Pothole claims nearly triple from last year, but only 8 drivers paid

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - FOX59 found out pothole claims have nearly tripled from last year, yet only 1% of those drivers have received any money.

Last week, we showed viewers the hubcap graveyard around W. 10th and Tibbs.

At least 10 unlucky drivers filed claims with the city to pay for damage to their vehicles that happened around the area. But we found out, none of them has received any money yet.

According to the Office of Corporation Counsel, which deals with the tort claims for the City of Indianapolis, eight out of the 10 claims were denied and two are still pending.

That's a city-wide trend.

Our newsroom found out there have been 720 claims filed in 2018 across Indianapolis and only eight of those claims have been granted thus far. (*The OCC says many claims are still being investigated as the office has 90 days to review.) In all of 2017, there were 267 claims filed and 25 claims granted.

  2015 2016 2017 2018
# of pothole claims 523 215 267 720
# of pothole claims denied 455 211 242 346
# of pothole claims granted 68 4 25 8*
Amount of money distributed $27,534.02 $813.58 $11,700.78 $1,825.50


The city will only pay up if the pothole that slashed your tire had previously been reported and DPW had time and the right conditions to fix it.

"Well, I can’t speak specifically about the number of claims filed or the percentage that have been adjudicated. I do know that I’ve made it clear to the Office of Corporation Counsel that people who had damage during the course of this winter need to have their claims heard and adjudicated appropriately," said Hogsett.  "We’re doing everything that we can to begin the process of reconstructing many of these very, very busy thoroughfares."

So what's next? How will the mayor make sure a pothole crisis doesn't happen again next year?

Hogsett said it starts with a regional conversation and he pointed to an upcoming regional meeting with surrounding mayors. He reportedly already has the date on his calendar.

"I’m sure this will be a topic of conversation. I’m not trying to suggest and I don’t want to raise the level of expectation that some kind of dispositive solutions can be had overnight. But I believe that everyone is in agreement that we must act as a region and that the success of Indianapolis translates as success for all of metropolitan Indianapolis including the continuous counties."

As for W.10th and Tibbs, there is a new plan.

DPW confirmed this week, it has added sections around this area to its next phase of strip patching set to begin next week.