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NYC Pays $138M in Settlements Because of Pothole Damage

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Last Updated: 08-02-2023
Last Updated: 08-02-2023
Written by: Michael A. Rose and Gregory Hach

New York has paid out around $138 million in settlements resulting from defective roadways all around the city – mostly due to pothole damage – over the last six years, a report from CBS2 showed.

The report also stated that the pothole problem had given rise to over 12,000 vehicle damage claims and almost 6,000 personal injury lawsuits pending against the city. The worst roadways for potholes were cited to be the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the Grand Central Parkway, and the Belt Parkway.

What Kinds of Problems Do Potholes Cause?

Potholes can cause various problems, affecting both vehicles and road users. Some of the common issues associated with potholes include:

  1. Vehicle Damage: Potholes can cause significant damage to vehicles. A vehicle hitting a pothole may lead to tire punctures, bent rims, suspension damage, and misalignment issues. Repairs for such damages can be expensive and may result in unexpected financial burdens for drivers.
  2. Safety Hazards: Potholes can create safety hazards for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Sudden encounters with potholes can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, leading to accidents and injuries. Cyclists and pedestrians may also trip or lose balance when encountering deep or hidden potholes, risking injury.
  3. Traffic Congestion: Potholes can slow down traffic as drivers try to maneuver around them to avoid potential damage to their vehicles. This avoidance behavior can lead to congestion and traffic jams, especially on busy roads.
  4. Increased Maintenance Costs: Potholes require regular maintenance and repair by local authorities. The cost of fixing potholes can be substantial, diverting resources away from other essential infrastructure projects.
  5. Impact on Public Transit: Potholes can also affect public transportation services. Bumpy roads can result in discomfort for passengers, potential damage to buses, and may even lead to detours or route changes to avoid particularly bad areas.
  6. Drainage Issues: Potholes can worsen drainage problems on roadways. Water collecting in potholes can lead to further road deterioration, especially during freeze-thaw cycles. This can exacerbate the size and depth of potholes and create additional safety risks.
  7. Litigation and Liability: Sometimes, potholes can lead to legal issues for municipalities or road authorities. If a pothole causes an accident resulting in injuries or property damage, affected individuals may file lawsuits against responsible entities for inadequate maintenance.

Regular Road Maintenance is Key to Preventing Pothole Damage

To address these problems, regular road maintenance and repair programs are essential. Timely filling and patching potholes can help prevent further road deterioration, reduce vehicle damage, and improve road safety for all users. Road users should also remain vigilant and exercise caution while driving, especially during seasons when potholes are more likely to form due to harsh weather conditions.

The money shelled out by the city to pay for settlements due to damage could effectively be used to repave 814 miles of city streets, give out an additional 115,000 childcare vouchers, or provide 300,000 additional slots in the city’s summer youth program.

Call Our Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured in an accident in New York that was caused by the negligent actions of others, our attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP can help you with your case. Call us today at (212) 779-0057, and we may help you pursue financial compensation from those responsible.

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