In Ohio, like most Northeastern states, potholes are all too common. Potholes form when water seeps into the ground, freezes, expands and causes the pavement to crack. Then, when the ice melts, the pavement weakens. In the beginning stages of pothole development, there are gaps below the pavement. As vehicles drive over the weakened pavement, the surface breaks off in pieces.
When left alone, potholes continue to grow as more pieces break off, explains the American Automobile Association.
What is the impact of pothole accidents?
The damage from a pothole accident can range in severity. In minor cases, potholes knock a car out of alignment. In severe cases, potholes can lead to catastrophic accidents. In the United States, drivers suffer $3 billion in damages every single year.
Pothole damages can include:
• Punctured tires
• Bent and dented rims
• Tire wear
• Suspension damage
The vehicle may end up unusable.
Who is liable for pothole accidents?
To prove that a city or state government has responsibility in a pothole-related accident, a person must prove that it acted negligently.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, the city and state governments must maintain safe roadways. It is the state and municipalities’ duty to ensure that there are no obstacles and that potholes and other damages undergo repairs as soon as possible. If an accident occurs due to a pothole and said accident results in property loss, death or injury, the law may hold the government entity responsible. However, the government must know about the pothole before the accident or should have reason to know about it.