CLEVELAND (WJW) – Auto shops across Northeast Ohio are seeing customers come in daily with pothole-related damage.
A Ford pick-up truck at Beaulieu Auto Center in Cleveland is grounded after owner Ed Beaulieu said the tire was shredded.
“The roads now are far worse than they were even last week,” he said.
Beaulieu and Best Buy Tire Pros, which is also in Cleveland, say the damage can be costly.
“If the rim could be repaired, you’re looking anywhere from $80 to $120. If you have to replace it, a new wheel is anywhere from $200 to $400,” said Best Buy co-owner Doug Novosel.
“Tires could be $200 to $300 depending on, you know, the vehicle, so they could be out almost $1,000 easily and if it’s a 4-wheel drive and they have to buy a set of four tires, it’s of course a lot more,” Beaulieu said.
He says while hitting a pothole can cost money, it can also cost you time.
“Rims aren’t that readily available. Tires take a day to get, so they could be out of a car for two days,” Beaulieu said.
For those looking to recoup or soften the financial blow, Beaulieu suggests first trying your insurance company.
“That’s an accident with a pothole and a lot of times an insurance company would reimburse for those costs.”
You can also file a reimbursement claim with the state or local government.
In Cleveland, on the city’s website, there is a section for vehicle damage from potholes with a downloadable incident claim form.
Some of the documentation you’ll need is a copy of your automobile title, registration or lease contract, insurance coverage information, two estimates of costs of repair and photos of the vehicle damage and alleged defect.
For the Ohio Department of Transportation, which is only responsible for interstate, U.S. and state routes, you can fill out an online form with information like the lane you were in, the direction you were traveling and a description of the incident.
Claimants have up to two years to file and 32 have been filed with the court since November of 2021, according to ODOT.
ODOT says they take all reported pothole claims seriously and get out as soon as possible to fix them.
ODOT says they have used 107 tons of asphalt patching material so far this year in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.