Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Tort Claims

Tort claims graphic

 

MnDOT works hard to maintain the 1,000s of miles of our State Highway system. Despite our best efforts, there may be times when MnDOT is liable to you for damage to you or your property. For MnDOT to be liable to you, MnDOT must have been negligent in taking or not taking an action.

Negligence Law

Most tort claims are claims of negligence. Under Minnesota law, a party is negligent when it breaches a legal duty to another party, directly causing damage to the other party. In the context of claims related to the condition of the highway (for example: potholes, missing signs, and the like), MnDOT may be negligent ONLY if MnDOT had prior notice of the condition and a reasonable period of time to repair or warn of the condition.

If MnDOT was negligent, MnDOT will compensate you only for documented personal injury and property damages. Other damages, such as lost wages, mental anguish, and punitive damages, are not compensable, as provided by law.

Generally speaking, MnDOT is NOT negligent for damages caused by weather-related conditions (such as ice, snow, and flooding) or for damages caused by a claimant’s own negligence, the negligence of other drivers, or the negligence of a MnDOT contractor. Please see the Minnesota Tort Claims Act for more information, including exceptions to the Tort Claims Act.

Please do not use the tort claims process for claims for damage caused by a MnDOT snow plow, truck, or other MnDOT vehicle.  If you believe that you have a claim against MnDOT for damage caused by a MnDOT vehicle, please contact Risk Management.

Submit a Tort Claim to MnDOT

If you believe that MnDOT was negligent, causing damage to you or your property, please follow these steps to submit a tort claim.

Step One: Verify that Your Damage Occurred on a State Highway or in MnDOT’s Right-of-Way

Click here or consult the Minnesota map on the left margin of this page, and contact the MnDOT District Office for the district in which your damage occurred. The District Office staff will help you determine whether your damage occurred on a State Highway or within MnDOT’s right-of-way. The District Office will also gather information from you to make any necessary repairs to MnDOT’s infrastructure or to take action to warn of a condition on a State Highway. When you communicate with the District Office, you are not making a tort claim against MnDOT. You must still submit a tort claim form and supporting materials, as described in Step Two.

You may also click here to report pot holes or other conditions on a State Highway in the Metro District. When you make a report, you are not making a tort claim against MnDOT. You must still submit a tort claim form and supporting materials, as described in Step Two.

MnDOT is not responsible for any damages that occurred on any city street, county highway, or county road. If your damage occurred on a city street, county highway, or county road, please consult the city and county links on the left margin of this page and contact the appropriate municipality.

Step Two: Complete and Submit the Tort Claim Form and Supporting Materials

You must submit a tort claim form to the State’s Risk Management Office, which administers the tort claims process for MnDOT. In addition to the completed tort claim form, you will need the following items:

  • A paid, itemized invoice/receipt showing repair of the damage OR two written estimates detailing work to be done and costs to repair the damage;
  • Photographs of property damage (OPTIONAL);
  • Documentation of paid medical costs, if applicable; and
  • Any other documentation that directly supports your claim.

Complete the tort claim form, providing as much detail as possible about your claim, and sign and date the form.  Send the completed form, along with any supporting materials, to the State’s Risk Management Office at the email address or street address below:

_____________________@state.mn.us

OR

State of Minnesota Office of Risk Management
310 Centennial Office Building
658 Cedar Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55155

You must submit your claim within 180 days of the date on which your claimed damage occurred.

Step Three: MnDOT Investigates and Responds to Your Claim

The Risk Management Office will forward your tort claim form and any supporting materials to MnDOT’s Tort Claims Office for review and investigation. The Tort Claims Office will work with the appropriate MnDOT District Office to gather information about the circumstances related to your claim. You will be contacted if the Tort Claims Office needs more information from you about your claim. In some instances, the Tort Claims Office will arrange for an independent appraisal of your damaged property. The Tort Claims Office will analyze all of the available information related to the claim, determine whether MnDOT was negligent, and communicate the results of its investigation to the Risk Management Office. Risk Management will notify you by letter of MnDOT’s response to your claim. In most instances, you will receive a decision within six weeks of MnDOT’s receipt of your claim.

If MnDOT determines it was negligent, it will offer to compensate you to settle your tort claim. Additional time will be necessary to complete the settlement and release process. You will be asked to sign a settlement agreement and release of claims against MnDOT prior to receiving compensation for your tort claim. Risk Management will work with you during this process.

Questions?

Please contact MnDOT’s Tort Claims Office at TortClaims.DOT@state.mn.us