Michigan Pothole is a frequent state hazard
Winter brings some driving risks, but one of the most hated is the Michigan pothole. An encounter with one can leave damaged tires, wheels, and suspension components. Potholes are created when snow and ice melt as part of Michigan’s seasonal freeze-thaw cycles. Moisture seeps into the pavement, freezes, expands and thaws, creating a gap in the roadway. As vehicles drive over the gap, the pavement weakens leading to a pothole. The information below will give you the steps to file a pothole claim.
The state can be notified of existing potholes by filing a report with MDOT’s Report a Pothole form or calling (888) 296-4546 to report potholes on state roads. The websites for Michigan’s three biggest counties to report potholes claims:
Filing a Michigan Pothole claim with the State of Michigan:
To make a Claim with MDOT, you must show that MDOT:
- Failed to maintain the actual roadbed of the highway in reasonable repair to prove a highway defect claim.
- That MDOT knew of the condition and had an opportunity to repair it.
- That the pothole was there for more than 30 days. and was not repaired
- The state only will consider damages not covered by your insurance company.
Essential steps to make a Michigan Pothole claim:
- Download the PDF file for Form #3600.
- Print and fill out the form. Incomplete forms will be returned. Forms must be signed and notarized to be processed. Be sure to make a copy for your records.
- Attach documentation to support your claims, such as copies of car repair estimates or actual bills paid for out-of-pocket repairs. Also would be wise to take a picture of the pothole and the damage to your vehicle.
- Return the completed form and your documentation to the MDOT Region or County office where the pothole damage occurred.
Filing a Michigan Pothole Claim under $1,000:
Upon receipt of your damage claim under $1,000, MDOT will investigate the incident to determine if the above conditions were met. They will make every effort to respond to your claim within 90 days. Please be advised that governmental immunity laws deny the majority of claims.
The incident must have occurred on a state road. Most state roads are freeways and begin with M, I or US designations (e.g., I-94, I-96, I-696 or M-14, M-1, US-10, US-24, etc.). If you are not sure you were on a state road, please contact your local MDOT office or county road commission to verify road jurisdiction. Claims must be submitted to the county where the pothole damages
Filing a Michigan Pothole Claim over $1,000:
If the Pothole damage is $1,000 or more, you can recover only by filing a lawsuit against MDOT. You should consult a private attorney if you want to pursue this option.
Can I make an insurance claim for Michigan pothole damage to my car?
Finally, your auto insurance will likely treat the pothole damage as a collision claim, but whether that’s the case will depend on how your insurance company covers these claims. While the damage caused to a car by a pothole can be covered under the collision portion of your Michigan auto insurance policy, there are some things to remember. If the damage is to the tire only, it might not be covered. Damage to the vehicle is subject to the collision deductible. This type of claim could also be treated as an at-fault accident by your insurance company and may affect your rates. Check with your agent before proceeding with a pothole claim.
Find out more information on how to avoid Michigan potholes.