Pothole Damage Reimbursed in Va. and Ma., But Not Del. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Pothole Damage Reimbursed in Va. and Ma., But Not Del.


MILTON, Del. - In Delaware, the state is obligated to fix potholes, but not the damage incurred by them. However, in Maryland and Virginia, the state or county will reimburse you.

Potholes are formed when water seeps into the pavement, freezes and then expands. Driving over them in the wrong way can cause severe tire damage. Sometimes even requiring replacements.

Rodney Peterson works at Milton Garage, and sees customers with pothole damage very often.

"When they hit a pothole the steel belts break or it'll blow it out completely and we get them used tires or a new tire," he said. "A tire's not cheap, they're not cheap, I mean we have used tires and we have new tires but new tires can be very expensive."

According to the Delaware Department of Transportation's community relations officer Jim Westhoff, in cases like this, Delaware has legal immunity to any liability claims.

In Maryland and Virginia, while you can get reimbursement, often the challenge lies in proving the damage is due to potholes. Contact your state transportation department to find out where to send a damage claim.

Elizabeth Leak lives in Georgetown and said her neighborhood is full of deep potholes. She said they aren't even being fixed.

"I think we should be able to be reimbursed, especially if it takes putting out money to get our vehicles repaired," she said. "We need the money! So if were paying taxes, yearly, than I think we're due to get reimbursed."

According to Peterson, even driving slowly over a pothole can hurt your tires so try to avoid them all together. Especially, if you live in Delaware.

To file a claim for reimbursement in Virginia, call the Virginia Department of Transportation at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (1-800-367-7623). Claims are investigated on a case-by-case basis. Investigators review the circumstances, the type and location of the pothole, if VDOT had been previously notified of the issue, and if crews had been given a reasonable amount of time to repair the pothole.

In Maryland you can file a written claim by going to the Maryland Treasury Department. You can also call (410) 260-7684 or 1-800-942-0162 to speak with someone in the insurance division. Some claims are handled by the department of transportation of individual counties.


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