New Jersey Seeks Relief for “Pothole Tax” that Plagues Drivers


Although New Jersey residents might look forward to warmer weather after a cold, snowy winter, melting ice also cues the start of pothole season. New Jersey roads are known as some of the worst in the country for dangerous ruts due to weather conditions and poor infrastructure. Throughout the state, potholes cause auto accidents and vehicle damage so frequently that some liken their effect to a tax on the state’s drivers. It is estimated that the average Garden State motorist shells out more than $700 annually because of these road conditions. 

However, one New Jersey Congressman believes that help is on the way thanks to funds provided by the federal infrastructure bill passed at the end of 2021. House Member Josh Gottheimer said that while exact figures were not yet finalized, some of the assistance would be dedicated to correcting unsafe road conditions. Potholes are often spoken of as a minor annoyance, but serious problems can result when a street surface is inconsistent, such as:

  • Immobility — If your car gets stuck in a large pothole or one of your tires becomes compromised, you could be hit by another vehicle. 

  • Loss of control — Even a small road defect can force you to lose control of your vehicle, triggering a collision. Accidents are also caused when someone has to swerve to avoid a large pothole. 

  • Tire damage — One bad bump might lead to tire damage that puts you at risk until you can have it repaired or replaced. 

Even though most New Jersey drivers are aware of the threat posed by potholes, you might not be aware that government bodies might be legally liable if a damaged road contributes to an accident. New Jersey’s Tort Claims Act in New Jersey permits you to seek compensation for injury and property damages resulting from potholes on government-owned roads, but only have 90 days from the incident to submit your claim. 

If you were hurt in an accident caused by a pothole, a negligent driver or anything else, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income and vehicle damage. The car accident lawyers at Seigel Law in Ridgewood have represented New Jersey car and truck crash victims since 1976. For a free consultation to about how we can help you, call us at 201-444-4000 or contact us online.

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