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How to get up to $10,000 for car damage due to California roads

Californian residents can claim up to this figure for vehicle damage caused by poor road conditions.

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Rick WilkingREUTERS

If you have experienced poor road conditions while driving in California and your vehicle has sustained damage as a result, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). This agency allows individuals who have suffered a financial loss due to Caltrans’ actions or inactions to seek reimbursement of up to $10,000 for damages incurred.

To initiate the claims process, individuals must file a claim for damages directly with the agency.

How to claim $10,000 for car damage in California

The Caltrans website includes instructions on how to file a claim arising from such incidents. The claim must be made in the county where the incident occurred. Each county in the state is covered by a specific District Claims Office.

“If your claim is for death or personal injury, or damage to personal property or growing crops, which you believe was caused by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the amount of your claim is of $10,000 or less, you can file your claim directly with Caltrans,” indicates the website. A filing fee is not required for claims filed with the agency.

What number to call for road damage claim

To file the claim, you must complete form form LD-0274, ‘Claim Against Department of Transportation for Amounts $10,000 or Less (PDF)’. The original, completed, and signed form must be sent with supporting documents to the Caltrans District Claims Office for the county where the damage to the car occurred. Here you have a list of the Caltrans office in each location.

Claims over $10,000 must be submitted to the California Government Claims Program. This gives state residents “the opportunity to formally demand compensation for your loss, and may lead to a settlement of your claim without the need to file a lawsuit,” according to the Caltrans website.

For more information about the Government Claims Program or to request a claim form, call (toll-free) 1-800-955-0045, write to gcinfo@dgs.ca.gov or visit the California Department of Transportation website.