They are everywhere. So if you step in one and get hurt, or your car is damaged by one, or
hitting one precipitates a car accident can you do anything about it? The answer is: sometimes. What people don’t often appreciate is that responsibility for long standing problems such as potholes or dead trees overhanging roadways require notice to the public entity who owns the problem site. Many municipal entities maintain pothole lists and a phone call advising the municipality puts them on notice that a problem exists and should be addressed.
The second defense to a potential recovery is the inability of the municipal entity to address such matters and the prioritization of these problems by that municipality. The defense often is raised that there were insufficient funds to address particular issues which are relatively minor (pothole repair vs. snow removal) which all come out of the same budget.
Therefore, the solution to potential claims by vehicle operators or pedestrians regarding such issues begins with a call to the municipality or an inspection or some other means of showing that they knew of the problem but failed to address it in a timely manner when they were quite capable of doing so.
Of course, for private property owners, with much less territory to care for, these defenses often fail or are not available at all.