The Guide to a Pothole Damage Claim for Texas Drivers
At best, they are a tangible reminder of your tax dollars not at work. At worse, they can cause significant damage to your vehicles. Roads throughout Texas face the same scourge known as potholes. This is a complicated issue for drivers because, unlike other automobile accidents, you aren’t involved with another party. It’s you and the road, which can put you in a weird place when looking for restitution. If you’ve suffered and need to submit a pothole damage claim, learn the process, who qualifies, and what actions drivers in Texas can take to restore their losses.
How To Get Reimbursed for Pothole Damage
The real way to get reimbursed for your pothole damage claim is through insurance, but there’s more to it than that. Yes, you can make a claim against the city seeking reimbursement and request a direct response from the Texas Department of Transportation(TxDOT) following their online procedure for reporting pothole damage. But here’s what you need to know:
- State law doesn’t require cities to pay for such damage as they are not held responsible for damage caused to your vehicle due to the condition of their roads.
- Lawyers are expensive.
Fighting this is a viable option until it’s not and in the meantime, you’re going to rack up some impressive legal fees that will likely make the entire thing a defeated point anyways.
Luckily, car insurance can pay for pothole damage. Yet again, there is a caveat to that statement. Specifically, drivers will need to enroll in collision coverage in order to be covered.
To stay legal, all drivers in Texas must maintain liability coverage. But this isn’t going to cover potholes, in fact, it’s not going to cover your vehicle at all. The entire purpose is to help you restore the loss to another party if you’re at fault.
Collision insurance is another coverage that drivers can add to their policy which protects their own vehicle in the event of an accident. This means whether or not there is another party involved or regardless of fault, you’ll be able to receive reimbursement towards repairing your vehicle.
Such coverage can come in handy for a pothole damage claim, however, is useful in any accident. Additionally, your coverage can not only provide better protection, but drivers who enroll have options to save money in the process.
Full Coverage Against Pothole Damage to Car
Full coverage is a common term in the auto insurance world. It refers to a combination of liability, comprehensive, and collision coverages that create a much better form of protection.
No, drivers won’t be protected against everything, as blanket coverage doesn’t exist, but they will be protected against more. Here’s a breakdown of how full coverage works for you:
- Liability coverage helps you stay legal and restore losses to someone else’s property or due to bodily injury when you cause an accident.
- Comprehensive coverage helps you restore losses to your vehicle when it’s damaged outside of an accident including weather-related damage.
- Collision coverage is there to restore your vehicle after an accident no matter who is at fault.
Together, drivers not only gain protection against more scenarios they might find themselves in, but the protection can come at a discount due to multi-policy discounts.
If you are financing a vehicle, as a term and condition of your loan, full coverage is a requirement. For others, it’s a great idea to consider because of the wider spectrum of protection it provides.
Pothole damage reimbursement in Texas can come by having the right auto insurance policies. Full coverage is a great avenue to stay protected for less.
How To Tell if Pothole Damaged Car
One of the first steps in filing a pothole damage claim is determining whether or not your vehicle has been damaged by a pothole. There are several signs that your vehicle may have suffered damage after hitting a pothole, here are some of the signs to look out for:
- Flat tires are one of the most common forms of pothole tire damage.
- Fluids are leaking from your vehicle.
- If you are having trouble steering, feel as if you are riding low, or not riding as smoothly, it could mean damage to your vehicle’s suspension.
- Rims that have suffered damage and are bent.
- Squealing tires, your vehicle pulling to the right or left, or difficulty steering could mean that you’ve damaged your wheel alignment.
- Tire bulges and bubbles coming from your tire indicate a leak.
- Your exhaust is making unusual noises.
- Your steering wheel is shaking or vibrating as you ride.
If you have been in an area with potholes and begin to experience one or some of these issues, pull over to a safe location and check for signs of damage. In the event that you notice such damage after the fact, you may need to seek repairs from a mechanic depending on the severity.
How Do Potholes Form?
In places with colder weather, potholes are very common. This is because they form when water enters the ground under the pavement, it expands and contracts, causing potholes. In the case of frozen water, it expands
The layers of stone and dirt beneath the pavement can easily be washed away by water draining into these cracks. Sub-bases of asphalt pavements eventually develop an air gap. As the pavement ages, the top layer sags, collapses, and crumbles, causing potholes to form in warmer climates.
Potholes are caused by pieces of roadway material weakening as cars and trucks pass over the weak spot This ends up resulting in the materials being displaced or broken down by the weight of the vehicles.
As you can see, the formation of potholes can come in varying climates, and considering the diversity found in Texas, it doesn’t matter where you are, there is a chance you’ll run into them on the road.
Avoiding potholes can become unavoidable depending on the conditions on the road due to weather or traffic, however, if you can, avoiding contact is always advised. No matter the cause of the formation, they can destroy your tires, suspension, and other vital parts of your vehicle.
Can Hitting a Pothole Damage Your Engine?
While it’s unlikely to cause engine damage when you hit a pothole, the risk of significant damage is still present. Just as important, the damage can be caused not only by large or deep potholes but by smaller ones, wider ones, etc.
Your engine is more than likely going to be ok, but parts related to your wheels such as your tires, or your suspension such as your shocks, are at a much higher risk of being damaged.
But don’t let the size fool you either. Potholes come in many different shapes and forms as do the conditions in which drivers may hit them. The overarching focus here is that there are many variables that can determine what happens once you hit a pothole and damage can vary because of it.
How to Sue the City for Pothole Damage
Inevitably, the thought of whether the city will pay for pothole damage affecting your vehicle will slip into the mind of anyone suffering such a loss. But remember, while there is likely a lawyer you can find to take your case, it’s unlikely to go in your favor.
All the while, you could be spending a ton of money on a legal case that will add stress to your mind while draining your bank account. Collision coverage is the best defense that drivers have to receive pothole damage reimbursement in Texas for their vehicles.
How To Protect Yourself From Pothole Damage in Texas
If you’re looking to protect yourself from pothole damage in Texas, then Freedom Insurance Group can help. Pothole damage reimbursement can be achieved through your auto insurance policy, but only when you have the right policies in place.
It’s important to note that you’ll need to have a collision insurance policy in place before you come in contact with a pothole in order to submit a claim.
The goal of our agents is to find the right car insurance for our clients at the lowest price on the market. We work with over 25 top-rated insurance carriers which allows us to shop and compare to deliver the best policies for our customers.
Our network provides not only the best auto insurance products for our clients but also other forms of protection and bundling opportunities for more savings when you combine your home insurance.
We save the average driver in Texas 40% when switching. Our team is here to help you with a pothole damage claim, find the right level of protection, and any of your other insurance needs. Get an auto insurance quote online or contact our agents today to see how much you can save!