The Mid-Hudson Valley region is in the middle of winter and Punxsutawney
Phil forecasted six more weeks. Snow and ice regularly blanket our roads
and add to the danger of operating our motor vehicles. This requires drivers
to use extra care when negotiating snowy or icy roads, particularly when
makes turns, on curves, or on surfaces which are left untreated still.
Newburgh car accidents caused by skidding vehicles due to a lack of this care may be found negligent
and liable for any injuries sustained.
Under New York common law, all drivers are required to use “reasonable
care” in the use and operation of their motor vehicles. In addition,
the legislature has also enacted several statutes regarding using reasonable
care—particularly on snowy or icy roads. Under
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1180, a driver is prohibited from operating his or her vehicle “at a
speed greater than reasonable and prudent under conditions and having
regard to the actual and potential hazards existing.” Further,
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1212 prohibits reckless driving, which the legislature has defined as conduct
which “unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the
public highway, or unreasonable endangers users of the public highway.”
With many snowy and icy roads, there is an increased risk and occurrence
for motor vehicles to skid out of control. This is the cause for many
Newburgh car accidents and
personal injuries. However, the fact alone that a car skids out of control on the pavement
is not enough to automatically make a finding of negligence against the
careless driver based on the common and statutory law above. You need
to show additional evidence demonstrating a breach of a driver’s
“reasonable care.” But it is enough to constitute
evidence of negligence which is a component to proving your case.
Therefore, your experienced Newburgh car accident attorney will need to
use other evidence to support your case. Generally, this is done with
factual evidence such as witness statements regarding the condition of
the road and of the conduct of the vehicle. This can also be proven with
forensic meteorological data which expresses the amount of snow and ice
on the ground, the snowfall conditions, visibility. Further, an accident
reconstructionist could be used to opine the factors of the accident and
even graphically illustrate the accident slide-by-slide for jurors.
Even if the skidding driver is found to be driving his or her vehicle within
the speed limit posted on that road,
Section 1180 could still find him or her liable. That is because a driver must still
use operate his or her vehicle at a “reasonable and prudent”
speed based on the potential hazards, which include snow and ice. Thus,
even driving 35 MPH in a 55 MPH zone could violate this section if the
roadway is inundated with snow and untreated. Further, vehicles which
skid out and end up blocking a portion of the roadway may also violated
Section 1212 as oncoming vehicles may be unable to safely negotiate that unreasonable hazard.
Thus, it is imperative you retain experienced Newburgh car accident attorneys
to represent you in your case. A thorough review of the facts and circumstances
surrounding your accident are needed as the fact that a car skidded alone
is insufficient to find liable. Using a
resourceful Newburgh car accident attorney also helps because that office
will know many qualified experts to call upon for testimony.
Our car accident attorneys at Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C.
have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious personal injury accidents,
particularly throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie,
and Newburgh where we have offices.
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.