Driver says tire got damaged in work zone, but company won’t pay

CHARLOTTE — Margit Lanze says she was driving in Plaza Midwood when she went over a metal plate and heard a thud.

“I drove over the sheet and I heard something and I felt the bump and I thought, ‘Oh, that wasn’t good,’” she told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.

She says one of her tires lost pressure over the next few hours and that she kept having to add air. So she says she got a new tire, which — because she has a luxury SUV — cost about $400.

“I don’t always report things, but this was... it just was so in my face that I thought, ‘OK, I’m going to report this and see if I can get reimbursed for the damage,’” she said.

So she filed a claim with the city of Charlotte. But because the incident was in a construction zone, the city referred her to the contractor, Sealand, which denied the claim. It listed reasons, including:

  • She didn’t report the damage to the crew at time of the incident
  • No witnesses
  • No other complaints from other drivers

Lanze says it’s hard to come up with the proof, especially now.A lot of people don’t have the money. They can’t pay. I went and I had my tire replaced. Good for me. Lucky for me. But not everybody can do that,” she said.

Stoogenke tried to get in touch with the contractor, Sealand, multiple times and ways since January to see if it had anything to add beyond the denial letter it sent Lanze. It didn’t respond in time for this report.

These cases can be tough, very “he said/she said.” But there are ways to increase your chances of winning your claim:

  • Report it to the construction crew right there on the spot
  • Take pictures of the damage
  • Take pictures of the debris, plate, pothole, etc. -- whatever caused the damage.

(WATCH: Action 9 gets to bottom of pothole issue, gets it resolved)