Car Damage Caused by Potholes?

California has experienced record-breaking rainfall in the new year, which has left San Diego roads damaged and riddled with dangerous potholes. In just the past 9 days, the city has received more than 1,100 reports of potholes. Although all drivers strive to stay diligent on the road, while driving in the dark or heavy traffic conditions, potholes are hard to see, and running over them can often be inevitable.

Report San Diego potholes here!

What About My Car?

If your car was damaged a result of the pothole, your own auto insurance can be the best and quickest option to ensure your vehicle can be fixed and back on the road as quickly as possible, assuming you carry the necessary coverage. Pothole damage may be covered under comprehensive and/or collision coverage under your insurance.  It is important to note that a deductible may apply and depending on the damage and cost to repair the damage, so going through your insurance and paying a deductible may not be appropriate depending on the amount of your deductible.

If you don’t carry the proper coverage, unfortunately you will have to front the costs of damages and have the option to then make a claim against the city for reimbursement (if the pothole was on City of San Diego property). Claims against the city for property damage must be filed within 6 months from the date of the incident and completed in accordance with California Government Code sections 900-915.4. However, filing a claim does not automatically mean reimbursement.

A few years ago, a decades long study revealed that an average of 1 out of 4 pothole claims are denied by the City, and those that are, typically do not receive full reimbursement. This is why carrying the proper insurance coverages is extremely important, even if vehicle damages are not your fault, you may get stuck with the bill.

Click here to learn more about what your California insurance coverages mean and their importance.


If you or someone you know has been injured in a crash we are ready to help. Contact Ray Padilla Law, APC today at (619) 431-1187 (San Diego) to speak with Attorney Ray Padilla directly.  Please call even if it’s simply to ask, “what should I do?”

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered a substitute for advice from a qualified attorney. If you require legal assistance, we highly recommend you speak to a qualified attorney.