Claims for Damages

When to file a claim

A claim may be filed against the City when an incident occurs and an involved party believes the City has been negligent in performing its duties.

In order for a municipality to be liable for any damages or injuries, the City must have knowledge (or should have had knowledge) that a hazardous situation exists. Further, it must know a hazardous situation exists and not do anything to correct the situation in a timely fashion.

How to file a claim

Complete and return either of the two Claim for Damages forms below. Note that the form must be signed in the presence of a notary.

Please include the following supporting documentation for your claim:

  • Estimate(s) or bill(s) for the dollar amount of the claim;
  • Photos of the property damaged or injury received as noted in the claim.
  • Evidence the City damaged the property or caused the injury as noted in the claim.
  • Photos of the location where incidents occurred, including any defects alleged to have contributed to the incident, if any.

Specific claim information

Pothole claims

Tort law and case history have established that a municipality is liable for a dangerous condition which it did not create, only if it has received notice of the condition and had a reasonable opportunity to correct it.

Potholes and other road hazards can form quickly and unexpectedly. The City fills holes and removes hazards that may cause damage to vehicles after it has become aware of the potential hazard and as time permits. Therefore, pothole and road hazard claims are typically denied by the City and its risk pool, Washington Cities Insurance Authority.

Roadway striping - Paint on vehicle claims

Prior to striping Olympia streets, the City notifies the public in a variety of ways as noted below. Because the City takes appropriate action to warn motorists of the paint striping while undertaking the essential function of striping, claims are typically denied by the City and its risk pool, Washington Cities Insurance Authority.

  • Spring 5-Things utility bill Insert to all Olympia utility customers as a reminder of summer roadway striping and to “Stay off the Line – Give it Time!”
  • One or more press releases advising of the dates of striping, the roads to be striped, and not to pass the paint truck.
  • Banner over State Avenue in May.
  • TCTV Cable Channel 3 Reader Board bulletin prior to and during striping.
  • City Manager announcement at Council meeting(s) before and during striping.
  • City's Roadway Striping Web Page
  • Reader boards placed in multiple locations around Olympia prior to and during striping to notify motorists of striping dates, to watch for the striper, and to stay off wet paint.
  • Flashing lights and warning of “Wet Paint” on the striping truck, as well as two trail trucks with signs that read “Wet Paint Both Lines Do Not Pass”.
  • Facebook notifications prior to striping 
  • Live Twitters during striping to indicate where the striping is occurring (follow @OlyProjects)


Contact the City's Claims Manager, Connie Cobb at 360.753.8451.

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