May 19, 2015- Richmond, VA
In a recent article, NBC12 News investigated how the City of Richmond pays people’s claims for vehicle damage caused by potholes. According to this report, the City accepted responsibility for 35% of the 125 claims for vehicle damage in 2014, totaling $24,312.00 in damages. In 2013, Richmond spent more on claims than VDOT did across the entire state: $13,180 versus $4,770.
The City contracts with a company called CorVel, which Richmond pays $250,000 a year to handle all worker’s compensation, auto and general liability claims.
According to City officials, residents are encouraged to contact the 3-1-1 customer service division or submit request repairs to defects identified within the public right of way at http://www.richmondgov.com/PublicWorks/StreetMaintenance.aspx. Owners of vehicles damaged by potholes can file a damage claim through the City Attorney’s office by calling (804) 646-7940.
Alternatively, for those looking to file a claim with VDOT, Virginians may visit http://www.virginiadot.org/info/faq-potholes.asp. Across the entire state, VDOT paid 60 drivers a total of $25,900 dollars in pothole damage claims on 42,000 square miles of roads — about the same amount despite being nearly 700 times the size of Richmond.
These claims are investigated on a case-by-case basis; including a review the particular circumstances, the type and location of the pothole, whether VDOT had notice of the issue, and whether crews had been given a reasonable amount of time to repair the pothole.
While Virginians have a general duty to be conscientious and attentive behind the wheel, it is the government’s responsibility to maintain public roadways. This means that the government must repair roadway defects (potholes, uneven pavement, etc.), malfunctioning traffic lights, and ineffective traffic signage within a reasonable amount of time to ensure driver safety.
The experienced vehicle liability attorneys at ReidGoodwin have the knowledge and experience to ensure maximum compensation for damage caused by improper roadway maintenance. If you or a loved one has experienced vehicle damage, contact us today to schedule your free legal consultation.