Code (Chapter 2744) outlines the method of handling claims
against political subdivisions. Under Ohio Law, political subdivisions are not liable in many cases. However, the
City can be liable for claims involving motor vehicle accidents (except for emergency runs) problems with streets,
public buildings and grounds, and some propriety functions. The law of sovereign immunity is complicated. If you
are not sure whether the City is liable for your injury or damage, please submit your claim to the City
Department in question and the Department will contact you.
Even if the City of Columbus is liable for your injury or
damage, Ohio Revised Code Section 2744.05 outlines limitations on damages awarded. If a claimant
receives or is entitled to receive benefits (for injuries or loss allegedly incurred) from a policy or
policies of insurance, that amount will be deducted from any award the political subdivision may consider paying.
For these purposes Medicaid, Medicare, Care Source, etc. are considered to be insurance. This means that
even if the City is at fault, you must file a claim with your own insurance company first
for property damage or medical injury before you file with the City. The City would then be responsible
for such items as your deductible.
Ohio Revised Code, 2744.05, states that no
insurer or other person is entitled to bring an action under a subrogation provision of insurance
or other contract against a political subdivision with respect to those benefits.
With respect to any damage your vehicle may have sustained, we must inform you that the City,
by statute, has certain immunities from liability for damages of this nature. As stated above, Ohio
Revised Code Section 2744.05 addresses these immunities. In general, in order to recover in a
suit involving damage proximately caused by roadway conditions, including potholes, the party
claiming damage must prove that either: 1) the City had actual or constructive notice of the
pothole and failed to respond in a reasonable amount of time, or responded in a negligent
manner, or 2) that the City, in a general sense, maintains its roadways negligently.
If you wish to file a claim against the City of Columbus for property damage or personal injury,
please follow this procedure:
Submit a claim to your own insurance company.
This is necessary under
(If damage is less than deductible, there is no need to submit to insurance).
The declaration page is still required when filing the claim.
Fill out the
claimant statement form and mail it to the appropriate City Department. You can
either print the claimant statement form located at the bottom of this webpage
(you cannot submit the form electronically, this form must be notarized), or
contact the appropriate City Department listed below and they will mail you the
form. You should submit your claim and supporting documents directly to the City Department involved. See
the Department's claims office phone list, addresses and E-mail addresses below.
The Department involved will do a preliminary investigation.
If the Department feels your claim has merit, they will either process your payment or it will be referred to the
City Attorney’s Office for further investigation, if need be. If the Department
finds that the City will accept liability, the involved Department will contact you;
acknowledge the claim, and make settlement arrangements. If your claim is denied, the
Department will contact you with a denial to your claim. If you are not
satisfied with the denial, your recourse is to file a lawsuit against the City.
There is no established appeal process for the denial of claims.
Your claim should include:
Information indicating the filing of a claim with your insurance company including
the amount of the claim, name of the insurance company, and adjuster, and the amount
paid by the insurance company. Also, provide evidence as to the amount of your deductible
by sending a copy of the declarations page of your policy.
A written, notarized statement supporting the claim for which you are seeking recovery,
including date, location, persons and property involved (see Claimant
Documentation of your claim:
If vehicle damage is being claimed, you need to provide the
Certificate of Title or another document showing ownership of the vehicle.
If medical expenses are being claimed, you will need to send copies of the bills
to us after they have been submitted to your health insurance company or your automobile
insurance company (under the medical portion of your policy) detailing what was
covered by your insurance and how much the outstanding balance is.
the damage is to a vehicle and/or to another type of real property, send a copy of the declaration page (showing the
deductible amount and your total coverage) from your insurance company.
Also include (2) repair estimates with your claim.
Evidence of any other amounts you are claiming. (Include all receipts).
Names of persons you have communicated with regarding this claim.
If you do not have medical, vehicle, or property damage insurance, you
must fill out, and have notarized, an affidavit form stating that
you do not have coverage (this form will be included if mailed and also
located on the webpage).
All of the above information is necessary to start the investigation. Liability
cannot be determined until a thorough investigation of your claim is completed.
Once you have collected all of the above information (including; submitting the claim
to your insurance and a written statement for the total amount of the claim), completed the claimant statement form (printed form our website)
and had the appropriate documents notarized, please forward the information to the appropriate Department to begin the investigation process.
If the City is liable, the City will issue you a check. This Process may take 4 to 6 weeks.
You will be asked to sign a Release and Agreement and a W-9 form, and return them to the City Department that is handling your claim.
Hopefully, this has answered all of your questions; however, if you still need assistance,
you can contact the City Department that will handle your claim or the City Attorney's office and speak to one of the individuals listed below.
**If you are having problems printing the forms on the webpage, feel free to contact us and we will mail
you a copy of the claims package.
If it is after normal working hours you may contact the 3-1-1 call center @ (614) 645-3111
or go to www.311.columbus.gov.
The call center hours are Monday - Friday 7:00am to 8:00pm. If this is an emergency please dial 9-1-1 to contact the police.