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IDOT Relies On Slow Process, Outdated Software To Resolve Road Damage Claims

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Very few drivers in Illinois get any money back when their cars are damaged on state roads, and one reason might be the state's claims database seems to be stuck in the 1990s.

From 2016 through 2018, a total of 1,765 damage claims were submitted to the Illinois Department of Transportation for damages from bad roads and construction zone work, totaling $1.2 million. The state paid only 28 claims, reimbursing drivers $34,517, mostly from a single construction zone claim of $26,000.

IDOT still uses Microsoft DOS to manage damage claims. The MS-DOS operating system dates back to the 1980s, and was largely replaced on most computers by Windows in the 1990s. Microsoft founder Bill Gates heralded the end of the MS-DOS era in 2009.

Perhaps that outdated system has something to do with the claims payment issues.

Another reason so few claims are reimbursed could be the slow process. IDOT's website indicates all claims can be filed with the agency only after waiting for the state to mail the form to you. The site also notes IDOT will decide in 120 to 180 days.

Compare that to Indiana, where you can download the claim form online in seconds, and get a determination in 90 days.

In Indiana, claims reimbursement decisions are made by the state's attorney general's office, while In Illinois claims most often require a second claim to be filed with the specific contractor working on the construction project involved in the incident.

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