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Section 3: Personal Injury and Property Damage Claims

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Types of Claims

The department typically deals with two types of claims:

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  • claims against the department or its employees
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  • damage claims by the department against an individual, company or organization for damage to a highway facility.
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Claims Against the Department

When a district or division is notified of a claim against the department, the Occupational Safety Division (OCC) should be notified immediately. No information should be volunteered without proper coordination through OCC. Refer to the Occupational Safety Manual for details.

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Damage Claims

Refer to the Financial Management Policy Manual on Crossroads for information on damage claims.

Each district will appoint a Damage Claim Coordinator and submit their name to MNT. MNT will keep a list of District Damage Claim Coordinators and update it annually through a survey of all districts. If a District Damage Claim Coordinator changes within a district during the year, the District will notify MNT so that the change may be recorded. MNT will furnish the updated list to FIN.

Each district will establish a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to determine, review and document property damage for reimbursement of damage claims. At a minimum, the SOP will document how a district determines, investigates and reports damage claims in accordance with the Financial Management Policy Manual, Chapter 4 Payment (Claims), Sec. 10: Claims by TxDOT Concerning Damage to Highway Property.

Once the SOP is created, District Damage Claim Coordinators should train the appropriate district personnel on how to implement it so that every accident can be properly documented in advance of repairs, regardless of the existence of a damage claim or accident report.

The District Damage Claim coordinator shall review Crash Records Information System (CRIS) reports monthly (at minimum) and provide a report to the District Engineer including the number of damage reports and the number of active claims for each Maintenance Section within their district.

If the department has a reasonable claim and if the responsible party can be identified, the district/division will seek reimbursement from the responsible party and/or their insurance company. If there is a death or serious injury to the responsible party or passenger in the damaging vehicle, the district engineer may use discretion regarding whether to contact the family.

Reimbursement to the department for damage claims is transferred back to the district's budget.

Responsibilities for damage claims on roadways under performance based total maintenance contract are unique to and detailed in the contract.

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