Local News

DOT Not Always Responsible For Damage To Motorists' Vehicles

Posted January 4, 2006

— While the state of North Carolina receives thousands of claims each year about vehicles damaged by bad roads, only one in 10 drivers receives compensation for damage. But a man who tore up his car in the U.S. 64/I-540 construction zone may be an exception.

Keith Cifers said his Camaro was damaged as a result of the pavement, saying it damaged the front of his car while he was driving -- so much that he almost lost control of it on the raod.

"I was unable to drive it. I had to have it towed home and I barely did make it off the highway," Cifers said. "The wheels were wobbling and they could have fallen off if I hadn't pulled over and let it cool off."

Cifers said his repair bill for the cracked windshield, damaged brakes, rotors and transmission totaled to nearly $2,000.

The Department of Transportation recommended that the contractor working in the U.S. 64/I-540 construction zone pay Cifers for the damage his vehicle sustained, saying that contractors are liable for construction zones and that the state normally only pays claims on completed roads.

Drivers are also only paid if the DOT has been notified about a problem first. Luckily for Cifers, many others had complained about the trouble before he ever hit it.

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