A Michigan Snowplow Destroys Your Mailbox: Who Pays to Replace it?
It's one of those things you may not even think about preparing for until it either happens to you, a neighbor, or anyone else you may know. However, when a snowplow hits your mailbox in Michigan, who's responsible?
Sure, it's a Michigan winter, snow is to be expected and maybe it's your own fault for not preparing properly. On the other hand, though, someone else DID destroy YOUR property.
Why Michigan Snowplows Get Close Enough to Mailboxes to Hit Them
You may be wondering why snowplows even get that close to your mailbox to begin with and the answer is, actually, pretty simple.
"Crews try to plow as close to the mailbox as possible to allow room for mail deliveries," MLive reported in 2014. "If there is too much snow in front of a curbside mailbox, mail won’t be delivered."
Now, this could happen for any number of reasons be that too much snow piled up that makes your mailbox hardly visible, improper preparations on your part or it was simply an accident on the part of the snowplow.
Either way, there are ways you can prevent this from happening as well as identify if it was a snowplow or some jerk out on a joyride like this guy in Williamston who hit FIFTY in one night (CLICK HERE for that story)
How to Protect Your Mailbox From Snowplow Damage
When I lived in Grand Rapids, it was common to see either wood pallets or simply wood boards propped up against mailboxes. With all the lake effect snow they get on the west side of Michigan, it turns out the boards help let snowplows know where your mailbox is and offer a layer of protection.
Other protective measures, per Mr. Handyman, can be done upon installing your mailbox such as digging it deeper into the ground or "bolstering" it by either using metal posts over wood, using brick, stone, etc. (though you should check with your local ordinances for what is allowed).
There are also plenty of products you can purchase that do the trick whether that's "blinging out" your mailbox so it's easily identifiable or something else, CLICK HERE for suggestions from Mr. Handyman.
Another suggestion is to simply shovel around your mailbox after a big snow, before the plows come out.
Who Pays For a Michigan Snowplow-Damaged Mailbox Depends HOW it Was Damaged
Let's say you've taken all the proper measures, or none at all, and your mailbox is one that becomes a Michigan winter casualty. Where do you go from there?
First, you have to be able to identify and prove that a snowplow is what did the damage to your mailbox which Jerry Peterson, director of the Jackson County Department Of Transportation, told MLive would be "blatantly obvious."
Turns out, though, there is a bit of a common stipulation when it comes to the road commission replacing your mailbox: If the damage is caused by the force of the snow coming off the plow, you get nothing.
That information is stated on the Jackson County, Michigan website and reflected by the Board of Ingham County Road Commissioners, among many others around Michigan.
"If it is determined that your mailbox was damaged by impact of our truck, JCDOT will replace the mailbox with a standard mailbox," the Jackson County website states.
More specifically, Peterson told MLive, "The department [JCDOT] will not repair the post or mailbox, but will pay $10 for a new mailbox and $7 for a new post, if it was directly hit by a truck."
Now, that is just an example from Jackson County, other counties or jurisdictions may have different monetary amounts they give.
H/T: Jeff Parsons - If a Snowplow Hits Your Mailbox in Maine, Does the Town or State Have to Replace It?
LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades
KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...