NewsDriving Tampa Bay Forward


Who should pay for damages caused by potholes?

Posted at 4:25 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 18:36:02-04

SEMINOLE, Fla. — Peppered with potholes! An email from an ABC Action News viewer has led to change at a busy Pinellas County intersection.

Gabriel Bussell of Seminole wrote into our Driving Tampa Bay Forward tipline about a pothole in the Westbound left turn lane of Park Boulevard where it intersects with Seminole Boulevard. If you're heading west and hoping to turn left from Park Boulevard onto Seminole Boulevard, you may have noticed a series of divots in the roadway.

Bussell says at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, he blew his tire wide open on a pothole while in the left turn lane approaching the intersection. Immediately before he blew his tire, he says another vehicle had cracked and dented their rim on the same pothole.

“I felt like I had to contact the news, even if I didn't get reimbursed just knowing that pothole is out there and another family could hit it and have to pay a couple hundred dollars because it wasn't being fixed,” Bussell explained.

ABC Action News went out to investigate. Within 30 minutes of placing a phone call to Ken Jacobs in Pinellas County's Public Works and Transportation Office, crews came out to fix the area. The crews ended up fixing 6 trouble spots along the Westbound lanes of Park Boulevard.

Now, the question is who should pay for the vehicle repairs? Bussell says he received an estimate that the repairs could cost a few hundred dollars. He needs to replace his tire, get his car realigned and get his tires rotated, according to the Walmart repair shop where he took his car in.

ABC Action News found out both FDOT and Pinellas County do have risk departments where drivers can file claims. The driver needs to be able to prove that the damage on their car was caused by the pothole in the roadway.

FDOT's claims department can be found here.

Pinellas County's claims department can be reached at 727-464-8430.

ABC Action News is working to help Bussell get his claim reimbursed.

“I’m just hoping that the county does the right thing,” Bussell said with a sigh.

If you have a traffic tip you'd like us to look into, email us at or give our newsroom a call at 866-428-6397.

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