Q Since we now know that Caltrans is aware of issues with the Interstate 280 overcrossing near Foothill Expressway, what are the odds of them paying any damage claims? Do you have a feeling how often they accept financial responsibility?

Tony DiBenedetto

A Yes, and it's not often. While I get far more complaints from drivers who filed claims and were turned down, the state did pay out nearly $1.2 million for road-related damages under $5,000 from 2008 to 2012. But it received nearly $200 million in claims over roughly the same period. It's difficult to say how many claims are upheld because many are turned over to contractors and those are not tracked.

Go to www.dot.ca.gov/LD-0274.pdf to download a claims form.

By the way, several signs warning of a bump ahead have been posted on 280, and crews were out last week to begin repairs.

Q I must say that filing a claim for road damages does work. I once hit a nasty concrete gap on Highway 17 in Los Gatos that ruined a tire. After months of waiting, I was happy to get a check from the state for the tire and mounting, etc. Those who have legitimate damage should go ahead and get the form, and give it a try. It only takes a few minutes and the cost of a stamp.

Dave Lautzenheiser

Los Altos


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A Most claims must be filed within six months, and Caltrans must act within 45 days of receipt of the claim.

Q I filed a claim after hitting a sinkhole on Highway 24 and it was rejected. Caltrans told me they couldn't be held liable since I didn't tell them about the sinkhole. Which is interesting, because if I had been aware of the sinkhole I wouldn't have run into it.

John Edmisten

Moraga

A If your claim is turned down, you can file an appeal in small claims court in the county in which your incident occurred. Go to www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/smallclaims for more information.

Q I was coming down I-280 after Saratoga Avenue when a big rig kicked up some rocks from the freeway and cracked my windshield. Can I get the trucking company to pay for a new window?

Meg Franklin

A I doubt it. The trucking company isn't responsible for gravel on the road. If it had dropped some debris off the back of the truck, then you might have luck getting paid for a new window.

Q I drive Lawrence Expressway every day and see a lot of cracks and whole chunks of asphalt coming loose from 280 all the way to Homestead Road. I am afraid that once the long-awaited rains come through, water seeping through these will make the road deteriorate quickly. Can these cracks be patched quickly?

Ananth Raman

A The county has made some temporary repairs and will be making more this summer from Homestead to 237.

Q With all the recent work on The Alameda, I am hoping that they'll repave this busy street. Will they and when?

Barb F.

Santa Clara

A Yes. The Alameda will be paved from Stockton Avenue to Interstate 880 starting in a few months.

Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow, follow him at Twitter.com/mrroadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com.