Here's what to do if an Atlanta road damages your car

Pothole in Atlanta, Georgia

ATLANTA — A Channel 2 investigation found consumers often wait months to hear back, and the City of Atlanta paid less than a quarter of pothole-related claims between May 2018 and May 2019.

We put together tips from personal injury attorney Christopher Simon to help your claim's chances of getting approved. These rules also apply to bikes, pedestrians and scooters hitting broken sidewalks and missing grates.

  1. Stop in a safe area nearby, out of traffic, and call to get a police report.
  2. Safely photograph the pothole and the damage, showing how they fit together.
  3. Bundle receipts for repair work done. Don't overreach.
  4. Make sure the street is a City of Atlanta road, not a state route. State routes are maintained by the Georgia Department of Transportation.
  5. Research whether this pothole has already been reported to get an idea on how long it has been there. The longer it was there, the more likely the City Council is to vote in your favor. The fresher it is, the more unlikely, since they have not had time to fix it.
  6. Bundle the materials together in clear, business-only fashion without anger or emotion. Logically explain why the city could have prevented it, how long it had been there and why your bill is reasonable.
  7. If there is enough damage or injury to warrant filing a lawsuit if the claim is denied, get a lawyer involved to make sure your original claim fills all the legal requirements. This has to be done within six months of hitting the pothole.