Pothole got your tire? The state of Illinois may pay for that

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (Illinois News Network) — The temperature swings in Illinois are causing potholes that could be mistaken for tunnels and damage from hitting one could cost hundreds of dollars, but drivers may be able to get some of that money back from the state of Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Transportation handles claims for pothole-related vehicle damage on state roads, but spokeswoman Gianna Urgo said not all claims are eligible for pay outs.

“The department evaluates each claim based upon strict negligence and liability standards established by the Illinois Court of Claims,” she said.

 Pay attention to who is responsible for the damaged roadway, as claims to the state are limited to reported potholes on state-maintained roads.

“Routes comprising the state highway system will typically be known as ‘interstate’ or ‘Illinois Route’ et cetera,” she said.

The department didn’t have data on number or total payouts of the claims.

Nationally, potholes caused $3 billion in damage in 2016 alone, according to AAA.

“The average pothole repair costs $300,” AAA spokeswoman Beth Moser said. “That’s significant when so many drivers don’t have the funds to make these repairs.”

Moser said motorists should make sure to have a spare tire and not just a tire kit.

Other claims could be filed with a local government responsible for maintenance of that roadway.

While some potholes are unavoidable, Urgo says the best policy is to avoid them.

Go to idot.illinois.gov to find the local office where you would submit a pothole report and file a claim.