Where to file a pothole damage claim in Michigan for state, county roads
- Michigan law allows drivers to seek damages under $1,000 for road-related claims
- Payouts are rare, but drivers are occasionally reimbursed if the claim meets legal requirements
- State, county, local road agencies handle highway damage claims separately
Drivers who damage their cars on potholes or other road-related defects technically have an option for trying to get reimbursement from the road agency in charge of maintaining it.
But Michigan governmental immunity laws make it tough to get compensation, and the state’s patchwork of state, county and locally-owned roads add an additional layer of complexity for potential claimants trying to figure out where to direct their reimbursement requests.
Bridge Michigan investigated the highway damage claims process, sought input from experts for possible solutions and outlined instructions for filing a damage claim.
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- How to get repair money for potholes, file a claim in Michigan. (Good luck)
- Michigan pothole claims system is a mess: Four easy fixes (and a costly one)
If you believe you’re eligible for compensation for highway-related repairs on Michigan roads and want to file a claim, here’s a rundown of many of the agencies that typically handle them.
Where to file MDOT damage claims
If the damage occurred on a state road, it’s under the Michigan Department of Transportation’s authority. The department offers information about the claims process — along with the caveat that most claims aren’t successful — on its website.
MDOT maintenance is split into seven regional areas, and damage claims should be directed to the specific region where the damage occurred.
Filing local damage claims
If damage didn’t occur on a state road, drivers who want to file a damage claim must do so with the local entity that owns and maintains the road.
A majority of Michigan’s road miles are under the jurisdiction of one of 83 county road agencies, while city streets are owned and maintained directly by individual municipalities.
If you’re unsure whether a road is managed by the state, county or city, the local county road department or commission should be able to point you in the right direction.
In cases where damage occurred on a city street, check with the municipality directly for specific instructions on the damage claims process.
A Bridge Michigan review of county road agency websites found 20 with explicit references or instructions on how to file damage claims, listed below:
Emmet: The Emmet County Road Commission asks drivers seeking to file damage claims to contact the commission to notify agency officials of the situation, then fill out a loss/claim form and mail it to email@example.com. Find more information on the commission’s website or contact the commission at 231-347-8142 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kalamazoo: To file a claim with the Kalamazoo County Road Commission, fill out a claim form and submit to email@example.com. The commission can be reached at 269-381-3171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kalkaska: To file a claim with the Kalkaska County Road Commission, fill out a claim form and deliver it to the commission’s office at 1049 Island Lake Road, Kalkaska, MI 49646. The commission can be reached at 231-258-2242.
Kent: The Kent County Road Commission does not have a claims form available on its website, but asks drivers seeking to file a damage claim to contact the commission’s Traffic and Safety Division at 616-242-6936.
Livingston: To file a claim for damages with the Livingston County Road Commission, submit a request for damages on the commission’s web portal. The commission can be reached at 517-546-4250 or email@example.com.
Macomb: Drivers seeking damages from the Macomb County Department of Roads can fill out a claim form and submit by mail at 117 South Groesbeck Highway, Mt. Clemens, MI 48043, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at 586-463-8682. The department can also be reached at 586-463-8671.
Marquette: To file a claim with the Marquette County Road Commission, fill out a claim form and mail it to the Michigan County Road Commission Self-Insurance Pool Claims Department, P.O. Box 1825, Grand Rapids, MI 49501. The commission can be reached at 906-486-4491 or MCRCAdmin@marqroad.org.
Monroe: To file for damages with the Monroe County Road Commission, fill out a claim form and mail them to Monroe County Road Commission, Attn: Property Damage Claim Processor, 840 South Telegraph Road, Monroe, MI 48161 or via email at email@example.com. The commission can also be reached at 734-240-5102.
Montcalm: To file a claim with the Montcalm County Road Commission, fill out a claim form and mail to MCRCSIP Claims P.O. Box 15067 Lansing, MI 48901. The commission can be reached at 989-831-5285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Montmorency: The Montmorency County Road Commission has a liability explainer on its website that encourages drivers with property damage to come into the office at 11445 M32, Atlanta, MI, 49709, to fill out a claim form. The commission can also be reached at 989-785-3334.
Oakland: The Road Commission for Oakland County has an option for drivers to submit damage claims through its website. Claim forms can also be submitted via email at email@example.com or by mail at Road Commission for Oakland County, ATTN: Risk Management, 31001 Lahser Road, Beverly Hills, MI 48025. The commission can also be reached at 248-645-2000.
Otsego: To file a claim with the Otsego County Road Commission, fill out a claim form and mail to 669 W. McCoy Road, P.O. Box 537, Gaylord, MI 49734. The commission can also be reached at 989-732-5202.
Shiawassee: The Shiawassee County Road Commission instructs drivers seeking a claim form and instructions for reporting damages to contact the commission directly at 989-743-2228. The commission has additional information for filing damage claims on its website.
Van Buren: To file a damage claim with the Van Buren County Road Commission, fill out a claim form and return it to the commission’s administrative office at 325 West James Street, P.O. Box 156, Lawrence, MI 49064. The commission can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 269-674-8011.
Washtenaw: The Washtenaw County Road Commission accepts damage claim forms electronically at email@example.com or in person at the administrative office, 555 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. The commission can also be reached at 734-761-1500.
Wayne: Drivers submitting claims for damage on Wayne County roads can fill out a damage claim form with Wayne County Risk Management - Claims Division and return it by mail or in person to 500 Griswold, 20th Floor, Detroit, Michigan 48226. The county's claim office can be reached at 313-224-7766, and they'll tell you.
Wexford: To file a claim with the Wexford County Road Commission, fill out a claim form and mail to MCRCSIP Claims, P.O. Box 15067, Lansing, MI 48901. The commission can also be reached at 231-775-9731 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A majority of Michigan county road agencies don’t have direct references to the damage claims process or applicable forms on their websites. To inquire about filing a damage claim in these counties, contact the county directly for more information:
Allegan: Allegan County Road Commission, 269-673-2184
Bay: Bay County Road Commission, 989-686-4610
Berrien: Berrien County Road Department, 269-925-1196
Branch: Branch County Road Commission, 517-278-2022
Cass: Cass County Road Commission, 269-445-8611
Charlevoix: Charlevoix County Road Commission, 231-582-7330
Chippewa: Chippewa County Road Commission, 906-635-5295
Clare: Clare County Road Commission, 989-539 2151
Delta: Delta County Road Commission, 906-786-3200
Dickinson: Dickinson County Road Commission, 906-774-1588
Genesee: Genesee County Road Commission, 810-767-4920
Gladwin: Gladwin County Road Commission, 989-426-7441 or email@example.com
Gogebic: Gogebic County Road Commission, 906-667-0233
Grand Traverse: Grand Traverse County Road Commission, 231-922-4848
Hillsdale: Hillsdale County Road Commission, 517-437-4458
Houghton: Houghton County Road Commission, 906-482-3600
Huron: Huron County Road Commission, 989-269-6404
Iosco: Iosco County Road Commission, 989-362-4433
Isabella: Isabella County Road Commission, 989-773-7131
Jackson: Jackson County Department of Transportation, 517-788-4230
Keweenaw: Keweenaw County Road Commission, 906-337-1610
Lapeer: Lapeer County Road Commission, 810-664-6272
Lenawee: Lenawee County Road Commission, 517-265-6971
Menominee: Menominee County Road Commission, 906-753-6914
Midland: Midland County Road Commission, 989-687-9060
Missaukee: Missaukee County Road Commission, 231-839-4361
Muskegon: Muskegon County Road Commission, 231-788-2381
Newaygo: Newaygo County Road Commission, 231-689-6682
Oceana: Oceana County Road Commission, 231-873-4226
Oscoda: Oscoda County Road Commission, 989-826-3218
Ottawa: Ottawa County Road Commission, 616-842-5400
Tuscola: Tuscola County Road Commission, 989-673-2128
Saginaw: Saginaw County Road Commission, 989-752-6140
Sanilac: Sanilac County Road Commission, 810-648-2185
St. Clair: St. Clair County Road Commission, 810-364-5720.
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