SPRINGFIELD (Heartland Newsfeed) — Temperature swings often result in the creation of potholes that can be mistaken for tunnels, and damage from hitting one of them could cost you hundreds of dollars. However, drivers may be able to get some of that money back from the State of Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Transportation handles claims for pothole-related vehicle damage on state highways, but spokeswoman Gianna Urgo warned that not all claims will be eligible for payouts.

“The department evaluates each claim based upon strict negligence and liability standards established by the Illinois Court of Claims,” she said.

It is advised to pay attention to who’s responsible for the damaged roadways, as claims to the state are limited to reported potholes on state-maintained roads.
“Routes comprising the state highway system will typically be known as ‘interstate’ or ‘Illinois Route’ et cetera,” she said.

IDOT does not currently have immediate data on the number of total payouts for the claims, but nationwide, potholes caused over $3 billion in damage in 2016 alone, according to a study from the American Automobile Association (AAA).

 

“The average pothole repair costs $300,” AAA spokeswoman Beth Moser said. “That’s significant when so many drivers don’t have the funds to make these repairs.”

Moser said motorists should make sure to have a spare tire and not just a tire kit.

Other claims could be filed with a local government responsible for maintenance of that roadway.

While some potholes are unavoidable, Urgo says the best policy is to avoid them.

Go to idot.illinois.gov to find the local office where you would submit a pothole report and file a claim.

Jake Leonard is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. He is general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks and an active contributor to four newspapers for Pana News Group. He also serves as chairman of Tri-Counties Libertarian Party and Capital Area Libertarian Party, deputy candidate recruitment director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois and as chairman/co-founder of the Libertarian Party Millennial Caucus.