If the claim is less than $1,500, it can be filed with the department. It must be notarized, the attorney left that part out . If it is $1,500 or more, the claim is sent to the state Insurance Reserve Fund, which acts as the state’s insurance agency. The Tort Claims Act of 1986 limits awards to $300,000 per person, $600,000 per occurrence.

The most common type of case involves potholes. The claim must be related to a state or county-maintained road. The defect must have caused the damage and the state or county must have had prior notice of the problem and had reasonable time to repair it.

Claims involving streets (potholes, etc) must be filed with 30 days of the incident because of the statute of limitations.

The government may admit to its knowledge of the poor condition. If not, you have a couple of options:

Prior notice means the state/county knew about the road problem before the incident occurred and didn’t repair it in a reasonable amount of time.

(What is a reasonable amout of time? Maybe 72 Hours if the road is dry. This would account for reporting a pothole on a weekend and an additional 24 hours to repair the pothole. This is a Pothole Crusader estimate only but it would seem a reasonable amount of time.

I also know potholes repairs are delayed because of rain/snow. If this is taken into effect I would add some more time to the "reasonable amount of time" estimate. I would think this could vary widely depending on where you live. Its your claim so remember to take into effect other variables when you are estimating the "reasonable amount of time", I am sure the government does. The statue of limitations is 30 days for most pothole damage claims so I would guess the max time to fix a pothole could be 30 days but I am not sure.)

Pothole Damage Claims

The Pothole Crusader wants you to know a person can file a pothole damage claim if his or her car/motorcycle/truck accidentally drives into a pothole. Potholes represent both a deadly and financial threat to the driver. When a driver accidentally drives into a pothole, the vehicle can get stuck and one or more of the tires can get punctured. The sudden impact of the vehicle can injure the driver or other occupants . Potholes happen when roads are not well maintained by state/county/city governments or or they weren’t constructed properly in the first place. The driver may also have to fork out extra money to pay for a new tire/rim or personal injury due to the dangerous pothole.


The good news is that a person can file a pothole damages claim. Since the road was constructed by the government, they have the responsibility of maintaining the road. A person can file a claim from the government to pay for pothole damage.

Keep in mind this information also: Accocding to www.nolo.com "In most jurisdictions the first person to report the issue is not entitled to compensation--only subsequent claims from others are considered for compensation--once the government is aware of it and leaves it unresolved the state/county could be liable" This part depends on the state and county laws which differ.

The Pothole Crusader calls this a "Pothole Crusader Loophole".  If you hit the pothole/report the damage/file a claim etc and you are the FIRST person that reported the pothole you probably won't get any compensation from the state/county.

This means if you are driving down the road and hit a pothole you can only hope someone else has already reported the pothole!

This is another reason why it is so important to become a Pothole Crusader in your area or hope there is a Pothole Crusader in your area that has reported the pothole you hit that damaged your vehicle.

Report Potholes Here SC Pothole Watch  When you report a pothole to the SCDOT you will get a reference number. Please include this if you report a pothole at SC Pothole Watch so other people who file a pothole damage claim can reference that fact the pothole had been reported before they hit it. This is VERY important!

How To File A Pothole Damage Claim

1. Record The Location

The first thing to do is to take note of the location of the pothole. Be on the lookout for any signs or street names. If you don’t know where you are, you can always ask people nearby for answers. For those who are tech savvy, a check on the car’s GPS position should reveal the location. Enter the information into any information storage you have. (The Pothole Crusader uses "The Original Dash Cam", under $100.00, to record his on going crusade to eliminate dangerous potholes. The "Pothole Crusader Cam" video can also be used as evidence in a traffic accident.)

2. Take the Photo of the Pothole

Take a photo of the pothole using your camera phone or any other image recording device you have. Remember to take a high quality one. Next take a photo of the physical damages done to your car. In the case of potholes, the damage is usually done to the tires/rims.

3. Ask someone to be Your Witness

If there is someone standing nearby that witnessed the event, ask him or her for permission to be your witness for the claim. Take down his or her contact number.

4. Find another Mode of Transportation

If it is possible repair the tire. If that is not possible, you should call a towing service or police. Be sure to ask the towing service or police for a lift to the nearest police station.

5. Make a Police Report

At the police station, be detailed about the events that occurred when the vehicle landed into the pothole. Keep a copy of the police report.

6. Send your Car for Repairs

Send your car for repairs and be sure to keep the receipts they have given you.

7. Send it to the Transportation Authority

Depending on where you live, the method to file the claim is different. If you live in South Carolina, you should go the SC Transportation Department and file a claim online. Also you can ask the police on how to file such claims. Talk to your own insurance company about coverage for pothole damage, "good luck". (If you file a claim with your insurance company they will most likely consider YOU were at fault and it can go on your record for up to 5 years.) Once you have submitted the claim to the proper authorities, give them 2 months to process it. Be sure to submit all relevant documents.

(Remember this is not legal advice but only Pothole Crusader advice. If your not sure how to proceed get legal advice from a professional.) 

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