Drivers responsible for damage to vehicles caused by potholes

BROWN DEER (WITI) -- This winter has created a never-ending battle with potholes on city streets. The city is responsible for repairing the roads, but who is responsible should your vehicle become damaged?

While potholes litter the road on North Avenue, pieces of cars are visible, telling the tales of drivers who have been there before.

"There's one hubcap over here, two hubcaps there, over here there are broken hubcaps," pointed out Tom Corona.

Corona's wife, Karin, says she hit a pothole on her way to St. Mary's Wednesday evening, February 26th and immediately knew something was wrong.

"I wasn't quite sure what it was. I thought, well maybe I bent a rim or I got something damaged," Karin Corona said.

When Tom arrived to asses the damage, he noticed the power steering fluid was empty. The couple will have to have their car towed and leak repaired.

The Corona's say they believed the City should be on the hook for at least some of the repair bill, but officials informed the couple that it is not the City's responsibility.

"They are no longer liable for any damages done, so I wouldn't get reimbursed," said Karin Corona.

Milwaukee's City Attorney Office says, "city taxpayers are not liable for damages caused by potholes because of a change in state statutes that the City believes clearly eliminates governmental liability for road defects."

Any liability the City had for pothole damage was wiped away with "Wisconsin Act 132."

FOX6 spoke with a claims adjuster who said most insurance companies categorize hitting a pothole as a single car collision, putting fault on the driver. If the damage to your vehicle is less than your deductible, your best bet is to avoid filing a claim with your own insurance.