How to file a claim for pothole damage to your car in Omaha

About one in eight pothole damage claims in the past three years have been paid by the city.
The City of Omaha does honor pothole damage claims -- the process, though, can be confusing.
Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 5:56 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A flat tire, a bent wheel -- damage from a pothole isn’t something you want to deal with.

Although it might be a long shot, the City of Omaha will sometimes help with the costs. About one in every eight claims got paid between 2020 and 2022.

Marina Erickson hopes she’s one of them.

She hit a pothole at the roundabout entering Elmwood Park that took out her front passenger tire. Now she’s hoping it won’t cost her an arm and a leg to get fixed.

“I’m hoping that it’s just the tire that’s an issue, but I mean it goes down into the ground several inches. Like it’s deep. It fits a tire in it, so I’m hoping it’s just not anything else,” said Erickson.

A day later, she’s waiting on the mechanics to check it out. She’s also considering filing a claim with the city but wasn’t sure how. So, she and 6 News’ Bella Caracta walked through the process together last night. First, go to the public works page to see if there’s already a report on the pothole she hit. Repair requests can also be made through the mayor’s hotline.

In the past 12 months, over 6,200 reports have been made about potholes, according OmahaHotline.com.

If the pothole isn’t on the website you’re out of luck. The city won’t pay you if it didn’t know about the crater.

If the pothole has been reported, you can then file a claim with the city clerk. To have a claim successfully paid, the city says it must also have had what they call a quote “reasonable time to make the repair.” While the odds are low to get pothole damage paid by the city, the more reports of potholes, the higher the chance it’ll get fixed.

According to data 6 News requested from Mayor Jean Stothert’s office, people submitted nearly 275 pothole damage claims over the past three years.

Fewer than 40 were paid out. That’s less than 13%.

For Erickson, the whole process was confusing.

“If the city wants to help people in that way, then it should be a little more user friendly and more accessible for any person. I mean I’m a pretty internet savvy person, and it’s a little much,” said Erickson.