Whether you’re in a car, on a motorcycle, biking around town, or just enjoying the weather as a pedestrian, potholes are a serious nuisance. Not just because they look bad and make roads uneven, but because they can do major damage to vehicles and anyone else using the road. While the city has a responsibility to repair potholes within a reasonable amount of time, you might wonder if they have other responsibilities when it comes to these hazards.
Potholes and Storms
In areas with extreme weather conditions that include a lot of ice and snow, potholes are to be expected. Here in Santa Barbara, however, we don’t have such cold weather or snowplows prowling our streets.
Instead, our potholes are more commonly caused by heavy rains. Roads in good condition can handle the rain without an issue. But when roads are already in disrepair, water gets down into the asphalt and weakens it. Over time, the road surface deteriorates, creating a pothole.
Report Potholes Promptly
The best thing you can do when it comes to dealing with these nuisances, is to report them promptly to the city. You can call the city’s Street’s Division to report a pothole, or go online and use the city’s website to fill out a report with the location and other information about the hazard. In theory, the city should repair the pothole within a reasonable amount of time. In actuality, however, the city does not always respond to these reports in a manner that we would all consider timely. This leaves these hazards in the road, waiting for an unsuspecting driver, cyclist, or pedestrian to fall victim to them and suffer serious property damage or injury. You can file a claim for damage or injury with the city, or with the California Department of Transportation if it occurs outside the city limits.
Should the city deny your claim, however, then you may have to take the issue to court. It is important to note that there may be time limits for filing such claims depending on the type of claim and court. You should have an experienced attorney to represent you for any such lawsuit. Call us at NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022 today to tell us what happened and discuss your options.