We Tried To File A Claim For Pothole Damage In Lafayette And This Is What We Found
Have the potholes on your commute become an issue?
If you've ever slammed into a bad pothole you know that it can cause tons of damage, and also cost you tons of money. No one likes shelling out cash to fix the damage that potholes can cause—but what if I told you that I could potentially save you from having to spend cash for repairs?
Most people take to social media to complain when they hit a pothole that does major damage, but while that may seem refreshing, it won't change the fact that you still have to fork over the money to fix your vehicle.
Some cities and states actually allow people to file claims by using a form on their respective websites, but the process is not an easy one nor is reimbursement guaranteed. Also, if you're in a hurry, don't expect anything remotely close to instant gratification. Most claims take about 90 days to process.
What I did find was a common process in multiple states, and it really seems like you could only get reimbursed for your damages under very specific circumstances.
- You have to do the research in your specific area to find out if they even pay for pothole damages to vehicles. Like I mentioned before, there is no "one-click" solution for this online. This is totally a lengthy and frustrating process. Be prepared to spend some money upfront.
- Figure out if the pothole you hit was located on a city road, a parish road, or a state road. This is necessary to find out if it is even possible to get reimbursement. Many cases show that people were only able to get reimbursed for damages caused on state roads, and I'll give you more detailed specifics on that later.
- DOCUMENTATION. Without this, you're on a road to nowhere. Whether it's government or insurance, your claim will need to be supported with documentation. Based on claims that have been paid this includes (but isn't limited to) photos of the pothole, date and time of the accident, and at LEAST two estimates from different mechanics.
- The pothole must be a "reported" pothole. It is VERY likely that you will only be reimbursed for damages from potholes located on state roads that have been reported with enough reasonable time to have already fixed it. In a lot of states, that reasonable time is usually 30 days or more and you must prove that the pothole was reported and those responsible for repairing it did nothing—which is almost impossible.
Through all of my (minimal) research, what I did find out was that reporting potholes is truly the key. After speaking with a few of my friends who work in and around local government, I learned that most potholes (especially on major roadways) are filled within a day of them being reported (weather permitting).
This may sound like a frustrating task, but just imagine if someone had reported that pothole that you hit before you had the chance to slam into it? If you're looking for a quick way to report a pothole you can do it at this link.
If you want to report one throughout Louisiana, you can go HERE. If you don't want to go through that process, figure out who your councilperson is and they'll get it done for you.
Potholes suck, so hopefully, together we can keep them to a minimum.