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Pothole damage claims; how much did taxpayers spend?

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) Trying to avoid potholes can sometimes make drivers feel like they’re on a test driving course quickly turning the wheel to dodge an orange cone.

“You have to swerve a lot,” Richmond resident Parfait Ruhiza said.

But, last October, Matt Satterwhite met a Richmond pothole he could not avoid.

“It was a harsh hit,” Satterwhite said.

Two of Satterwhite’s four tires busted when he drove through a pothole on Cary Street where roadwork was being done.

“It was traumatic,” Satterwhite said.

Several others drove through the very same pothole also receiving tire and rim damage.

The city ended up paying out claims for their damages.

“When somebody hits a pothole they believe is the city’s fault, they are certainly at liberty to file a claim through the city attorney’s office.  The city will look into it and investigate the matter.  If it is found the city at fault, their claim can be paid,” Sharon North, the Public Information Officer for the City of Richmond’s Department of Public Works said.

We wanted to know how often the city has to pay to repair people’s tires when they hit potholes.

A CBS6 review of liability claim numbers over the past two years, revealed that Richmond paid more than $14,000 for repairs to 38 vehicles damaged by potholes.

“It’s just something that happens and we deal with it,” North said.

Richmond paid out several claims for vehicles damaged by this pothole on Cary St.

Richmond paid out several claims for vehicles damaged by this pothole on Cary St.

Over that same time period, Henrico County spent over $3,300 to repair damage from potholes.

Chesterfield County does not do its own road work.

The Virginia Department of Transportation maintains Chesterfield’s roads.

VDOT spent more than $7,000 to fix cars damaged by potholes, however, that number does not include any claims higher than $1,000.

The Virginia Department of Treasury’s Division of Risk Management handles claims higher than $1,000.

3 comments

  • Eugene Golden

    this is the voice of experience talking here. I had pot hole damage on the US route one in Henrico. Since the the county does their own work in Henrico..I called them. they said VDOT had that project. I called VDOT and they referred me to a contractor. Who then investigated and said it was not their problem that it was the gas pipeline work that caused the problem. Since the gas work is done but the City of Richmond even though the work in in Henrico they checked into it. They said that it was the responsibility of one of their contractors. i was contacted by the contractor that wanted to meet me out at the site where the problem occurred 6 month had gone by sine the first report of the incident.I did that and then filed a claim with them and it was paid.The facts are that there are a lot more claims than ever get paid because they make you jump through some many hoops and frustrate you enough where 90 percent of the people just give up from all the time and effort spent. Anyone that really knows me that all the red tape just makes me more determined than ever to follow through with things that are designed to frustrate peole and not pay for their mistakes. My damage was not from a pot hole but a gas line access point that was left sticking up 4 inches about the road asphalt during gas line work. Bent the wheel…destroyed the hubcap and punctured the tire sidewall. If you have damage do not let the system make you quit in getting them to pay. Most people give up.

  • P. Branch

    There are many pot holes in Richmond that need repair but these three are where we travel the most the intersection at Jahnke Road and Hiosks Road, the insertion Hioks Road and Carnation Street and the entrance ramp from Midlothian turnpike leading into Chippenham Parkway north are the worst. Some of the pot holes on Warick Road between Midothian and Hull Street have been repaired, but there so many more that cause drivers to have to swerve out of your lanes.

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