How to Report a Pothole in San Francisco


The current state of San Francisco’s streets makes for a bumpy ride.

We wish the city were free of potholes, but weather and heavy traffic conspire to create cracks and holes in the road that can grow over time.

If you see a pothole, you should report it to the city. Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Take a Picture

You aren’t required to submit a picture, but you can make things easy on the city by showing them how large the pothole is. Once you run over one, try to pull over and get a picture. This isn’t always possible given traffic, and you shouldn’t run out into the middle of the road during rush hour to get a picture. But you could return in the middle of the night, when traffic is lighter, or earlier the next morning.

At a minimum, note the location of the pothole. You will need to tell the city where it is located.

Step 2: Visit the City’s Website

The city has set up a convenient website where you can report a pothole. Visit SF 311 and bookmark the page.

Step 3: Provide Requested Information

At the SF 311 website, you will need to provide the following:

  • The location of the pothole
  • A description (“big pothole” should be enough)
  • Your first and last name
  • Your phone number
  • Your email address

You can also attach a photo of the pothole before hitting the “Submit” button. This is all the information the city needs.

Step 4: Check if the Pothole Has Been Fixed

The city states that it will respond to a report of a pothole within 2 days. We think that is a little ambitious. The city of San Francisco will probably read your complaint within 2 days and maybe reach out for more information within that time frame.

Still, you should check whether the pothole has been fixed after a few days. If not, you can submit another report.

Step 5: Analyze Damage Caused by the Pothole

Potholes can seriously damage vehicles and possibly even injure occupants inside. Sometimes, a pothole causes you to lose control of your vehicle and can contribute to an accident with a car or pedestrian.

If the pothole damaged you or your vehicle, you could possibly make a claim for compensation with the city, but you will need documentation. Remember to take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and any bodily injuries you have suffered. You should also receive medical care and hold onto all medical bills, including prescription drug receipts. You could have the city reimburse you for these expenses.

Consult a San Francisco Personal Injury Attorney

If you were badly injured by a pothole, you could bring a claim against the city. The key to these cases is whether the city had advance notice of the pothole but failed to fix it. If so, they might be liable.

For help analyzing your case, please contact The Wakeford Law Firm today. We are experienced personal injury lawyers who have obtained millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. You can reach us by calling 415-569-7495 or sending us a message.

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