Car Accidents Caused by Potholes
Say you've been injured in a car accident caused by a pothole, or maybe your car was damaged because of one. Who's responsible? Beware – Pennsylvania has very specific laws about your rights as a victim of an accident caused by bad roads.
If your accident happened on a road owned by Pennsylvania (like the PA Turnpike or a state route):
- You can't sue the state for property damage.
- You can receive money for your injuries IF you can prove that PennDot had notice of the pothole or other bad road condition and a reasonable time to fix it.
If the accident occurred on a road maintained by a local government in Pennsylvania:
- You can sue for property damage to your vehicle, but you usually collect little more than your insurance deductible.
- You can sue local governments for serious injuries caused by potholes. You must prove that the local government knew, or should have known, about the pothole and had time to fix it.
Note—Time limits apply: you must file a claim in writing against the state or a local government in PA within six months of the date of the crash.
Reporting Potholes and Bad Road Conditions
If you notice potholes or other dangerous road conditions, report them immediately:
- For state roads maintained by PennDOT:
- Call 1-800-FIX-ROAD.
- For local roads in Pittsburgh:
- Call 3-1-1 from a local phone or submit a complaint online.
- For other local roads in PA or in other states:
- Contact your local government responsible for maintaining roads.
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