Car issues never come at a good time. But these issues feel even more aggravating when the cause of your car damage is a pothole.
Trying to avoid a pothole on the roads of Fall River, New Bedford, and the surrounding area can feel a lot like playing the arcade game Frogger. Sooner or later, you’re going to lose. Often times, you can drive away unscathed from a pothole, but this isn’t always the case. If your car is damaged after running over a pothole in the Greater Fall River area, what should you do? Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Get evidence, fast!
The moment your car is damaged from a pothole be sure to pull over into a safe area. Then, take a picture of the pothole. If and whenever possible, include an address number near the pothole, so that there is proof of the actual location.
Take pictures of what street the pothole is on as well, and take pictures of your watch/car clock so you can document the time in which you ran over the pothole.
Report the pothole incident to your insurance agent
It doesn’t really matter which insurance company in Southeastern Massachusetts you have; the standard procedure is to contact your agent and report the incident immediately, so that they can do their best to cover the expenses on your behalf.
As a reminder, damage from a pothole will almost always be filed under collision with your insurance carrier.
File the pothole incident with the municipality
While you want to report the incident to your insurance agent quickly, you also want to be just as diligent with filing the report with your municipality, including providing the pictures you took. By doing this, your insurance company will be able to see the evidence you gathered online, which will strengthen your claim.
This also ensures that you’re doing your part to make sure the city knows there’s a liability out there on the road that needs to be addressed.
Recreating the scene of the pothole accident
The more information you gather immediately after hitting the pothole, the better off you are. If you know the exact time and weather conditions involved, your insurance agent can then go to the scene of the incident to assess whether the pothole was avoidable. He or she will go to the site at the same time of day as your incident, during the same weather conditions, to garner a fair assessment.
If shadows, sunspots or heavy traffic are evident, then clearly the pothole was unavoidable and you shouldn’t have to be charged a surcharge.
What to know about subrogation in Massachusetts
If the insurance company deems that the city (or another person) is liable for your car’s damage, it’ll do its best to recoup the costs (what’s known as subrogation). If the company can recoup all costs, then you should expect to get your deductible back.
However, if they’re unable to recoup costs, you’re likely held responsible for the deductible.
Protect yourself from the cost of potholes in Fall River
When you run over a pothole and damage your car, your first instinct is to assume the city is at fault. But that’s not always how it works. The law isn’t as black and white as you’d like for this matter, which is why it’s worth talking to a Fall River attorney, like the attorneys at the Law Offices of Sabra & Aspden, to see what steps you should take. Contact us today to learn more about how we help represent clients throughout the Greater Fall River area.
We encourage you to contact the Law Offices of Sabra & Aspden to learn more about how we help clients throughout Southeastern, MA and Rhode Island navigate the legal system. Contact us today at 508-674-0890 or email @ [email protected].