Filing a Claim
Personal Injury, Property Damage, Water or Sewer

If you incurred damages or injuries caused by roadway and sidewalk defects or potholes within city limits and are seeking a reimbursement or were involved in a collision with a vehicle owned or leased by the city, please follow the procedure outlined below. 

Your claim must include the following items:

1. Detailed explanation of damages or injuries suffered.

2. Exact location of incident.

3. Date of incident.

4. City vehicle registration/plate number (if applicable).

Items that may be included with your claim:

1. Itemized estimate of damages and/or receipts.

2. Copy of Police Report if applicable.

3. Pictures, preferably color.

4. Copy of medical bills for personal injuries.

5. If estimate of repairs is over $500, a second estimate may be required. 

File your claim and any supplemental information with the City Clerk's Office, City Hall, 210 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060. 

Please Note:

• All claims for sidewalk, roadway or pothole incidents MUST be filed within thirty (30) days of the date of the incident per the Statute of Limitations Law, MGL Chapter 84, Section 18. The City is not responsible for claims due to snow or ice.

MA General Law Chapter 84, Section 18 & MA General Law Chapter 84, Section 17 

• The maximum amount of damages recoverable from a defect in way claim from the City is $5,000. 

MA General Law Chapter 84, Section 15

• All claims involving City-owned or leased vehicles or personal injuries MUST be filed within two (2) years of the date of the incident per the Statute of Limitations Law, MGL Chapter 258, Section 4. 


MA General Law Chapter 258, Section 4

The City Clerk's Office is ONLY responsible for the filing of your claim and has no further involvement once it is forwarded to the City's Insurer, MIIA.

MIIA requires sufficient time to complete an investigation of your claim.Compensation is paid only if the City of Northampton is found liable.  Liability is based on whether the City knew of the pothole before your accident and failed to fix it in a reasonable amount of time.  A reasonable amount of time varies based on number of factors including the number of potholes, weather and availability of equipment, materials and personnel.

To preserve your rights, if the City does NOT pay your claim, you may pursue your matter in the appropriate state court within three (3) years from the date of the incident.

Mailbox Claims

The City’s primary obligation is to ensure that its roadways are kept free of snow and ice. It is also understood that most mailboxes are located inside the public right of way, and therefore, damage to them is often unavoidable. Because of mailbox location there is a shared responsibility between the City and homeowner when mailboxes are damaged during snow removal operations.

If your mailbox was damaged as a result of city snow removal operations you may file a mailbox damage claim with the City. Such claims shall be submitted in writing to the City Clerk's Office within 30 days of the date of the alleged damage. The Department of Public Works will investigate the circumstances involved, and may authorize a flat reimbursement of $50.00 towards the purchase/installation of a standard, USPS acceptable box. This amount is intended to cover any and all damages to the mailbox, post and brackets. No reimbursement in excess of $50.00 shall be provided, regardless of the location, size, original cost or elaborateness of the mailbox and post. Only one reimbursement request per address will be accepted for each winter season. The Department of Public Works will not fix or install the mailbox for you.

Reimbursement for the damaged mailbox is made in the form of a voucher and will come from the Department of Public Works. Vouchers are redeemable at Florence Hardware and Foster Farrar and expire May 31 of the year the claim was made.