How to file a claim for pothole damage to your car

Potholes are popping up everywhere right now, testing drivers' patience and stretching their pocketbooks.

“I’ve hit big ones, my tires have gone flat and everything,” said Rickeyla Miles of Minneapolis. “It costs a lot of money.”

Hitting a large break in the asphalt commonly causes tire and wheel damage, but it can also damage a car’s suspension system, making repairs quite costly.

“I’ve seen as little as $100 for a wheel to upwards of $1,000 if some major suspension got damaged,” said Justin Deangelo of Youngstedts Tire and Auto Service in Eden Prairie. “It’s good for business, but not good for the car, unfortunately.”

What many motorists don’t know is the city or state may be liable for the damage and you could get reimbursed for the repairs.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation, for example, will pay up if they determine they knew about the pothole and had a reasonable amount of time to fix it.

In St. Paul, there’s no set criteria for which claims will be paid. Sandra Bodensteiner with the city’s risk management division said it’s on a case-by-case basis.

“Each claim is evaluated on its own merits,” said Bodensteiner. 

Similarly, in Minneapolis, a city spokesperson said the city is liable for vehicle damage but only under certain circumstances. 

According to state statute, motorists must file the claim—whether with city, county or state—within 180 days of the accident.

To file a claim for damaged incurred on state roads, click here. To file a claim in St. Paul, visit this site. To file a claim in Minneapolis, click here