Winter is causing a lot of potholes and problems for drivers in the Chicago metro area. Many auto repair shops and insurance adjusters are experiencing a backlog of work as autos experience flat tires or more expensive repairs such as transmission damage.
As a driver you should be aware of the fact that the City does compensate motorists for damage. Claims are handled by the Chicago City Clerk’s office. Car owners are directed to the website . Once there, go to the section labeled Auto Damage (caused by pothole, accident with a city vehicle, etc.). Download, compete and sign the Damage to Vehicle claim form. The form includes basic information including the date, time and location of the incident. Submit this form along with a copy of the paid receipt for the repairs performed to the car OR a copy of two written estimates for the cost of repairing the damage as well as a copy of a police report for the incident that caused the damage. While you do not have to report damage from a pothole to the police, anything you can do to substantiate your claim, such as including photographs, is helpful in moving your claim through the approval process. The documents must be submitted by mail or in person at any of the three City Clerk’s offices.
Once received, the City Council’s Finance Committee reviews the claims. Their staff is available to update car owners on the status of their claim(s). The City sets aside some of the money generated from annual city sticker sales to pay for the repair of cars damaged by city streets. Drivers who properly file a claim and are approved can expect to wait up to a year, though often they are paid only a portion of the repair cost.
While waiting for your check, you can follow the Pot Hole Tracker . The site, along with the new Plow Tracker, offers viewers the ability to see the potholes that the Department of Transportation has patched within the last seven days. Pothole repairs are based on calls to Chicago’s City 311 service request number. Pothole season ends in March or April, depending upon the weather.