Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Who Pays When Your Vehicle is Damaged by a Pothole in the Road?

Posted Friday, March 23, 2018 by Chris Thayer

Potholes are a menace to all drivers, especially in Seattle, where the City Department of Transportation has recognized a pervasive problem with the city’s roads. In fact, in 2017 Seattle launched a targeted 10-day campaign to address the pothole problem. An ongoing effort asks residents to report potholes to city officials by using the FindIt FixIt app, filling out an online form, or calling the department.

Hitting a pothole can cause serious damage to your car. Since it is not your fault that there are potholes in the road, who is responsible for paying for that damage?

*Will the City Pay for Damage Caused by Potholes?*In February 2015, Jason Tingle hit a pothole as he merged onto Interstate 5 from Interstate 405. He said the impact “shook the steering wheel and jolted the whole car,” causing $1,100 in damage. He filed a claim with the state, which compensated him for the entire $1,100.

Drivers generally have two options for requesting compensation after a pothole incident - file an insurance claim or file a claim with the state, county, city or other entity responsible for maintaining the road. You may file both an insurance claim and a tort claim, but the government will likely deny your claim if the insurance covers the damage in full.

*Filing a Claim Against Seattle or Washington State*The first step in filing a claim against Seattle is filing an official damages claim with the City Clerk. The form must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations, which is three years for personal injury claims (including property damage).

You may submit receipts, photos, and other supporting evidence to bolster your claim. The City Clerk will send your claim to the Risk Management Office and a claims adjuster will investigate it and recommend a resolution. The city may decide to pay you a sum of money, transfer your claim to another entity, or deny your claim completely.

Claims typically take about 60 days to resolve, but complicated cases can take much longer. If the city denies your claim, then litigation might be your best option. An experienced attorney can help determine your best course of action.

Claims arising against the state must be presented to the Office of Risk Management in the Department of Enterprise Services using the official claim form, which is available on the department’s website. If, after consulting with an experienced attorney, you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, you must wait 60 calendar days after delivering the form to the department.

An experienced attorney can walk you through the claims process against Seattle and Washington, as well as other municipalities, counties, and potentially responsible entities. If your claim is denied, we will then guide you through the litigation process.

*Contact Us Today*Contact one of our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation if your car is damaged by a pothole in the road. You might have legal recourse against the city, county, state, or other entity responsible for maintaining the road. Our experienced attorneys can help you recover compensation for the damage to your vehicle.