© 2024 NPR Illinois
The Capital's Community & News Service
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Hit a bad pothole in Illinois this winter? The state could pay you to cover the repairs

Gov. Jay Nixon says voters should decide whether to make I-70 a toll road in Missouri.
(Manu Bhandar/KOMU)
Gov. Jay Nixon says voters should decide whether to make I-70 a toll road in Missouri.

Editor's note: This story was originally published in the Belleville News-Democrat.

If you’ve ever heard a big thump and popped a tire or otherwise sustained vehicle damage after hitting a pothole in southwestern Illinois, you could be eligible for reimbursement for the repairs.

After an increase in potholes due to heavy snow, freezing rains and cold temperatures in Illinois, maintenance crews are out and about across the state making repairs, according to a press release.

“Potholes unfortunately can be anticipated to form as a result of the weather patterns at this time of year,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said in the press release. “We will be doing our best to make repairs as they develop, but we ask for your cooperation as well to ensure everyone’s safety. Pothole patching operations are work zones. Please be on alert for the orange IDOT trucks, reducing your speed and moving over so they have room to work.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation has accepted claims for at least the past 40 years for damage caused to vehicles on highways under state jurisdiction, though certain conditions must be met for the claim to be approved. Here’s what to know about filing a vehicle damage claim to the agency.

How can you file a vehicle damage claim in Illinois?

IDOT is not responsible for “circumstances beyond its control,” spokesperson Paul Wappel said in an email to the News-Democrat, including but not limited to:

  • Weather-related events and conditions such as ice, snow, flooding, tornadoes and more
  • Damages caused by other motorists/vehicles
  • Unreported road debris or conditions

“Damage claims on highways or streets not under the jurisdiction of IDOT should be referred to the government agency that maintains the roadway,” Wappel said. “Other government agencies may have different reporting and handling procedures.”

If the damage your vehicle sustained needs to be fixed right away, IDOT recommends reporting it to your insurance company and having them present a claim to the department on your behalf.

The IDOT website doesn’t have a claim report form available online, so to access it you’ll need to contact your local office. In the metro-east, that would be the District 8 office in Collinsville, which can be reached by phone at 618-346-3245. You can call this number to request a claim report form to be emailed, mailed or faxed to you.

IDOT evaluates claims “based upon strict standards on negligence and liability established by the Illinois Court of Claims,” according to the department’s website. In order for a claim to potentially be approved, IDOT officials must have received prior notice of the road issue and been given “an adequate length of time” to repair it or to provide a warning of the condition.

After submitting your claim, it may take 90 to 120 days to receive a final written determination approving or rejecting it.

You can report potholes to the state transportation department by calling 1-800-452-4368.

Meredith Howard is a reporter with the Belleville News-Democrat, a news partner of St. Louis Public Radio.
Copyright 2024 St. Louis Public Radio.

Meredith Howard
Related Stories