“I’m curious if anyone has ever filed a claim against either the DC of Virginia government for damage to their car caused by a pothole.”

by Prince Of Petworth June 23, 2016 at 1:50 pm 18 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

I’m curious if anyone has ever filed a claim against either the DC of Virginia government for damage to their car caused by a pothole. I struck one Sunday and blew out a tire because of a pothole on the Roosevelt Bridge coming into DC on 66. I’m hopeful that there’s no larger damage to the suspension that I haven’t yet noticed at this point. Any thoughts would be appreciated.”

  • Your insurance company will file the claim against the appropriate agency. If you have pictures of said pothole, even better. My mother had significant damage done to her car by metal plates covering a pothole, but didn’t take photos at the scene. By the time the insurance inspector got to the scene the city had filled it already and they denied the claim.

  • DCDuchess

    I have not filed a claim, but I know you are able to claim back any repairs caused by potholes in DMV. Story and details on where to file: http://wtop.com/weather/2015/01/guide-government-claims-pothole-damage/

    Good luck!

  • Dcrat

    I filed one against the Park Service for a pothole on Rock Creek. While the money is not in the account yet, they have agreed to pay my claim. It was very easy to file and everyone was very helpful in directing me in what to do.

    • stcohi

      Is it the big one just after the Calvert St. exit going northbound? I totally knotted up a tire on that one. Thankfully all it needed was a new tire, and no damage to my rims, but it was almost painful to drive over.

      And “Potholepalooza” my foot. Has the Mayor ever driven on Columbia Road or Tilden Street? I don’t think anything has been done to those roads, and there are countless others.

  • KS

    The exact same thing happened to my dad in March as he was driving me home late one Sunday night. That stretch of road – from 66 onto E Street Expressway – is awful. I wonder how many other cars have blown out tires there.

  • anonymous

    I need the answers to this. I’ve had to replace two rims at $900 each 2x’s.

    • overpaying

      Who the hell pays $900 for a single rim? You’re doing it wrong.

  • Lol

    No. This would fail.

  • carol

    My boyfriend did last winter. It was a long process but pretty staight forward and they paid up

  • Brett M

    Yes, I have and you can file a claim: http://orm.dc.gov/page/tort-liability. But good luck getting a response. It’s a typical unresponsive, corrupt DC agency. It’s been over a year now and I still have not heard back.

  • anon

    Good to know. I hit one really hard the other day – now if I can only remember where it was. Have yet to asses the damage. I think most of it is cumulative from hitting various ones over time, alas.

  • Effie

    This is good to know, I never knew how to do this.. and with the way roads are currently in DC this is good to know. Certain roads are SOOOO bad, causing traffic to come to a stop. Not just one or two potholes, an entire stretch of really deep and wide holes in the road. I’m wondering if this is all from the 2016 Jan snowstorm?

  • spookiness

    Not taking sides or judging, but just a PSA reminder for all to make sure your tires are properly inflated. Don’t trust your eyes. Get a decent dial or digital tire pressure gauge. Under inflated tires are more susceptible to blowouts as well as damage from potholes.

  • I’m surprised by how many people have answered yes, and done so successfully. I would have thought for sure that this was something the government would laugh at and immediately deny. Glad to hear they’re paying out!

    • Bloomy


    • Anon

      +1 I’m shocked in fact that this is a thing. I wish I had known about it during the Barry days when I had to replace so many tires as a result of potholes. I had no idea.

  • Dan

    This conversation came up earlier this year with myself, neighbors, and city officials. The below response is what we received.


    I also wanted to be sure that any constituent who needs to file a claim should do so in person or via mail with my Office. Often claims can take a decent amount of time to be investigated via agency records prior to being either accepted or denied, but we will work diligently to address them as expeditiously as possible.

    For pothole claims, the District would need reasonable notice of the defect prior to the date of the damage for the Office of Risk Management (ORM) to accept the claim. The logic being, the District would need to be aware of the pothole or issue and be given time to fix the it prior to liability shifting to the City.

    If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Tort Liability Program within ORM please contact Soriya Chhe (cc’ed) on this email and she will be able to give you more specifics regarding our §12-309 Notice process.


    Jed Ross

    Chief Risk Officer,

    D.C. Office of Risk Management (ORM)

    441 4th Street NW, 800S

    Washington DC 20001

    (202) 727-3475

  • Stephen

    I did when I lived in Seattle, I hit a medal pole that was sticking out of the pothole. It bent the frame of my car, sliced a hole in my oil pan, all the airbags went off, and on top of that I drove the car to the sidewalk and the engine blew up because of the hole in the oil pan. Took me about 4 months to fight it but they paid the price of the car in excellent condition before the damage occurred.


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