Should the state Department of Transportation (NCDOT) be made to pay for damage to your car because you drove into a pothole?
AAA Mid-Atlantic estimated that potholes cause more than $6 billion in car damage every year. The damage can range from a chip off the paintjob to an entire axle snapping in two. Sedans and other low-profile cars, which is seven to eight for every ten vehicles in the U.S., are more prone to pothole damage.
Bad weather is often to blame for these potholes and it’s up to the government to patch them up. However, according a WFMY report, the government can’t be held accountable for potholes on the state’s roads if they didn’t know about it. Speaking for NCDOT, engineer Pat Ivy said they rely on reports by the public to zero in on potholes.
“If we didn’t know about it, then there’s typically not negligence involved and my experience has been there’s typically not a payment in those cases,” Ivy said.
If a pothole is reported, repair crews only have two days to patch it up. Otherwise, the state can pay for the damage incurred. Since 2010, the report states, North Carolina has paid only around $15,000 in pothole damage claims, ranging from $40 to $2,600. It suggests that repair crews in the state are generally quick to react when a pothole is called in.
For car accident attorneys in Salisbury, NC, however, damage to your car should be the least of your worries. It’s easy for a damaged axle to make your car spin out of control and collide with another car. Potholes are an at-fault accident, so a driver can still be held liable for any accident caused by it.
You need qualified Salisbury lawyers such as Sherrill & Cameron to assess the situation and discuss what will work out. It’s the public’s responsibility to call in a pothole along the state’s network of roads so that the state can take immediate action. It’s also a driver’s responsibility to drive carefully through a pothole if it can’t be avoided.
While you may not get compensation from the state, you can get one from the party at fault if it results in a mishap. Don’t hesitate to ask car accident lawyers for professional advice.
(Source: “NC Pothole Claims Can Be Bumpy Road To Getting Money,” WFMY, July 22, 2014)