How to file a claim with Michigan if your car is damaged by potholes

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If you've got damage and think you can prove that the state, county, or city was negligent in fixing it within 30 days, you may be able to recoup your cash. Maybe.

There's potholes and then there's Michigan roads. You know, the ones with massive sections missing that people crawl over to hopefully avoid losing one or even all four tires. If one of those missing sections of pavement damages your car, you can get reimbursed.

It's tricky, but you can file a claim with the state of Michigan or with the city where your car was eaten by a pothole and, yes, you MAY get reimbursed. We say 'may' because it's not easy and you have to prove the government in charge knew about the problem.

How unlikely is it? According to the Lansing State Journal, the State of Michigan reimbursed nine people who claimed pothole damage of $1,000 or less last year. There were 267 people who applied. That's a 1 in 29 chance of getting refunded.

Regardless, you can still do it. Here's how. 

On state roads, you can claim damages of less than $1,000 but you have to explain why MDOT is responsible, why you were not at fault, and why you could not have prevented the loss. Just fill out this form.

The MDOT process is only applicable to state trunkline roads (anything with an M, I or US prefix, like M-1, I-75 and US-131) 

To prove the state was at fault, the motorist has to PROVE that agnecy failed to maintain the highway and must show that MDOT knew of the condition and had a chance to fix it - or that the problem existed for more than 30 days. 

If you're damage is more than $1,000, you can file a claim with the Michigan Court of Claims.

Easy, right?It's even harder in the city of Detroit which requires three estimates for the repair work for you car and THIS 5 PAGE FORM to be filled out and notarized. MORE INFO HERE.