Pothole damage claims tie down city

February 10, 2011 1:26:01 PM PST
The pothole problem in New York City is not getting better. In some areas it's like driving in a war zone.

Those who make their living driving are really paying the cost with blown tires and bent rims.

New York City is supposed to be responsible for paying the bills.

But just how hard is it to get the money?

Potholes are causing damage to cars and it is deflating to people like Stephen Johnson.

"It cost $81 to bring it here and another $25 to do the tire," he said.

The costs can mount. It's not just the rims that have to be replaced; sometimes the entire tire is shredded by the pothole.

"It blew out the tire and the ball join had fallen off," said Tara Wellansky.

Wellansky, a livery car driver spent $385 dollars in damages and another $300 in lost fares. She would like reimbursement from the city.

"We still have to repair our cars and get our car back on the road because this is our livelihood," she said.

You have to fill out a five page vehicular property damage claim form, or do it online. (See below)

The city Comptrollers office says, "Most claimants have to prove that the department of transportation had prior written notice of the street defect that caused damage."

And the Department of Transportation had to have written notice of the defect 15 days before your damage occurred.

"All of these drivers have to pay for it out of their own pocket. They can't wait for the city to process," said Fernando Mateo.

Pothole claims calls are coming in by the hundreds the comptroller's office says, but they could not provide an estimate of how long it takes to settle a claim or an average cost.

To file a claim, go to CLICK HERE.


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