ODOT sees record number of pot hole claims

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From 2013 to 2018, ODOT paid $3.4 million to drivers who claimed the state was negligent for not filling potholes.

The state says even if you file a claim quickly, you'll have to wait months for your check.

"If it's less than $10,000 we're looking at four to six months," says Matt Bruning, ODOT Spokesperson.

No one is immune from the damage a pothole can bring, including the director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources who filed a claim against ODOT for a pothole he hit.

Director James Zehringer filed his claim in February. He wrote on the claim form, "I hit a very deep pothole...causing my right front tire to blow out and bending my rim."

His claim: $1,227.04. We spoke to him by phone. He told us, "My claim was approved, but I've yet to receive a check."

He wasn't the only person to hit the pothole at I-670 and I-270.

"He was one of four that have been marked for settlement; there were a total of 21 damage complaints, of those 21, four people filed claims," says Bruning.

Claims filed against ODOT for car damages show how damaging the freeze/thaw cycle was to the state's freeways.

Last year, the state received 364 claims for damages, most of them for pothole damages.This year, the number jumped to 928. That's a 255 percent increase.

ODOT says it wants the public to report potholes so it can fix them before someone else strikes one.

Because if ODOT doesn't know the pothole exists, and you hit one, it's not liable.

Only when someone reports a pothole and ODOT fails to fix it can you get paid for the damage. Drivers are encouraged to fill out an ODOT road defect report.

ODOT says in order to get your claim filed quickly, provide as much detail as possible including. where it happened, photos of the damage, a copy of the repair bill, and any other information that will help describe the damage to your car.

To file a claim, click here.