Storm damage recovery

How are pothole claims handled?

Information regarding how to report potholes, how to file and claim and how the city generally handles pothole claims.

City streets have taken a beating these past years. Heavy rains, freezing temperatures, ice and snow have taken their toll. The resulting potholes and defects are usually considered road hazards. They are not due to negligence on the part of the City.

Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) uses a complaint driven system to address potholes. PBOT relies on reports from the public to locate potholes.

Call the pothole hotline at 503-823-BUMP (2867), the 24-hour maintenance line at 503- 823-1700 or use the smart phone app – PDX Reporter, to report potholes. Based on reports from the public, PBOT will prioritize needed repairs.

When a driver files a claim for vehicle damage, City Risk will confer with PBOT:

• Is it on a street the City is responsible to maintain?

• Has the pothole been reported?

• Has the pothole been repaired?

If a pothole is on a city maintained street and has been reported, City Risk will check that PBOT followed its protocols and timelines to evaluate and repair the pothole. Gathering this information may take up to 45 days. Claimants are encouraged to contact their own insurer if they need immediate repairs or if their claim has been denied.

Most pothole claims are not paid. Historically, less than 10% of claims for potholes are due to city negligence. Widespread damage to streets is caused by inclement weather and other factors beyond the City’s control. Drivers have an obligation to be aware of road conditions at all times and adjust their driving behavior accordingly.

PBOT always strives to meet its responsibilities and City Risk will investigate every claim to determine if it has. City Risk will assign an adjuster, follow up with the results of the investigation and contact the claimant with a decision.

Learn more about PBOT’s Pothole Program (link to site).

Contact Risk Management or obtain a claim form (link to downloadable PDF version).