Getting Reimbursed for Car Damage Caused by Potholes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It's a common problem this year; potholes are costing drivers some serious cash -- even when they're unavoidable.

“I tell ya, we've seen a lot of problems with the potholes this year,” Billy Kepple, owner of Marty’s Tire, said.

That means business is booming at his tire shops. Kepple says the number one issue has been bent rims.

“What we have here is a direct impact from a pothole. What it's done -- it's actually cracked the aluminum on this wheel. This wheel had to be replaced,” Kepple said while showing a bent rim.

If the roads this winter are putting a big hole in your wallet, you can get reimbursed. Be aware though, it’s a long process and there are no promises.

“We don't normally get this many complaints in a week's time,” West Virginia Court of Claims Clerk Cheryle Hall said.

Hall has lots of paperwork. So far this year, she has received about 100 claims for vehicle damage due to hazardous roads.

When filing a claim, she says sending pictures of the road and the damage is critical. You should also include a copy of the invoice for the cost, as well as a copy of the declarations page from your insurance company.

The claims will then be sent to either the WVDOH or the city where the damage happened.

After your claim is reviewed, a hearing will be scheduled.

“When they realize they have to come to court, they get a little nervous about it, but it's really an easy process,” Hall said.

A panel of judges will ask you questions and then decide if you get reimbursed and how much.

Hall says about 65 to 70 percent of those who go through the entire process do get reimbursed.

To begin the process, call the Court of Claims office at (304) 347-4851.

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