Who's responsible for pothole damage to your car?

CLINTON, Maryland (WUSA9)--Who's responsible for damage to your car if you hit a pothole? Is it you or the state or county? One viewer says he was getting the run around so he told WUSA9.

After months of walking, working, and saving up thousands, Tenshi Smith loves showing off his baby.

"When I come over here its like oh man, its all messed up."

What's "messed up" is the rim on Smith's car. The result of a February fight between a Prince George's County pothole and his Toyota's tire. He called the County right away, then back in the morning, their outside claims company told him get an estimate. The price tag was $449.

MORE: How and Where to File a Claim for Pothole Damage to Your Vehicle

Smith says the claims company, Corvel, told Smith they'd send someone out to take a look at the damage.

"They didn't send anybody," says Smith. "After 48 hours called them again, they said somebody would be out in 24 hours, I'm like okay, great, 24 hours goes by nothing."

MORE: Tell WUSA9 What is Driving You Crazy

Then finally, Smith says Corvel called about his Camry. "Bad news was that you're not the first person that calls for a pothole then you're pretty much responsible," Smith says he was told by Corvel.

Smith did not think this was fair. "Because everybody pays taxes, we pay taxes so we get the roads fixed, and everything around the county so it's better living for all of us but then we still got potholes."

MORE: Insurance Will Pay For Some Pothole Damage

This is when Smith contacted WUSA9. "I went on your Facebook page and posted my story and you hit me back and was like woah."

WUSA9 called Prince George's County for answers. Turns out, that business about only being reimbursed if you're the first caller isn't true. The County says they're liable for damages only if the hole has been previously reported and they failed to fix it within 72 business hours.

MORE: Where To Report Potholes

We called Smith to let him know that the County says they're still looking into it and they'll get back to him as soon as they can.


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