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Drivers denied claims for pothole damage on I-10

I-10 in west El Paso

A hole in the road can cost you a whole lot of money and the state said it’s not responsible.

Drivers are being denied compensation for pothole damage done to their vehicles on Interstate 10.

Between all of the construction and congestion in El Paso these days, the roads are really taking a beating.

But it's people’s cars that are ending up in the shop.

"It wasn't any pothole. It was huge," said Christina Rosas.

Rosas said she was on her usual route to work on 1-10 West between Executive Center and Sunland Park Drive during morning rush-hour traffic when it happened.

"It almost felt like I got hit, like an accident," Rosas said.

Her tire blew out and her rim cracked.

The "check engine" light came on.

Because of the construction, there's no shoulder or anywhere to pull over..

Frustrated by the poorly maintained road, Rosas first contacted the city and found out other drivers were calling about the same gaping hole.

She was directed to the Texas Department of Transportation and filed a claim for the damage.

But the Department of Transportation denied her claim.

The state said it’s not liable and points to state statue.

"I thought, 'I pay taxes. This has to be taken care of,'" Rosas said.

KFOX14 found some states do pay for pothole damage on state roads.

But in a letter, TxDOT suggested Rosas take her claim to Sundt, the construction company currently working on the area of I-10 where the pothole was located.

Sundt also denied her claim. In a letter, the company said it didn't cause the pothole so it isn't liable.

KFOX14 found the state has a history of denying drivers claims for poor road quality.

"It's really discouraging," said Rosas. "I don't know where else to go at

that point."

She is also an Uber driver and is unable to work her second job until she can get her wheels in motion.

"At this point, I'm at a standstill," she said.

Insurance experts KFOX14 spoke to said drivers might be able to file a claim with their insurance company if there is more damage than just the tire, but the cost of the repair might be less than the deductible.

They also recommend taking pictures of the pothole for your claim. But obviously, on I-10

that might not be an option.

Also, agents said if you can prove a government agency knew of the pothole and didn't repair it for 30 days, there might be a chance to get some money back.

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