Are you liable for damage caused by potholes?

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - More and more potholes are popping up across the Tri-State because of the snow and ice, but if you hit one, who's responsible for paying for the damage to your car?

"Nobody likes to hit a pothole, nobody likes to have a wheel damaged or a tire ruined," says Lane Adams of Tire Discounters.

Adams says potholes are a main reason some businesses like theirs are seeing a major spike this time of year.

"Anytime you have a drastic change in the temperature, the air temperature and all the water freezing and unfreezing, they just open up," explains Adams.

The price to fix the damage could easily be several hundred dollars according to Adams, but it also depends on the size of the pothole and the type of vehicle you're driving.

"You can't always see the damage. That's why we do recommend that if you do cream a pothole, you know when you've hit one hard, that you go get it checked out," says Adams.

But many wonder why they have to foot the bill for something that really isn't their fault. Dan Moore is a personal injury lawyer who says the city could also be at fault.

"If they have notice of the pothole and don't do anything about it in a reasonable amount of time, then they could be held responsible," explains Moore.

There is always the option of insurance if you have a run in with a pothole.

"If you have a policy that has collision coverage on it and you have significant damage to your car, it may make sense to go ahead and submit it to the insurance carrier," says Moore.

Moore stresses that every situation is different, but it's important to figure out if the city or municipality is reasonable or not in addressing the issue.

"If it's a severe pothole, they need to do it within days. If it's been weeks and it's a severe pothole and it's the winter time and they know it's getting worse everyday, then they could be held responsible," explains Moore.

To report a problem with potholes, contact your local city hall. If you live in the city of Cincinnati, follow this link to submit a repair request.

To report a pothole in Cincinnati, click here.

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