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What to do if your car is damaged driving over one of San Diego's many potholes

In just the past nine days, the city has received more than 1100 reports of potholes.

SAN DIEGO — You may think it rained potholes later this week. All the rainwater with this week’s storm will seep into cracks in San Diego streets and create even more potholes than we have right now. 

We wanted to know how fast the city can work to fix and fill them, and what should you do if you drive through on and damage your car- the city could actually pay for it.  

Anthony Santacroce with the City of San Diego says, “We're about to be all hands on deck. That's our M-O right now. All hands on deck to fill as many potholes as possible.” 

Santacroce says with all hands on deck- the city has 9 trucks, each with a 2-person crew to fill potholes around town. He says their to-do list comes from the city’s Get It Done App.  

According to Santacroce, as of Monday, January 9th, there are 1100 open pothole service requests from the Get It Done App. 

The website says it takes on average 10 days to fill them. But Santacroce says with the 100+ reports coming in a day since 2023 started, it’s going to take longer than 10 days. 

“We go out and repair potholes primarily in the order they were reported but also in consideration of location and severity,” said Santacroce. 

But what if a pothole damages your car?  

If it meets certain standards, drivers could file a claim with the city here.

If a driver notices damage to his or her car after he or she hits a pothole in the City of San Diego he or she should immediately document any damage. That includes taking plenty of pictures to have the most accurate claim possible. 

All claims must be made in writing, accurately completed, printed, signed by the claimant, and mailed or personally presented in hard copy format to:  

City of San Diego Risk Management Department 

1200 Third Ave., Suite 1000 

San Diego, CA 92101

Drivers must file their claim no later than six months after the date of the incident or event. 

Also, it is a good idea for drivers to attach any other relevant information and estimates for repairs. In fact, the City of San Diego said says drivers should, in their written claim, state justification for loss through repair estimates and photographs of the damage. 

If there is bodily injury, claims should be accompanied by unaltered copies of bills from the treating physician(s) or other expenses incurred from the injury sustained. 

Once all the information is gathered, drivers can file a claim with the city’s Risk Management Division where it will either be approved or denied. 

Risk Management Department, Public Liability Division usually takes about 45 days to process and investigate a claim.

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