It's Spring... or at least "fake Spring" right now in Minnesota.  Also known as "pothole season".  Man- they are really bad this year, too.  Some roads are so bad that it feels like you are driving on a gravel road that hasn't been grated in a minute, or it could just be one that creeps up on you as you turn a corner and suddenly BOOM you feel like your car should have broken in half as you drive over the thing; not knowing it was even there.

But now- you could POSSIBLY get the Minnesota Department of Transportation to pay for it.  If I had significant damage from that situation, you better believe that I would be trying to recoup some or any cost from that problem.

How do you go about getting MNDOT to pay for it?  There are some steps.

KARE 11 has posted the how-to's on their website.

There are some stipulations (of course there are).  First- it would have to have happened on a state highway.  Like I-35 or something along those lines.

When filing your claim, make sure you include pictures of the damage, and have a receipt showing repair of the damage or two written estimates.

You have to submit your claim within 180 days of damage.

Also- if the pothole incident happened within city limits, you would need to contact the city about the damage to your vehicle.  If enough people do this, hopefully the city will repair or in some cases, pave over the pothole-laden road.  Cooper Avenue in St. Cloud comes to mind and so does Waite Avenue in Waite Park.  Good grief!  Although, it does seem that steps are being taken to widen and redo Cooper Avenue.  Long time coming on that one.

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If you don't want to file a claim, there are some things that AAA has offered as tips during our "pothole season".

1. Check your tires. If you hit a pothole with worn tires, you could get wheel or suspension damage.

2. Inspect your suspension. Struts, shock absorbers, and other suspension parts should be in good condition before you start your trip. 

3. Stay alert. Make sure you're checking the road ahead to avoid potholes

4. Slow down. If you can't avoid a pothole, don't speed over it.

5. Watch for puddles. Drive cautiously through puddles, because they could deep potholes in disguise. 

Happy Spring!

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