DENVER (KDVR) — As cold nights begin to mix with warm days, potholes are appearing across the Front Range.
In Denver, multiple crews are being dispatched every day to patch the holes, with the city receiving dozens of 311 calls every day.
Drivers who damage their cars after hitting a pothole in Denver can file a claim for reimbursement within 180 days. But FOX31 has learned those claims are rarely paid out.
So far this year, 55 pothole claims have been submitted to the city. Only three have been paid out.
“I think it’s a racket,” Joe Salazar said.
Salazar said he blew his tire on a large pothole near 16th and Welton streets and was denied on his $1,300 claim to the city.
“They said we didn’t have notice of the pothole, so we are going to deny your claim,” he said.
Why did Denver deny the pothole claim?
A city spokesperson told FOX31, “In order for Denver to be held liable for damage resulting from potholes, we must first receive notice and then fail to repair the pothole in a reasonable amount of time before the claimant hits it.”
Salazar said the city should have known about the pothole based on its size and location, and because construction crews were working nearby.
“The standard of the law is if they knew about the pothole, or if by reasonable inspection they should have known about it,” he said.
Salazar, an attorney, is planning to sue the city over the matter.
“I’d rather just have my tire fixed, but that’s what they’re going to have me do,” he said. “I’m not going to swallow this 1,300 bucks by myself.”