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Pothole damage? It can be hard to win in South Carolina too

SOUTH CAROLINA — Many Charlotte-area drivers have contacted Channel 9 saying that their cars were damaged because of potholes and the government would not cover the repairs.

Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke investigated the issue in North Carolina and now he’s taking a closer look at what happens if you hit a bad spot on a South Carolina road.

Tyrone Goode said he was on Interstate 85 in South Carolina and hit a pothole. He said it damaged his tire and cracked his rim.

He filed a claim with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, but said that because the pothole was in a construction zone the agency forwarded the case to the contractor doing the road work.

Goode said the company denied the claim on the grounds that it didn’t have “prior notice” of the pothole.

“(I feel) a little aggravated. Maybe taken advantage of,” he said.

Goode tried to replace the rim and tire, but the store told him the wheel was “not repairable” and that the rim had been discontinued, so he couldn’t get that same style. If he wanted all four rims to match, he’d need to replace all of them.

Goode said he spent more than $2,000 on tires and rims.

“I was on a state-maintained interstate, hit a pothole, and now had to do all this,” he said. “You know, just kind of aggravating. I’m sure this has happened to a lot of people before.”

SC DOT told Stoogenke that it handled 1,960 pothole claims last year and paid for 1,244 of them, which is more than 60%.

According to SC DOT, the state has 42,000 miles of roads and roughly 2,000 maintenance workers.

Stoogenke says you need to prove two things to get reimbursed in North Carolina and South Carolina:

1) That the state or contractor knew about the pothole, which can be hard to prove.

2) It had time to fix it. North Carolina requires a “reasonable” amount of time. SC DOT told Stoogenke it requires 24 hours.

For information on filing a claim in South Carolina, click here.

To appeal a denial in South Carolina, email MartinoJK@scdot.org and RepperhagenMW@scdot.org.

If you see a pothole, report it so the state knows about it, which will help the next driver: call 856-467-2368.

(Watch below: Action 9 Investigates how local agencies avoid paying when potholes damage your car)

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