How to Report a Summerville, Goose Creek, or Charleston SC Pothole
After the most recent cold weather here in the Lowcountry, it seems like potholes are everywhere. They literally pop up overnight. Although drivers attempt to avoid them, sometimes it is impossible. Potholes are common and hazardous road conditions that can affect drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians and they can develop for any number of reasons including extreme heat, freeze/thaw cycles, poor drainage, in low lying areas, due to sandy soil under the road and in heavily trafficked areas.
Hitting a pothole can result in damage to your vehicle, cause accidents, and even result in physical injuries to you and other drivers. If you have hit a pothole and suffered property damage or physical injury, there are numerous options for seeking help and compensation.
Who is Responsible for Pothole Issues in South Carolina?
It depends on the road. Maintenance can fall on either the city, state, or county. The road maintenance departments within these entities are responsible for repairing and the upkeep of roads, but if potholes are unreported, they can go for weeks or months without repair.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is responsible for the construction, planning, and maintenance of state roadways. In 2021, SCDOT patched approximately 28,812 potholes in South Carolina, according to the 2021 performance report. Many of these potholes were fixed based on requests from citizens. In addition, SCDOT reported citizens filed 2,911 damage claims, and SCDOT paid out $457,022 in 2021 towards various road-related incidents.
With over 60,000 miles of public road in South Carolina, it is not always easy for the SCDOT or the counties to identify where all the potholes are located. Self-reporting is the best way to ensure issues related to roads you regularly drive are properly maintained.
For county roads, each county has a department that handles requests and performs maintenance on damaged roads. County roads are not handled by SCDOT and are dealt with internally from the county. Berkley, Dorchester, and Charleston County all have individual request forms that can be filled out to inform their maintenance department a repair is needed. Each county repairs their roads differently, so be sure to check out their request form requirements.
How to Report a Pothole
South Carolina has several options available to report a pothole maintenance issue. SCDOT has a tab on their website to request maintenance specifically for potholes on state-maintained roads. The Berkey, Dorchester, and Charleston County websites also have departments that handle the request for road repairs that are not maintained by the state.
We found a convenient website that allows users to report a pothole in Summerville, Charleston, and some surrounding areas. SeeClickFix accepts service requests for a variety of issues and depending on which municipal entity is subscribed to the platform. You can download the mobile app, so it is easily accessible, and the app has several other functions for residents to stay updated on local information and events.
The SeeClickFix website also allows you to look at conditions that have already been reported in the area as well as make new reports.
Follow these 5 easy steps to report a pothole in your area:
1. Visit SeeClickFix
2. Click ‘New Request’ under your specific county
3. Select ‘Streets Dept.’ from the category list
4. Use your mouse pad to move the pin drop over the exact location or type in an address
5. Provide a photo (optional) or further information
If you reside in one of the counties that are not available via SeeClickFix you can also report directly to your local county web page or SCDOT if it is a state-maintained road. Once you have filled out the request form, the department will be notified of the pothole issue and handle the county road repair accordingly.
Proven Results from Using SeeClickFix
At the Steinberg Law Firm Summerville location, a large pothole was on the side of the road near our office. Our team reported the issue to SeeClickFix, and it was resolved within two weeks. Once resolved, a message appeared in our account noting the pothole had been fixed and the issue closed.
Report Vehicle Damage to SCDOT
If you are involved in a car accident caused by a pothole on a state road and have significant damage to your car and believe that poor road conditions were the cause, you can file a claim to have the repair costs reimbursed by the state.
How to report car damage to SCDOT:
- Visit www.scdot.org to report the damage to the South Carolina Department of Transportation
- Provide two repair estimates or a paid invoice
- Provide proof of registration and insurance
- Have your claim properly notarized
- Submit all your documents online or mail them to:
ATTN: Customer Service Center
955 Park Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Claims must be reported within a year from the date of occurrence, but this does not guarantee that a claim is payable. While counties will accept requests for repair on roads, they do not reimburse for damages to a car or vehicle like SCDOT.
In cases where only your vehicle is damaged, you probably do not need a lawyer, or if you do, you will want to talk with a civil attorney.
Physical Injuries Caused by Potholes
If you are ever physically injured in an accident caused by a pothole, you may be eligible for compensation. To ensure you are eligible, you must take important steps before filing a claim.
What are Some Examples of Pothole Injuries:
- Injuries to Pedestrians: Pedestrian injuries can occur on roads, sidewalks and parking lots, causing broken bones, and tissue damage.
- Injuries to Cyclists: Potholes are a common cause of injuries to cyclists as they are hard to avoid and tend to be larger than a bicycle or motorcycle can handle. Hitting a pothole can often cause a cyclist to lose control and be thrown from their bike resulting in severe injuries including cuts, bruises, sprains, concussion, whiplash, simple fractures, complex fractures, knee or hip injuries, spinal cord or back injuries, and severe brain injuries.
- Injuries to Property: This includes damage to your vehicle such as front and back alignment, wheel damage, broken axles, and dents. This type of damage, by itself, usually does not rise to the level of a personal injury case. However, if there is enough damage to your vehicle, you may be able to file a small claims lawsuit yourself or with the help of a civil law attorney.
Physical, bodily Injuries sustained from an accident caused by a pothole can lead to the need for a personal injury or auto accident lawyer. The Steinberg Law Firm can help you if you were injured in an accident related to a pothole.
Seek Medical Attention After an Accident Caused by a Pothole
Whether you are involved in a car accident, truck accident, bicycle accident, or personal injury, get immediate medical attention. Even minor injuries may become serious, or hidden injuries can occur.
The longer you delay medical attention, the more difficult it can be to identify if your injuries were sustained due to the accident or another incident. Failure to follow through on medical attention can compromise your injury claim.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer for Assistance
If you suffered bodily, physical injury from an incident involving a pothole, a personal injury attorney can help. Medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage are items that will be considered when bringing a claim against the responsible party. The Steinberg Law Firm has handled numerous cases involving injuries from potholes, including a woman who stepped out of her car in a parking lot and broke her ankle on the edge of a pothole that crumbled when she put her foot down.
At Steinberg Law Firm, we handle various personal injury and vehicle accident cases. We are here to listen to you and find out how we can help you receive proper compensation for your injuries.
If you were recently injured due to a pothole, consider speaking to one of our accident lawyers. Regardless of whether you were driving, biking, or walking, you may have a claim. Contact us today at 843-720-2800 to schedule a free, confidential consultation. You can also reach us through our online form. We represent clients in Charleston, Goose Creek, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.