Severe weather conditions during Newburgh winters lead to tumultuous situations
on roadways. Nonetheless, we still need to meet the demands of life and
make it to work, school, or anywhere else it is that we must go. Sometimes
we know that weather conditions are rough and other times conditions take
a turn for the worse after we have begun our commute.
Whether or not a car accident was due to the negligence of a driver will
depend upon many different facts that a jury will eventually have to determine.
An experienced Newburgh car accident attorney will know what facts are
important and how to gain you the highest probability recovery you are
Facts will always differ from case to case, but any negligence claim must
plead and prove that a duty was owed to the plaintiff, that the duty was
breached, the breach caused the injury, and that damages were suffered.
The duty that drivers have is to use reasonable care to control their vehicle
as would any other prudent motorist. Failing to use reasonable care under
the circumstances can give rise to an action in negligence. “Reasonable
Care” will vary depending on the road conditions. Therefore, driving
at the posted speed limit on a clear day with dry roads may be reasonable,
but driving at the same speed on snowy/icy roads may not be reasonable.
Also consider how motorists are obligated to keep their windows free from
snow and ice accumulation.
Section 375(39) of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law requires vehicles to be equipped with front and rear defrosters. This
is because proper visibility reduces the occurrence of auto accidents.
These devises are factory installed on vehicles today, but it is still
the responsibility of the driver/owner to maintain these devises in proper
“Reasonable care” demands that motorists keep their windows
clear from obstruction so that harm to others is prevented. In addition
to defrosting devices, motorists should clear snow/ice from their vehicle
windows prior to operating their vehicles. Drivers should also depart
from roadways and stop to clear snow or ice from widows if such has accumulated
on the vehicle while driving. Failing to be so prudent will expose one
to liability if injury results.
Consider a New York case titled,
Betts v. Bean. A winter storm led to poor visibility conditions. The defendant in this
case collided head on with another motorist. Also note that the defendant
did not operate the vehicle at the proper speed given the adverse driving
conditions. The court here held that these facts were sufficient enough
for a jury to find the defendant negligent. In these situations, not only
can the passenger in a vehicle that was driven negligently sue, but other
motorists can sue as well if they were harmed.
If your or a loved one was injured in the Mid-Hudson Valley region because
a motorist failed to take reasonable steps to keep his or her windows
free from snow and ice accumulation, call an experienced personal injury
attorney right away.
Are you interested in learning more about car accidents caused by snow
and ice? Earlier this week we discussed how snow and ice can affect your
duty of care and what special considerations you must make. We also explained when
skidding vehicles can be the result of negligence and what the “emergency doctrine” is.
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.
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.