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Mike Bryant
Mike Bryant
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Pothole Claims

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Interesting story in last Sunday's Star Tribune about the lack of success people have in making pothole claims. There are thousands that are made and they fall on death ears. Considering that most involve lower numbers, it isn't surprising that people have to go it alone as they battle the government to get property damage fixed.

We have been involved in some claims, mostly based upon the holes being very big, being unguarded, and involving substantial personal injury. As the infrastructure, after two terms of Governor neglect, continues to break down, we may see more. I have wondered if the past leaders were willing to let some of the roads simply return to the wild and let nature take over.

I have written in the past about how they are created:

.St Cloud Set's Up Hot Line for Potholes, Mike Bryant | February 16, 2011 9:00 AM

and the reason they need to be fixed:

Watch Out For Those Potholes, Mike Bryant | April 06, 2012 12:35 PM

The article does a good job of looking at why the claims aren't paid:

1) The government doesn't have notice of the hole.

2) They get a reasonable amount of time to fix it.

Basically to be held liable, there needs to be complaints about the holes and then even with the complaints, the governement don't have to act right away in fixing them. So time and history are going be the first issues that will need to be dealt with. Even with that the issues of government immunity will play a role as there will need to be a determination as to whether the governmental body basically considered the best route and followed whatever plan they have in place:

“Potholes are everywhere at this time of year,” said MnDOT spokesman T.K. Kramascz. Despite “an army” of workers out patching potholes, MnDOT has other priorities, he said. “We can’t keep people on the freeway all the time or nobody would ever go home.”

Hopefully, the new administration understands the importance of good roads. It really is something that every consumer and business leader should understand is a priority. Spending that money will make a difference in this and future driving seasons.