Drivers in Los Angeles are encountering an increased number of potholes on the city’s roads as winter storms bring more rain. Driving over a pothole can severely damage a vehicle’s tires, wheels, suspension, undercarriage, body, or structure. According to a recent American Automobile Association (AAA) poll, over 44 million drivers across the United States had pothole damage last year, with an average repair cost of $406. The most usually damaged component was tires, followed by vehicle alignment and wheels.
If your car was damaged by a pothole, you have numerous options for seeking payment for repairs.
- The first line of protection is to take potholes seriously and avoid them as much as possible. Maintaining a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you and keeping your tires properly inflated can help you see the road surface ahead and absorb the impact of a pothole. Yet, new potholes can emerge quickly as a result of moisture seeping into pavement fissures, and avoiding them can be difficult, even on known routes.
- If you do hit a pothole, experts advise lifting your foot off the pedal and avoiding using the brakes, which can compress the suspension and cause additional damage. Swerving into a pothole at an angle is even more dangerous, as it might cause your vehicle to leave your lane of traffic or the route entirely.
- It is also critical to address minor pothole issues as soon as possible. Changes in vehicle handling, excessive vibration, or uneven tire wear might all indicate a suspension or alignment problem. If your vehicle is pulling to one side, have the wheel alignment checked by a reputable repair.
- Finally, if you notice a pothole, notify your city authorities. Many cities have apps or online forms that make it simple for residents to report potholes or other road issues. Reporting potholes can help ensure that they are repaired as soon as possible, keeping roads safer for everyone.
Auto insurance claim
If your automobile has suffered considerable damage as a result of a pothole, you may be able to file an auto insurance claim. This is only available if you have collision coverage, which is optional. Collision coverage protects a vehicle from damage caused by a collision with an object, another vehicle, or flipping over. It does not, however, cover wear and tear on an automobile or its tires caused by poor road conditions.
It is critical to evaluate your deductible before filing an insurance claim. Your insurer will not pay anything if the cost of your repairs is less than or equal to your deductible. Also, filing a claim may result in higher premiums in the future as your insurer attempts to collect its costs.
It’s important to note that hitting a pothole is normally considered a single-car accident, which means your insurer will usually hold you responsible for the incident unless there’s evidence that another vehicle caused you to strike the pothole. While your insurance company will cover the damage if you have collision coverage, your insurance rates may rise at renewal time.
Finally, when more rain causes more potholes on Los Angeles’ roads, it’s critical to take steps to avoid hitting them. If your automobile has been damaged by a pothole, there are measures you can take to seek reimbursement for repairs, including reporting the pothole and, if necessary, making an insurance claim. You can help keep your automobile in good condition and be safe on the road by staying vigilant and taking precautions to avoid potholes.