This is what you need to know about filing a pothole damage claim

(file photo courtesy MGN-Online)

It's been a rocky ride for many drivers navigating through potholes.

However, when drivers try to get reimbursed for the damages from a city or town, their request often falls flat.

Pothole season is in full swing and they can cost you a pretty penny.

"There are so many, you can't avoid all of them," said Gary Lamontagne of Easthampton. Cracked and crumbling roads are causing headaches for drivers across western Massachusetts. It's prime-time for potholes in New England.

Brian Caldwell of West Springfield experienced first-hand just how much damage they can do. "It was a lovely experience when I was driving into work this morning...managed to hit that nice lovely pothole on East Mountain Road that took out a tire," Caldwell noted. Caldwell said that he most likely will file a claim with the town.

"I made it to work and I'll have to put the donut on this afternoon," Caldwell noted. However, state roads have strict limitations when it comes to filing for damages as a result of road defects.

Drivers cannot seek compensation for damage to their car - only personal injury. and even that is capped at just $4,000. "It doesn't take much in terms of the depth of the pothole to give your car a bang," Lamontagne said.

Lamontagne has been denied a claim in year's past. "The town isn't going to pay for it. If you go to somebody to have it fixed, that's basically out of your own pocket," Lamontagne added. According to AAA, drivers pay $3 billion every year for pothole repairs.

To report a pothole on a state road, contact MassDOT or locally, you can contact your local DPW.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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