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Potholes damage your vehicle? You could be compensated by the state

If the damage is on a roadway that ODOT manages, you can file in the Ohio Court of Claims
Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 4:56 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The end of winter and early spring means one thing for drivers in Northwest Ohio: potholes. As we begin the freeze-thaw cycle, pavement gives way creating the dreaded bumps in the road. The potholes can spring a leak in your tire, tear right through your wheel, and damage your rims, tie rods, or suspension.

If you hit a pothole, there tends to be a sense of frustration that comes with it. You might be mildly inconvenienced or saddled with some serious repairs and without a working vehicle. One question that comes up every season is who is responsible for paying the bill? Some viewers ask if they can sue the city, township, or the state for the damage left behind from the roads. The answer is: yes, you can.

The Ohio Department of Transportation oversees all of the state and federal routes throughout the state. If you happen to hit debris or a pothole and damage your vehicle on one of these routes the first thing you need to do is report the problem. There is a full explanation of the different roadways throughout the state and who is responsible for what listed on ODOT’s website. An ODOT representative will then be in touch after you file a damage claim.

If the damage was done on a state or federal roadway that ODOT is responsible for overseeing, then you qualify to file against the state for repair cash in the Ohio Court of Claims. Filing a claim will cost you $25 to get started and there are additional fees. There is no guarantee that you will be reimbursed for your money you paid for pothole repairs on your vehicle but if you want to try, these are the steps you need to take.

Meanwhile, ODOT is now shifting a group of workers from plowing to pothole repair. During each shift, there will be a crew dedicated to driving the routes in District 2 and looking for potential problems, and then using cold patch to fix an issue before it becomes a damaging pothole.

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