Pothole Damage; Who Do You Call?


Caltrans is offering up to $10,000 to drivers whose vehicles have been damaged by potholes on California freeways, which is especially relevant in light of the recent series of atmospheric rivers that have hit the state. If anyone believes that the action or inaction of the California Department of Transportation has caused them monetary loss, they can file a damage claim directly with the agency. Instructions on how to file a claim can be found on the Caltrans website, and a specific District Claims Office covers each of the state's counties.

According to Doug Shupe of the Auto Club of Southern California, potholes can cause damage not only to tire rims but also to suspensions, with the cost of repairs ranging from $250 to over $1,000 on average. If a claim is over $10,000, it must be submitted to the California Government Claims Program, which offers the opportunity to formally demand compensation for the loss and may result in a settlement without the need for a lawsuit.

To obtain more information about the Government Claims Program or request a claim form, contact the Office of Risk and Insurance Management at the Department of General Services by writing to the following address: Government Claims Program, Office of Risk and Insurance Management, Department of General Services, P.O. Box 989052, MS 414, West Sacramento, CA 95798-9052. General information can be obtained by calling the toll-free number 1-800-955-0045 or emailing gcinfo@dgs.ca.gov.

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