Local News

Durham Woman Gets Contractor To Pay For Pothole Damage

Posted Updated

DURHAM, N.C. — The winter weather caused potholes everywhere in the Triangle. Now the state Department of Transportation is making a rare move to help a woman whose car was damaged.

Two weeks ago, Marisa Rabineau was driving her Corvette down the road when she hit a pothole. As a result, her car had a bent rim, was knocked out of alignment and she faced a big repair bill.

"It was horrible. You could hear the suspension just smack. The main sound I heard was my husband screaming when I hit it," she said.

Rabineau said she remembered a prior WRAL story that states that the DOT could be liable for damage caused by potholes.

"I contacted the North Carolina Department of Transportation. It went down the line and I got to Bill McGowan at Granite Construction company and he put through the right channels and I ended up with their insurance company, which compensated me," she said.

Rabineau later received a bill for $836.09 to cover the costs of the damage to her car. She said her story came out better than she ever expected.

"Just go through the right channels. I wasn't out for anything other than what it had cost me to get fixed and they did it," she said.

To file a claim, officials say you must report the pothole to the DOT. The DOT and the contractors have a reasonable amount of time to repair the problem. In Rabineau's case, she reported the pothole three days before the incident.

To report a pothole or to make a claim on a pothole you have already reported, you should call


. The DOT says it is still processing hundreds of pothole claims. They also said they could not give a figure for how much they pay out each year in pothole claims.


Copyright 2024 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.