Claim For Car Damage From Potholes – Have you ever hit a pothole? Chances are you have, and if you did, it’s highly likely that your heart felt like it missed a beat, even though you saw it coming. Not seeing them coming can scare you too, but whether you’re scared or not, many people have the internal fear that something could happen to their vehicle because of the pothole, and that whatever is extremely expensive. In some cases, the city you live in will pay for extreme damage to your vehicle. In the Northeast and Midwest regions of the country, intense weather makes many cities more prone to potholes. Potholes form when moisture gets into the pavement and is exposed to freezing temperatures. As the moisture expands, the pavement cracks. Many cities find it difficult to keep up with the damage this creates, making for a bumpy ride for residents and visitors to the cities.

If you drive in a city that pays pothole claims, you may be out of luck if your vehicle is damaged by potholes in the city. Claims due to pothole damage include blown tires, bent rims, lost hub caps, alignment issues, flat tires, and more. If a pothole damages your vehicle, you must submit a claim to the government agency that is tasked with these types of damage claims.

Claim For Car Damage From Potholes

Claim For Car Damage From Potholes

You will need to check with your city to determine what the process is for submitting pothole damage insurance claims. In some cases, people making claims can expect the process to take a long time. Also, in some places, in addition to sending a complete police report, people must also send a paid invoice or repair estimates from the repair shops. Keep in mind that not all cities will pay the full cost of repairs because you drove yourself into the head.

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Sometimes, the road commission that paves the road will pay for damage caused by potholes on that road. It can be a city road, county road or state road. This can also be a long process, and even if you go this route, you will likely have to pay the cost of your repairs up front. That said, this is an alternative to starting an insurance claim, and it is possible to get a refund if you contact and follow the procedures for the correct road commission.

It is much more likely that a city will pay pothole claims if potholes are an issue in the city. Each municipality, city or town will have different requirements for filing and paying claims for different reasons.

There are some essential steps to take when making a pothole damage claim. First, you want to document everything that happened. This includes taking a photo of the pothole and making sure you have an additional photo so you can confirm the location of the pothole. You will also want to record both the time and date of the accident. Getting repair cost estimates from two different mechanics is a requirement in some states but is helpful even in states that don’t require it. It may be more difficult to file for damages from potholes in some states than it is in others.

In some cases, your insurance company may include some coverage for possible damages in your collision coverage policy. You need to check with your insurance company to see if yours does, and this may be a more important task for you to do if you live in a city that has problems with potholes.

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In some cities, claims for pothole damage will only be paid if the city has known about the pothole for a specified period. That’s why you’ll want to contact your city and let them know where potholes are, preferably by email, if you come across them. This can help them not only fix the potholes more promptly but can also help people successfully claim when damage occurs to their vehicle. The city of Shannan Brigode rejected damage claim because the pothole they hit on East River Road was not previously reported. Courtesy of Shannan Brigode

On the way back from a target practice at Redington Pass in January, Flores drove over a large pothole that deflated his passenger-side tire and bent the rim beyond repair.

“It wasn’t a pothole,” he told the Arizona Daily Star. “There was a gaping hole in the road. It was gigantic.”

Claim For Car Damage From Potholes

Bills for the repairs came to over $1,200, but it was the county that ultimately paid. Like a number of area residents who have had the misfortune of damaging their vehicles on the many and many vicious potholes that line our area’s roads, Flores has filed a notice with Pima County requesting compensation.

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“It was a great experience with the county,” he exclaimed, echoing the high praise of another motorist who told the Road Runner that his claim was paid quickly. “They were very quick to process my claim. Within 36 hours I had already processed my claim, and the next Monday they had a check for me.

Flores is part of the roughly 16 percent of claimants who ultimately have their pothole damage costs paid by the county, according to data from the Finance and Risk Management Department. Between 2011 and 2015, the county received 174 such claims and paid on 28 of them. Average payouts were $338.47, and $9,477.27 in checks were issued over the same period. The city did not respond to requests for information about its pothole claims process by deadline.

The director of the county department, Keith Dommer, walked the Road Runner through the basic process of handling these claims.

When deciding what to accept and what to reject, two factors are key, Dommer explained: Whether the road has received regular maintenance and whether the specific hazard has been reported to the county and received prompt repair. If either is not the case, there is a decent chance that a claim will be paid.

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Although the city did not respond, one claimant provided a city denial letter to the Road Runner indicating that officials there are making similar considerations.

In September 2015, Shannan Brigode was driving along River Road and hit a pothole that knocked the driver’s side wheel off its ball joint. The bill was almost $1,400.

In his rejection letter to Brigode, a city claims adjuster noted that there had been no “prior complaints” about the specific pothole.

Claim For Car Damage From Potholes

“The city cannot be held responsible for something it has no prior knowledge of,” the letter continues.

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While the vast majority of county claims, like Brigode’s, are denied, Dommer said the fact that his office could find no record of a claim progressing to a formal complaint suggests “that we are making reasonable decisions.”

“That doesn’t always make people happy,” he said. “But it’s an indication that we’re doing the right thing. My goal would be that (the driver) understands the reasoning, but that doesn’t mean they’re happy with the decision.

One such driver who was frustrated to receive a rejection letter was Rosemary Robertson, who drove her brand new Mercedes Benz – she said it had 5,000 miles at the time – over a pothole on Pontatoc Road in the Foothills in January, causing about $660 in damage.

“I was very disappointed,” she said of the denial. “I thought that was very unfair because I am a very careful driver. The road was in a terrible state.” The county had known about the pothole before the incident, but only for two days. As fate would have it, the pothole was repaired the next day.

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“Even if a particular condition has been determined to be unsafe, the county is not liable for damages related to the condition unless it has notice of the problem and a reasonable time to fix the condition,” the letter reads, before goes on to say that in this case the county felt that its responsibility had not been “breached”.

Although his pothole claim with the county has not yet been acted upon either way, Ed Schechner is frustrated that he has not received any information from the county since a Jan. 8 letter confirming receipt of his claim.

“Even if they don’t reimburse us, at least communicate with me,” Schechner said of his claim for $465 in damages.

Claim For Car Damage From Potholes

Dommer said a “standard” claim is typically resolved within 30 days, but more complicated cases can take longer.

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Those who get paid quickly, like Lee Smith, whose 2013 Lexus was hit on East Tanque Verde Road in January, generally have good things to say about the process.

“I have to tell you, telling the story to several people, they were amazed that I was paid so quickly,” he said with a laugh.

Striping work on Interstate 10 between and Benson will continue this week. On weekdays there will be lane closures and intermittent closures at interchanges

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