SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — Potholes are a headache for everyone. If you hit one, the damage to your car could be costly.

Auto shops are busy repairing damaged rims, tires, and alignments — many which come from potholes in the road.

Bob Shoupp works at New England Tire and he said that some of the car damage lately has been extensive.

“We’ve seen rims being bent, front end damage,” he said, noting that the culprit is usually a nasty pothole.

Drivers often wonder if they can file a claim for their pothole damage — the answer is yes.

And it does not matter whether you hit the it on state road or a local road, the process is about the same.

There is a specific law in Rhode Island that reimburses a driver up to $300 for hitting a pothole, but initial notification of the claim must be made within seven calendar days of hitting the pothole.

In Rhode Island, the notification process calls for a letter stating the time, date, and location of the incident.

A driver has up to 60 days to submit additional documentation, which includes:

  1. A copy of a police report, tow or auto club report
  2. A copy of a driver’s registration
  3. Copies of receipts

Payment is made within 45 days after a claim is approved — but that approval process could take much longer depending on the volume of claims.

In Massachusetts, the state has no liability for pothole damage unless a driver sustains serious bodily injury or death.

For more information about potholes in Rhode Island, visit the RI DOT damage claim page.

For information about potholes in Massachusetts, visit: