Pothole Damage? How to make the city pay

Pothole Damage? How to make the city pay

This seems to be a winter where the potholes aren't even potholes anymore.

"There are potholes the size of bathtubs over there," says Adam Douglas of Lakewood.

There are some like Muhammad Ali who have witnessed the never ending battle over the holes that are on the road all over the city, but especially along W. 117, on the Cleveland and Lakewood borders. Just this week the situation got dangerous.

"The guy was slowing down to go over the potholes and one car came in and just smashed right into him," describes Ali.

Thankfully, most drivers aren't having accidents, but many are causing major damage to their cars. There is a way you can try to hold the city accountable.

"I think it would beneficial for people to file a claim and get their car fixed for free especially if it's the city that's not fixing potholes," says Brett Munich of North Royalton.

The way you go about getting your damages covered varies from city to city, but in Cleveland you can make a claim online. The catch is you have to prove that either the city caused the damage or that the pothole was there for seven days and the city knew about it but did nothing to fix it. Days when the conditions aren't adequate for fixing a pothole don't count.

The big question becomes how do you prove that a pothole was out here for seven days and the city did nothing to fix it? We asked the Mayor's office that question and were told you have to contact the city's law director and make a public records request.

Ali tried to fight city hall over the 300 bucks it cost to fix his car and gave up.

"It was too much paperwork to fill out - just a waste of time to wait a couple of months before they gave you anything really."

Ali says his friends with pothole damage had better luck with the city of Lakewood.

Whatever you do reporting potholes is key to make sure any city can be held accountable.

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