Action 9 gets to bottom of pothole issue, gets it resolved

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — It didn’t take long to see an SUV hit the pothole hard on Trojan Drive NE, near Walmart, in Kannapolis.

“There’s just a ton of cars that drive through here. It’s a very busy Walmart,” Carson Cone told Action 9.

“It’s a hassle,” he said. “And live with that stress of whether some damage had been done to my car.” He doesn’t think any has.

Other drivers told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke they’ve hit the pothole too.

“It keeps getting worse,” Melody Stingley said. “We hit it with this car and broke the rim.”

He and Stoogenke assumed Kannapolis owns the road, but it doesn’t. It’s a private road. But the property line runs down the middle. Walmart owns one side and a company called Excel Hospitality owns the other. It’s hard to tell which side the pothole was on.

So, Stoogenke reached out to both. Walmart told him it wasn’t quite sure whose it was either, but that it would take care of it. Two weeks later, workers did just that. It’s not perfect, but drivers shouldn’t have to worry about damaging their cars anymore.

If a pothole damages your car and it’s on private property:

The landowner may be legally responsible for the damage. So, document it and contact the owner. If all fails, you can always sue, but, hopefully, it doesn’t come to that.

If a pothole damages your car and it’s on public property:

1. Document the damage.

2. Figure out who maintains the road: the City of Charlotte or the state.

3. Submit your claim.

If the City of Charlotte maintains the road:

- Submit a claim online here.

- Risk Management rules on your claim.

- If it denies it, you can appeal to the Claims Manager and then the City Attorney’s office.

If the state maintains the road:

- Submit a claim online here.

- The North Carolina Attorney General’s office rules on your claim.

- If it says no, you can appeal to the N.C. Industrial Commission.

You need to prove two things to win:

1. The government knew about the pothole.

2. It had enough time to fix it.

You can always sue, but it may still be hard to win.

At least report potholes. That should help the next driver.

If it’s a City of Charlotte road (pick one method):

- Call 311

- Us the CLT+ app

- Fill out this online form.

If it’s a state road:

Click here to report a pothole in North Carolina.

Click here to report a pothole in South Carolina.

VIDEO: Drivers almost never win pothole claims in Mecklenburg County