Potholes & Road Conditions Got You Down? In WV – Don’t Rage: Submit a Claim for Pothole Damages Against the State

Rough road conditions impact many West Virginians on their daily commutes and travels throughout the State. The biggest problem they face: potholes.  Recently, the Preston County Commission declared a countywide state of emergency due to the horrible road conditions that expand throughout the entire county. The road conditions in Preston County and in many parts of West Virginia pose a danger to all motorists. Driving on unsafe and deteriorating roads can cause damage to vehicles. Fortunately, West Virginia has a program that assists drivers with covering the cost of damage done by driving on West Virginia roads, mainly potholes.

As a citizen of West Virginia, you have the opportunity to file against the Department of Highways in the State Court of Claims. The number of claims has risen tremendously in the past few years- 175 claims paid in 2010, 1,290 paid in 2014, and 1,404 paid in 2015- due to the roads worsening over time. According to the Senate Finance Committee, the Court of Claims payment authorization bill (SB515) included a total of $983,000 in payments for vehicle damages claims. More than 98% of claims are ultimately approved, but it takes roughly a year to reach the hearing and then an additional year to receive your payment. The payment in which you are rewarded for damages is entirely based off your insurance plan. The money that the state sets aside for claims will pay up to the amount of your insurance deductible. Other factors such as having collision coverage or no collision coverage may also affect your reward. The average award is $343.

How to Submit a Claim for Pothole Damages in West Virginia

If West Virginia’s deplorable road conditions have caused damage to your vehicle, the following are steps to take to receive payment.

  1. Download and fill out the West Virginia Legislative Claims Commission form for “Road Hazard or Damages to Real Estate Claims.” The form can be found here: http://www.wvlegislature.gov/Joint/Court/claim_form.pdf
  2. Fill in as much detail as possible about the accident. The most important information to include is where the accident occurred, what the road condition was like at the time, and copies of all invoices and receipts for damages.
  3. Attach the most important piece of information: a copy of your insurance declarations page that shows your coverage and deductible.
  4. Submit the form as well as attachments to the West Virginia Court of Claims.
  5. The claim is then investigated and a hearing is held.
  6. If the claim is approved, you will receive compensation of an amount up to the amount of your deductible.

The accident and injury lawyers at Adams Legal Group, PLLC are here to help you get fair compensation for your personal injuries and damages. Although we do not handle pothole damage claims (because it is more cost effective for individuals to pursue on their own), we always offer a free consultation on all cases.