According to ABC News, California’s Bay Area has the worst roads in America. The roughest roads are in the San-Francisco-Oakland area, where a whopping 71% of these are in poor condition. The pot holes are so bad that some drivers claim it feels like driving through a third world country.
There is more to this problem than a bumpy ride and bad esthetics, however. Drivers complain that the pot holes damage tires and sometimes even crack their wheels. Cracked wheels cannot be fixed. A driver’s only option is to replace them. Estimates place the cost of tires and repairs at $1,000 for residents and other people who frequent the area for work.
The pot holes may also cause accidents as people swerve to avoid them. Sometimes that means crashing into another motor vehicle, while other times, the driver may crash into a stationary object — or worse, a person. This tacks on costs of medical bills and higher insurance premiums.
The good news is that some residents may seek recourse. While it is difficult to receive compensation for damage cause by new pot holes, the California Department of Transportation may compensate drivers for damage caused by older pot holes on the road. These are the ones drivers can most easily claim are due to neglect. Drivers with dash cams installed may have the best luck with this as they do need to prove when the damage occurred and what caused it.
According to Caltrans, there are no filing fees for claims that are $10,000 or less. Drivers may also file these directly with the organization. For larger claims, drivers may need to file a claim with the Government Claims Program. Finally, it is important to note what county the damage occurred in, as this determines what local district office to file the claim with.