Reimbursement Process and Requirements for Pothole Damage Claims

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The craters that are taking over our roads are getting worse as the temperatures warm up and many of you have been letting us know on Facebook about car damage from those potholes.

23 News reporter Lauren Kravets looked into the city claim process that sometimes reimburses for those damages, but as she found out, it’s not as easy as it seems.
The area around Kilburn and Auburn is typically a bad area for potholes. Crews with Rockford’s public works department were in that area today patching, but for people who’ve already experienced damage to their cars from the craters, it might be too late to get city assistance.

Richard Brien Jr.’s car still runs, but only after spending nearly $300 to replace two tires. He says he hit two separate potholes on Alpine Road within three weeks.

“The second time was four days ago, I was on Alpine again heading north by Alpine Park and that was the front driver’s side tire then.”

Brien Jr.’s rims were also bent, but he won’t submit a claim with the City of Rockford. He says he’s heard of too many cases being denied because the city didn’t know about the pothole before it was hit.

“There has to be a request of the pothole somewhere before that, from that area, in order for us to be liable.”

There also has to be a reasonable amount of time for crews to fill it.

“If you had a pothole that was called in this morning, and you hit that pothole in the afternoon, they would say no, we just had it called in this morning.”

That’s why the city is asking us to report those potholes. Right now, it has 180 requests, but in the next few months those requests can increase to as much as 800.
To report a pothole, you can call the city at 815-987-5771 or visit the city’s website. You can also file a claim with the city online. Links to report a pothole or file a claim with the city online are posted in the related links section.

Last year, the city patched about 15,000 potholes.

The city’s legal department tells us it pays a very small percentage of claims due to a multitude of factors. They weren’t clear about just how many people get their money back.

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