Michigan roads are terrible, that’s no secret. And while poor road conditions leave drivers frustrated and annoyed, the problem also contributes to extensive wear and tear on our vehicles. Many might fail to remember that Michigan actually has laws on the books regarding pothole damage reimbursement. Michigan personal injury attorney, Bryan Waldman, Michigan personal injury attorney, recently appeared on WLNS “Legal Edge” to explain Michigan pothole damage reimbursement and responsibility for maintaining safe roads in the state.
Jurisdiction of Michigan Roads
Michigan has a law with regard to pothole damage, yet few know about it. This law states that government entities have the responsibility of ensuring reasonably repaired roads. Each agency that has jurisdiction over a road or highway has the obligation to maintain the road, and ensure its safety for public use. The law uses no language that provides an out for the local or state governmental entity. No budget cap, no placing blame on a different agency, and no excuses. This is one Michigan law that is fairly clear in its language. However, it’s easy for these entities to neglect their responsibility when no one is there to hold them accountable.
Citizen Accountably for Pothole Damage Reimbursement
Because of this, citizens must be the ones to enforce this law for any change to happen. Though Michigan law holds government agencies responsible for the roads, it is the citizen’s job to keep said agencies accountable. Oftentimes, potholes can cause property damage, and sometimes even injuries to drivers and passengers. It is important to inform your local government of any dangerous potholes that may lead to damage or injury.
Prior Knowledge of Road Hazard
Here’s the catch, though. In order to receive pothole damage reimbursement, MDOT or the local ordinance responsible for that particular road’s maintenance must have had prior knowledge of its condition. Here’s how you can help hold government agencies accountable:
1. Give notice to the agency responsible for the road in writing.
2. Include photos of the pothole.
3. Be specific with regard to its location and seriousness of the hazard.
4. If you’ve hit the pothole and damaged your vehicle, file a claim.