The freeze-thaw cycle has begun and that means it is pothole season in Omaha. Craters are popping up everywhere and just this morning several vehicles blew tires after hitting one on a well-traveled road. Omaha Assistant City Attorney Jeff Bloom says all residents and visitors are asked to report all potholes to the city through the Mayor’s Hotline or by downloading the Omaha Mobile App. That way the city has a record of problem areas. The next question is who is liable for damage.
Bloom says if there is damage to a tire or a vehicle after hitting a pothole, it is the driver’s right to file a claim with the city. That can be done at the Omaha City Clerk’s office at 18th and Farnam (FAR-num) Street. However, there is a stipulation drivers need to be aware of.
Bloom says, “We are bound by the rules of what is known as the Political Sub-Division Tort Claims Act. What that says is that with claims such as chuckholes or potholes, basically for the city to be liable, we have to have notice and a reasonable opportunity to fix the pothole or chuckhole prior to us being liable for any damages.”
Bloom says they look at each claim individually and determine if there is city liability on their part.