How to get your money back for pothole damage
Published Sunday, January 11, 2009 3:10PM PST
Since the great melt began on B.C.'s south coast, nobody's been busier than road workers.
"It's hard to keep up, you know?" says Stuart Wright from the City of Vancouver. "You're getting calls all over the place."
Dozens of large potholes have opened up on city streets, creating many angry motorists.
Related: See B.C. pothole map
"I've had everything thrown at me -- batteries, quarters, loonies -- keeping throwing the dollar bills," he says. "As long as I'm not hot patching they get stuck in the hot patch I'll pick 'em up."
At West Coast Alignment & Frame, workers are seeing cars coming in with tires that are completely demolished from driving over potholes.
"We do the frame straightening, collision repairs, the wheel alignment, balancing," says Chris Evans.
And those repairs can be expensive.
"It can be anywhere from just a basic alignment under a hundred bucks to several thousand dollars," Evans says.
But that's a bill you may not have to pay.
"It's not something that's well advertised at your local municipality but if your car is damaged on the street on or a public road you can actually file a claim with the city and have some if not all of that money returned back to you," says Daniel Fontaine, the editor of www.citycaucus.com.
Related: How to file a claim
The City of Vancouver has $20 million set aside for this type of damage. The city of Surrey has $15 million.
"Between the two cities there's a fairly significant pot of money set aside for the public," says Daniel.
The best thing drivers can do is be prepared. Make sure to keep all of the receipts for your repair work. Details are important -- keep a record of the time and location of where the event happened.
A photo the offending pothole helps. Send it all to city hall, and it doesn't hurt to copy your local mayor and council.
"I've heard that people have tried taking it up with the city and been successful," says Chris.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson