Chicago News and Media

Chicago: How to receive compensation when your vehicle is damaged by a Pothole.

Was your vehicle damaged by hitting a pothole on a City of Chicago street? Was your property damaged by actions or negligence by the City of Chicago and/or its employees?

If so, you may be able to receive compensation from the City of Chicago for some or all of the costs you incurred.

In most cities/towns, if you find yourself in a situation like the above, you would be required to file a case with the small claims court or a similar county court system. In Chicago, however, claims such as these are reviewed and settled by the Chicago City Council passing an ordinance to award damages.


When you submit a claim, you are basically arguing your case, similar to how a lawyer might try a case before a judge. Therefore, it is important that you make a case that is complete by assembling the required materials ahead of time before you submit your claim.

Property DamageCompleted and signed Property Damage Claim FormTwo written estimates for the cost of repairing the damage (a copy of each is sufficient)Copy of a police report for the incident that resulted in the damage
Auto Damage
(Caused by a pothole, accident with a City vehicle, etc.)
Completed and signed Damage to Vehicle Claim FormCopy of paid receipt for the repairs performed to the car, OR two written estimates for the cost of repairing the damage (a copy of each is sufficient)Copy of a police report for the incident that resulted in the damage

Please Note:

Once you submit your claim and it is introduced to City Council, no other materials can be added to your claim.


Once you have assembled your claim packet (i.e. completed claim form plus all relevant materials noted above), either mail it or hand-deliver it to the Office of the City Clerk:

Office of the City Clerk
Attn: Claims
121 N. LaSalle St, Room 107
Chicago, IL 60602-1295


Please Note:

You may contact the Committee on Finance at 312-744-8861 to follow up on the status of your claim.

As long as your claim passes administrative review at the Office of the City Clerk (in other words, your claim form is completely filled out, has all necessary attachments, etc.), the Office of the City Clerk will introduce your claim to the City Council/Committee on Finance at the soonest future City Council meeting. (City Council usually meets once a month, with the exception of August, which traditionally has been an off-service month.) At that time, your claim will be assigned a claim number such as “CL2012-1234.”

You can monitor the status of this claim (e.g. passed or failed to pass, referred to committee, etc.) by searching for the claim number on the Clerk’s Legislative Information Center. Just navigate to the “Legislation” section and search by the claim number.

Please be aware that traditionally, claims can take at least several months to pass through City Council. This timeframe is driven by several factors, including the time it takes for the Committee on Finance to conduct an investigation into your claim, which can involve contacting various City departments to respond to your claim.


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