2 reasons your pothole damage claim to Cleveland will probably get denied

2 reasons your pothole damage claim to Cleveland will probably get denied

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It's mid May and tire repair shops are still seeing two, three and four customers a day come in with damaged tires and rims after hit some of Cleveland's crunching potholes.

The city is also seeing a record number of people filing damage reports asking the city to pay for repairs. So far this year, there have been 157 reports. There were 142 reports made in 2017.

Good luck.

The record number of requests is being met with a record number of denials.

The city of Cleveland has a website with all of the information needed to file a claim.

On the site is the first of two reasons it will more than likely be denied:

Special Notice Regarding Potholes:  The City is not responsible for damages caused by potholes if it did not know about the potholes and have a chance to fix it before the damage occurred.

If you were to file a claim, and make it all the way to a hearing, the burden of proof will be on you.

You will need to prove the city knew about the pothole that caused you damage, and that the city didn't repair it.

It has to be specific. It can't just be a report of a bad street.

It has to be an exact report on a specific hole.

The second reasons your claim will more than likely be denied, is hidden in the actual "Utility Damage Claims Instructions and Form."

When turning in a claim you need to report the following to the city:

  1. A copy of your automobile title, registration or lease contract is mandatory; no auto claim will be processed without including this information.
  2. Insurance coverage information, including a copy of the declarations page, is mandatory for both full and liability coverage.
  3. Include two (2) estimates of costs of repair or an itemized repair bill. Two estimates are requested for claims involving a motor vehicle accident.
  4. If you are claiming tire damage, the age of the tire and tire tread measurement are mandatory. Tire tread measurements can be obtained from most service stations.
  5. Police report or incident report, if applicable, is very helpful.
  6. Photographs of the damages to your vehicle or tire(s) and of the alleged defect that caused your damages are very helpful.
  7. Any witness statements are optional.

Further into the explanation of the process is this disclaimer as to why the city will probably not end up paying for the damage:

Note: Where an insurance policy is applicable, it is important to note that an individual must use their own insurance policy to cover their damages. A municipality, such as the City of Cleveland, may reimburse the deductible; however, we are not required to pay for damages that could possibly be paid by an insurance company. (See Ohio Revised Code Section 2744.05).

So if you have insurance the city might, and that's a pretty big might, pay for your deductible but your insurance will have to pay for the damage.

But again, that's only if you can prove the pothole had been reported to the city, they knew about it and they didn't have a chance to repair it.

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