KIYC: Odds of pothole damage reimbursement ‘slim’

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EDISON -

New Jersey is nearing the end of a very long winter and potholes are everywhere. But if your car has been damaged by a pothole, Kane In Your Corner finds your odds of reimbursement from the town, county or state are slim.

In 2017, drivers filed 721 claims with the state of New Jersey for pothole damage on state roads and highways, according to figures from the state treasurer’s office. The state paid out on just 19. In fact, over the past five years, the success rate on pothole claims with the state is just 1.4 percent.

Attorney Ken Vercammen, of Edison, says to win a pothole claim, New Jersey drivers face an uphill battle. They have to prove the government knew about the pothole, had ample time and resources to fix it, yet chose not to. 

“Just somebody saying there are potholes everywhere and the town didn't fix it, tough luck,” Vercammen says.

Drivers who spoke to News 12 New Jersey seem resigned to the reality. Debbie Kovach, of East Brunswick, says she lost two tires to potholes this winter and didn’t even bother to submit a claim for either one. 

David Adams, of Woodbridge, echoes those sentiments. Asked if the government should reimburse drivers for damage from potholes, he says, “They should, but it’s not going to happen. You know that and I know that.”

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