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How To Tell Your Car Was Damaged By A Pothole And Make Your County Pay For It


Pothole damage

Spring is right around the corner, and you know what that means; we’re all looking forward to driving around with our windows rolled down, looking up at the scenery and breathing in the fresh air for a change. There’s just one problem; all of that looking up means we may forget to look down, and miss a common spring hazard on our roads – potholes. Formed as the ground freezes and thaws throughout the winter, potholes can be devastating to your car. The jolt can damage your tires, rims, suspension and other steering components. It can even affect your wheel alignment and shorten the life of your tires, which I covered in last week’s post.

While you should do your best to drive around potholes, sometimes they’re unavoidable. If you do hit one, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If your steering seems off-center after you hit a pothole, your wheel alignment needs to be checked, or it may be an indication of damage to a steering or suspension component.
  • If you notice the steering wheel shaking, this is an indication of a wheel balance problem or damage to either the tire or rim.
  • Does the car pull to one side? This is another indication of an alignment problem, but it could also indicate component damage.
  • Does the car ride rough and not handle on the road the way it used to? This may be an indication of damage to the springs, shocks or struts.

If you hit a pothole or notice any of the above symptoms, a complete bumper to bumper Pothole Recovery Service inspection by the trained auto professionals at Osceola Garage will reveal any pothole-related issues.

How do I get my county to pay for pothole damages to my car?

Putnam County typically requires prior written notice of the pothole, but there are exceptions for well-known or commonly traveled roads with poor conditions.

Here are a few steps to take to have your county pay for repairs:

  1.      Treat a pothole like an accident, pull off to safety and if possible take a picture of the location and the pothole itself.
  2.      Call the non-emergency police number to document the incident and damages. (This will help support your claim later)
  3.      Based on location, determine if the road falls under county or local jurisdiction.
  4.      Contact the appropriate jurisdictions office and ask if a written complaint has been submitted on your pothole, if so, request the date.
  5.      Request information on how to submit your claim and what forms are necessary. Make sure to include your photos and incident report with your claim to expedite processing.

How do I get the state to pay for pothole damages to my car?

Department of Transportation (DOT) and The Thruway Authority have special forms for submitting requests. Drivers filing claims with DOT during the period from Nov. 15 –May 1 will experience resistance. Section 58 of state highway law excluding this time period as it is when most potholes are created; however, exceptions are granted.

State DOT form: http://on.ny.gov/1wsN4Xa

Questions? Contact the regional office: 845-431-5750

Thruway form: http://on.ny.gov/1wm5uTH

Thruway form can be emailed to claimsunit@thruway.ny.gov or faxed to 518-471-4340


As Joe Marconi, owner of Osceola garage said, “90% of all cars on the road right now need a wheel alignment on their vehicle.” Not fixing the issue can lead to bigger problems down the road. Even worse, it can result in an accident.

Call Osceola Garage today and take advantage of our Pothole Recover Service. It will be worth it and will save you money. Click HERE to find out more about our service


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