Many have fallen victim to a popped tire or loss of hubcap over the past few weeks because of the outbreak of potholes in Indiana roads. When weather conditions are harsh, the roads tend to take a hit. As a result, this winter, Indiana was forced to dip into a “rainy day fund” in order to fill in the potholes before more damage could occur.
As seen this winter, potholes can present concerns for the well-being of a car, but more importantly, they are a concern when considering the safety of a driver. If you hit a pothole and believe it might have caused damage to your tire or car, it is important that you do not continue to drive, but instead take the following steps to make sure it is safe to continue driving.
Pull Over and Check for Damage
Even if your car seems to be driving normally after you hit a pothole, it is important that you pull over once you are at a safe place and check your car for any damage. Some damages to look for would be:
- Tire puncture or damage
- Damage to the rim or the wheel itself
- Misalignment in steering function
- Damage to the exhaust
It is also important to check for any damage before you exit the vehicle. When you are driving to a safe place, pay attention and try to notice if your car is showing any unusual vibrations or pulling to either side. Be sure to note any physical or internal damage that you notice from the pothole as well as the exact location where it occurred. Do not go by memory alone.
Report the Pothole
Whether your car experiences damage and you plan to make a claim or you prefer to just let it go, it is important that you report the pothole to authorities so that you might prevent the same issue from happening to someone else. If the road with the pothole is funded by the city of Evansville, you can tweet the location of the pothole with the hashtag #EVVPotholes, or you can call Evansville Street Maintenance at (812) 435-6000. If you were on a Vanderburgh County road, call the County Engineering Department at (812) 435-5773. If you were on an interstate, U.S. highway, or state road, you can call the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) at 855-INDOT4U or visit www.indot4u.com to report the pothole.
Get Your Car to a Repair Shop
If your car shows any damage from the incident, be sure to take it into a shop for a checkup and any necessary repairs. You should keep any receipts or reports made by the mechanic.
File a Claim
Once all of these steps are complete, it is time to make your claim. In order to do this, you must file a tort claim notice with INDOT by clicking here and clicking “Tort Claim Notice” under the Resources menu option in the navigation menu on the left side of the screen. It is important to note that you will not be able to hold the state responsible if the hole has never been reported because one cannot be considered negligent if they were not aware or should have reasonably been aware of the condition.
Help from an Evansville Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured after hitting a pothole you could be entitled to compensation. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation, or contact us online.