BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Cities and towns in Maine may be held liable for damages sustained as a result of a pothole under what is commonly called the "pothole law."
Under the law found in 23 MRSA, Chapter 313 municipalities are required to keep "highways, town ways and streets legally established" in repair in order to keep roads safe and convenient for motorists. The law further provides that if a motorist sustains damages or injuries as a result of a pothole and they notify the city/town in which that pothole is located, that city/town is required to make repairs within 24 hours of that notice, otherwise it can be held liable for the damages.
Body shops like Bennet's Auto in Bangor see a large number of cars for pothole damage every season. Employee Charlie Buteau said that one customer came in six times for pothole damage that was sustained on the same road each time. He said that potholes can cause costly and irreparable damage to tires and wheels, and that it's important that drivers pay attention to the roads and avoid the potholes when possible.
Jackman resident, Alan Johnson, wasn't aware of the law, but feels that it's a good idea because it gives municipalities a push to keep roads repaired and safe.
Drivers should keep in mind that if they want to make a claim for damages, they have 180 days from the date of the incident to file the claim with the city or town.