Who Pays For Crash Damage On Highways? (VIDEO)

By Corinne Rose - 21Alive

November 8, 2013 Updated Nov 8, 2013 at 5:54 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- Who pays to repair the damage after a crash on state highways?

When police decide who's responsible for the crash, that driver's insurance company is billed for the damage. And sometimes that can take time.

Take, for instance, this crash on October first, where a semi carrying a load of cabbage ran into a sound barrier wall along I-69 near Illinois Road.

Every year, 4,000 drivers crash into state structures like guardrails, signs and lights.

The Indiana department of transportation bills the drivers' insurance companies, and typically re-coups about $4 million to help pay to replace damaged items.

If a crash takes out cable barriers in the median, INDOT crews can sometimes repair those.

“We can put the cables back on the posts. The one thing we can't do is if the end terminal is damaged. That's the post that secures everything. If that's damaged, that has to go by contract to be repaired,” says Toni Mayo of INDOT.

A damaged cable barrier in Steuben County involves an end piece, so it will take a contractor to repair it. But since that's an issue of public safety, she says it should be replaced quickly.

There are no specifics about when the sound barrier wall broken near Illinois Road will be fixed.

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