STATEWIDE – Caltrans’ reimbursement program allows commuters to claim up to $10,000 for damages from potholes while driving on California freeways.
A 2021 AAA survey found that the average price tag of hitting a pothole is almost $600 per repair. This cost drivers $26.5 billion in 2021 alone.
The Caltrans reimbursement program is intended for vehicles damaged due to poor road conditions or debris. Form LD-0274 allows claimants to file for reimbursement with the Caltrans district office in the county in which the incident occurred.
Eligibility requirements include:
- The damage must have occurred on a state-owned highway or freeway.
- Drivers must submit a claim within six months of the incident.
The program does not cover damages caused by normal wear and tear.
Filing a claim
To file a claim, drivers must provide evidence of the damage, including photos, receipts for repairs, and any other relevant documentation. They must also demonstrate that the damage occurred as a direct result of the state’s negligence or failure to properly maintain the roadway.
Claims for over $10,000
If a claim is for over $10,000 or concerns a different department or agency of the State of California, claimants must file with the Government Claims Program. This program gives drivers the opportunity to formally demand compensation for a loss, and may lead to a settlement of a claim without the need to file a lawsuit.
Caltrans reviews will review the claim, and if approved, they will issue a reimbursement. Caltrans may deny claims if the damage was caused by driver negligence or illegal activities.
Caltrans encourages drivers to report road hazards and unsafe driving conditions to its Maintenance Division at https://csr.dot.ca.gov/index.php/Msrsubmit.
Reports can also be submitted online through the Caltrans QuickMap app. The app provides real-time information about highway conditions, traffic flow, and construction zones.
For more information on how to submit a damage claim with Caltrans visit https://dot.ca.gov/online-services/submit-damage-claim