Several Tennessee motorists are learning that it is a difficult road to get reimbursed by the government if their vehicle is damaged after hitting a pothole.
"The law dictates when we pay a claim and when we don't," explained Steve Curry, who oversees the state's claims division as Tennessee Deputy Treasurer.
He told Nashville's News 2 on Wednesday that the state law indicates that state or local road crews must be negligent in not showing up in a "reasonable amount of time" to fix the pothole.
"Twenty-four hours is regarded as a reasonable amount of time, and that has been upheld by courts and claims commissions," added the state official.
The issue drew the frustration of people such as Mitch Ballard who received a letter earlier this week from the Tennessee Division of Claims Administration which denied damage claims of $250 after he hit a pothole on Interstate 40 near downtown Nashville last April.
"It seems like there should be some accountability and someone should take care of it because that is part of their responsibility," Ballard previously told Nashville's News 2.
According to Metro police, more than a dozen cars were damaged by the April pothole before officers closed part of the interstate for TDOT repairs.
Deputy Treasurer Curry explained that claims from pothole victims were denied because TDOT road crews responded to the April pothole "quickly, well within the 24-hour period," once they were notified of the hazard by police.
Curry said he knows the pothole frustration first hand.
The top state official once said he once filed a claim against Metro government after hitting a street pothole.
"I was told the same thing we tell our other claimants that we deny. I was unsuccessful," he said.
Anyone denied a claim by the state has 90 days to file an appeal with the division.