Woman Demands Payment After Pothole Ruins Her Car

By: Ben Campbell | Published: Mar 20, 2024

This year, during an exceptionally mild winter in Rochester, New York, a woman experienced significant damage to her vehicle caused by several potholes.

Now, the woman is demanding reimbursement for the hundreds of dollars she had to pay to fix her car.

Winter Times Generally Brings More Potholes

Wintertime in Rochester usually brings with it heavy snow, which requires a lot of plowing.

Two houses pictured in Rochester, New York, during winter

Source: Wikipedia

Unfortunately, extensive plowing typically results in more potholes than usual on the roads. While the snow wasn’t as bad this year, vehicles still experienced damage due to existing potholes.

Woman Demands Reimbursement for Damaged Vehicle

According to News 10, a woman from Rochester is demanding reimbursement after spending nearly $1,000 on her vehicle.

A man is pictured changing a tire on a vehicle

Source: Freepik

The damage occurred when the woman hit a large pothole driving home one evening.

$750 Million Worth of Damage Last Year

Each year, damage caused by potholes costs the state of New York and its drivers an exorbitant amount of money.

Several large potholes are pictured on a road

Source: Freepik

According to News 10, the state Department of Transportation forked out over $750 million on road repairs alone last year.

The Average Driver Forced to Pay Thousands

Due to the ever-increasing amount of potholes, drivers have been forced to pay thousands of dollars each year to fix their vehicles.

Two mechanics are pictured working on a vehicle in their garage

Source: Freepik

According to the media outlet, drivers in Rochester spend, on average, $2,000 on repairs for damage sustained on the roads each year.

Rochester Resident Forced to Pay for Repairs

Lynn Kalnitz is one of many Rochester residents who have been forced to spend money on repairs following a pothole incident.

A photo illustration of a main road in Rochester, New York

Source: Freepik

While she admits it was less than the $2,000 average, it still greatly impacted her wallet.


Kalnitz Details the Pothole Incident

According to Kalnitz, she had been driving along the 390 North when the incident occurred.

A car is pictured parked at the side of the road

Source: Freepik

“We were on the ramp accelerating up to get to expressway speeds on 390 North — all of a sudden boom boom, I hit a pothole,” she said.


Rochester Woman Blows Both Tires

Speaking on the situation, Kalnitz said, “I blew two tires, my right passenger side tires.”

Angry woman sitting on road with flat tire

Source: Freepik

Kalnitz explained she had been driving home in the evening, and because of the dark, she failed to see the massive potholes until it was already too late.


Damage Done to the Vehicle

Kalnitz said that replacing the two blown tires costs her close to $500.

A man is pictured working on a car in his garage

Source: Freepik

However, a $390 towing fee was added, bringing the grand total to just over $800.


Largest Pothole in Rochester

When Kalnitz’s partner returned the following day to inspect the pothole, he said it was much larger than expected.

A large pothole pictured on a road is surrounded by traffic cones

Source: Wikimedia

“It’s like a canal. I’m guessing it’s like a couple of feet long and he said it’s about six or seven inches deep. I’m lucky I was completely unharmed, but someone may not be as lucky as I was,” Kalnitz said.


Kalnitz Wants to be Reimbursed

After the incident, Kalnitz revealed she called the state Department of Transportation and requested reimbursement for the incident. However, they told her they could only reimburse damages that occurred between May and Nov. 15.

A man is pictured on his hands and knees as he attempts to fix a pothole

Source: Wikimedia

“That’s a nice way to weasel out of it. I want my money back, but I want them to fix that pothole,” Kalnitz said.


How to Avoid Pothole Damage

A communications specialist with the AAA in Rochester, Mark Gurba, offered some advice on how to avoid sustaining severe damage from potholes on the roads.

A black car is pictured driving along a road during a sunny day

Source: Freepik

“The best recommendation is to try to slow down but don’t brake as you are going over the pothole. Try to brake and then release the brake and let the tire roll over the hole in the road,” Gruba said.