Can I Get Reimbursed by New York State for Pothole Damage? Maybe!
Sure the roads are bad everywhere, especially in the early part of Springtime, but there's something extra special about the potholes on New York roads. According to Your Mechanic, "American drivers pay approximately $3 billion, or an average cost of $300 each, annually to fix car damage caused by potholes." That's insane. So, what do we do about it? Is there really anything we can do?
If you're up for the challenge of taking on New York State, you might want to buckle in right now because it is not going to be simple and it certainly won't be fast. If you're serious though about getting some money back for repairs you had to have done to your car due to potholes and other road problems, you'll need to file a small claim with the New York State Department of Transportation.
You'll Need to Complete the Following Steps:
Complete the Small Claim form (DC30-2) found here and make sure that you fill it out completely. If the form isn't completely filled out, your submission will be instantly be rejected.
Determine in which region your vehicle fell victim to awful roads. For instance, if the damage occurred in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, or Tioga counties, the office you need to deal with would be NYSDOT Claims Officer, 44 Hawley Street, 11th Floor, Room 1103, Binghamton, NY 13901.
Mail the completed DC30-2 form to the office where the damage occurred and cross your fingers.
Wait patiently for department staff to conduct an investigation. When I say wait patiently, I mean you could end up having to wait for six to eight weeks for a response.
File as Soon as the Damage Happens
According to a former representative from the New York State DOT, New York State is unable to reimburse damages sustained to vehicles due to potholes or road conditions from November 15 to May 15. The former DOT representative also stated that if you know of a pothole that needs to be repaired you should immediately notify the DOT. The DOT can't fix the problem if they don't know about it. You have to admit that's fair. You can notify the DOT of pothole issues by calling that 1-800-POT-HOLE.
Note that the New York State Department of Transportation website states "For timely
filing, the Court of Claims Act mandates a maximum of 90 days between the date of loss and the filing of a Notice of Claim."
If the state decides that they are at fault, you'll receive a check in the mail within 6-8 weeks. However, if the state believes that they're not in the wrong, you won't receive payment but you will receive a letter explaining why they didn't find in your favor.