Pothole problems: Who foots the bill? - KCTV5

Pothole problems: Who foots the bill?

Posted: Updated:
Kansas City spends more than $600,000 on asphalt to patch roads in the city. If it’s a new pothole and you are the first victim, you are out of luck. But if it’s an old pothole, the city may cover it. (KCTV5) Kansas City spends more than $600,000 on asphalt to patch roads in the city. If it’s a new pothole and you are the first victim, you are out of luck. But if it’s an old pothole, the city may cover it. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

If you get in a car crash, police and insurance companies decide who is at fault and then that person pays the bill

But if you are driving around and your car gets damaged from a huge pothole, that is different.

Kansas City spends more than $600,000 on asphalt to patch roads in the city. If it’s a new pothole and you are the first victim, you are out of luck. But if it’s an old pothole, the city may cover it.

And that’s how KCTV5 News got involved in a recent dispute.

"Pretty significant pothole in the road ... no way to avoid it ... on-coming traffic. It blew out my front tire," said Sam Adams who was headed home from a Kansas City Royals game on Sni-A-Bar Avenue.

His tire was trashed.

"I had to have my car realigned. My rear tire was damaged as well," he said.

It was $750 in total. Adams called the city to repair the pothole and asked if they would cover the damage.

"I got a letter in the mail after careful consideration and claim, we don't feel obligated to reimburse you to damage to vehicle," Adams said.

The letter reads in part, “The city must have had prior notice of a defective or dangerous condition and failed to correct the condition or barricade the area in question."

"You can see where previous repair was done, didn't have time to cure," he said.

Adams has a background in concrete. He says look at that asphalt smashed on the side of the road. He questions what happens if it’s a bad patch job.

The city was out fixing his pothole but they left behind was a hole that's bigger than an average hand and there were a few more up the road. Take a walk on Sni-A-Bar Avenue and you can see how many patches cover just this one stretch of road.

So, KCTV5 started asking questions. How many people get reimbursed for damage?

In 2015, there were 228 pothole claims. The city agreed to just four and paid out a little more than $3,000.

In 2016, 220 claims they paid for three, and the bill was much lower a little more than $700.

And so far this year, there have been 249 claims, and they paid for six. That cost the city more than $5,800. Adam’s claim is not among them. He was denied, which he calls ridiculous.

"I understand that it's impossible to get every single stretch of road just perfect. But when you have significant damage to the road that's causing damage to vehicles and creating unsafe driving conditions, I feel like there's no excuse to not address it," he said.

They city was good about providing KCTV5 information, but we were told they can’t comment on specific cases, like Adams', due to possible litigation. Adams' only choice now is to head to small claims court.

If you see a pothole, the city asks you report it by calling 311.

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.