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City to pay claims for some cars damaged by potholes

PHOTOS: Problem potholes in the Omaha area
Posted at 3:00 PM, Mar 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-18 18:27:33-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Mayor Jean Stothert said during a press conference Monday that the City of Omaha will pay for claims related to pothole damage on cars that were filed with the city between Jan. 1 and March 18.

Mayor Stothert says there were 59 claims filed during this time period, costing around $28,800. The city won't pay for damage caused by potholes located out of city limits or on interstates inside Omaha (480, 680, I-80).

Previously denied claims and those received but still pending will be paid using the following criteria, according to a press release:

  • Potholes that caused the damage must have been reported to the city (reports made through social media are not applicable)
  • The location must be within city limits on public streets maintained by the City of Omaha (not including any interstate within or surrounding Omaha)
  • Original claim must have provided documentation of personal expense including repair bill and tow truck invoice (if applicable)
  • If claimant has also been reimbursed by their insurance company, documentation must be provided and the city will pay the deductible, instead of total cost of repairs

The City of Omaha follows the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act, enacted in 1969. This act gives cities a "reasonable amount of time after notice of the pothole to make repairs," a press release says, before incurring possible liability.

"We have had record breaking snowfall and weeks of below freezing temperatures, ice, rain, resulting in a record number of widespread potholes and street deterioration," Mayor Stothert said. "The severe weather conditions did not allow us to make timely and lasting road repairs. I am making this exception to our long-standing policy that has been in place for decades, to help our citizens pay for damage to their vehicles."

The average repair cost is $533.92. After March 18, claims will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Starting Monday, the city has 34 crews using hot asphalt on the streets which is a more permanent repair.

The city didn't pay any claims regarding potholes in 2017 or 2018.

Visit this website to view the process of filing a claim.