may be shocked to realize that even striking a pothole at relatively low speeds can cause problems. Some people even Most cases involving a car striking a pothole lead to only property damage, but this is not always the case. It is possible that you may suffer substantial injuries and damages personally as well as to your vehicle, and it is very important in these situations to retain the right lawyers to help you. 

    You may still need to continue with your claim against the government entity responsible for fixing the pothole, but you will need to get medical attention for your injuries and to receive a formal diagnosis. This is very important to do as soon as possible after the accident has happened, since it may be your only opportunity to start reporting your symptoms and to get appropriate treatment. You may be shocked to realize that even striking a pothole at relatively low speeds can cause problems. Some people even suffer whiplash based on speeds. 

    If any of this applies to you, contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to learn more. 

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