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Can you Sue a City for Pothole Damage?

Posted in on February 8, 2020

Hitting a pothole while driving can be frustrating. It may be immediately apparent that your vehicle has sustained damages. Not only that, but you may have physical injuries. It seems like the city should pay you because they allowed the pothole to occur. Can you sue a city for pothole damages? Our Denver car accident attorneys explain.

Can You Sue a City for Pothole Damages?

Yes, you can sue a city for pothole damages. While most governments enjoy sovereign immunity for many types of lawsuits, most governments also have procedures to waive immunity and allow lawsuits in some circumstances.

One of the circumstances may be pothole damages where the pothole occurs because of negligence on the part of the city. To sue a city for pothole damages, many cities require you to file notice with the city before you formally file in court. If you follow the requirements, you can sue a city for pothole damages.

Pothole Damage To Car

Can You Sue a City for Potholes in Colorado?

Yes, you can sue a city for potholes in Colorado. In the State of Colorado, the city may be liable for damages that result from a pothole. You may claim compensation for physical injuries or property damage.

However, it can be difficult to sue a city for compensation because you have to prove that the city was negligent in some way in failing to fix the pothole. However, in general, yes, you can sue a city for potholes in Colorado.

How Do I Claim Damage to My Car From a Pothole in Denver?

To claim damage to your car from a pothole in Denver, you begin by filing a notice of your complaint with the City of Denver. Under Colorado law 24-10-109, you have 180 days to file notice of the damage with Denver officials.[1][2] The notice must state the following:

  • Name of the victim
  • Name of their attorney, if there is one
  • A brief statement of the factual basis for the claim/explanation of the circumstances of the accident
  • Name and address of any city employees involved in the accident
  • Statement of the injuries suffered
  • Monetary damages being sought

Address the notice to the following person:

Mayor Michael B. Hancock
1437 Bannock Street, Room 350
Denver, CO 80202

You can mail it or deliver it.

You have 180 days from the date of the injury to provide notice of your claim. If you miss this deadline, you can’t win anything if you later try to bring a lawsuit. Meeting the 180-day deadline is critically important. Even if you don’t know all of the tiny details about your case yet, like the total amount of damages for physical injuries, it’s important not to wait to file the notice of compensation. A Denver car accident attorney can help you prepare the notice.

Lawsuit Against the City of Denver for Pothole Damage

Unfortunately, claiming compensation for pothole damages usually isn’t as easy as telling the city about your damages. The City of Denver denies the vast majority of the claims that they receive. What do you do if the City of Denver denies your claim?

Next, you file a claim in a court of law. The applicable law is Colorado Revised Statutes 24-10-106(d).[3] You’re filing a legal claim and demand for compensation in a Colorado court.

Colorado law 24-10-106 says that generally, a public body is immune from tort liability. However, the government entity can agree to be sued if they believe it’s fair to victims. In cases of dangerous conditions on a highway or road, government entities in Colorado agree to be sued. For tort liability to apply, Colorado law 24-10-106(d) says that the dangerous condition must occur on a highway or road that interferes with the movement of traffic.

How to Prove Your Case for Pothole Damage

The victim must show that the damages are the result of negligence on the part of the city. The mere fact that the pothole exists isn’t negligence by itself. It has to be that the city didn’t take reasonable steps to maintain the roads. Usually, that means someone must warn the city about the pothole with a reasonable amount of time to fix it before the accident occurs. Notice from a member of the public may not be required if the pothole is large, on a busy traveled road, and the city should have known about the danger created by the pothole.

Proving negligence or more serious misconduct on the part of the city is the key to winning a case for pothole damage. While that’s a hard thing to prove, it’s not impossible. You can retrieve public records that show if and when the pothole was previously reported. You can retrieve more general information about all potholes and the response time for the city to repair them. An experienced car accident attorney can help you with all of the proof necessary to win your claim for pothole damage. In addition, your attorney can ensure that your claim includes all of the compensation that you deserve.

Can I Claim for Damage to My Car From Potholes?

Yes, you can claim for damage to your car from potholes. If the pothole is the result of the government’s negligence in failing to maintain the road, you can receive compensation for the pothole.

You may claim compensation by filing notice with the municipality of your injuries. Alternatively, you may need to file a legal claim in court to receive compensation. Timelines to file may be very short. The general rule is that you can claim damage to your car from potholes.

Contact Our Skilled Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation Today

The attorneys for car accidents at Bachus & Schanker, LLC, can assist you with pursuing your claim for compensation after pothole damage. We can help you understand what you need to do to receive compensation. In addition, our team can be sure to protect your rights when it comes to filing notice with the city and gathering the evidence that you need to win your claim. Call us today to talk about your case.


[1] C.R.S. § 24-10-109

[2] FILE A CLAIM; Procedure for filing a notice of claim against the City and County of Denver. (n.d.). Retrieved 7 February 2020, from

[3] C.R.S. § 24-10-106

Kyle Bachus

Kyle opened Bachus & Schanker, with little more than a tiny, rented office and a lot of determination. Starting with less than $15,000, their business has grown into one of the largest, most well respected personal injury firms in the Colorado region. Kyle and his partner Darin Schanker are committed to understanding the circumstances confronting their clients, and ensuring that responsible parties are held accountable for damages they have caused.

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Super Lawyers - Kyle Bachus
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
Super Lawyers - Darin Schanker
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyer
5280 Top Lawyers of Denver
Expertise logo: best car accident lawyers in Colorado Springs