Generally when we think of
car accidents in the snow and ice, we think of careless drivers, rear-end car accidents,
and jack-knifed tractor trailers. Indeed, the winter in the Mid-Hudson
Valley will produce many of these types of motor vehicle accidents. Most
of the types of motor vehicle accidents caused in the winter are the result
of the negligence by the drivers involved. As our other blog posts this
week have discussed (see, below for more information), even in the worst of winter weather a motorist
may still be liable if he or she is the cause of a car accident in snowy
and icy conditions.
experienced Poughkeepsie motor vehicle accident attorneys know that not all winter car accidents are due to the negligence of the
drivers involved. Sometimes the poor road conditions are the actual cause
of the motor vehicle accident. In the winter, this could be the result
of the State or a municipality not properly clearing snow or ice, or properly
making the roadway safe. In other instances, the State or municipality
could make the condition of the roadway
more dangerous than it already existed. For instance, if salt and sand are applied
to areas of drifting snow, it could cause the snow to stick and freeze
to the roadway when it normally would continue to drift over it. This
is a serious mistake and can result in liability if it causes a
motor vehicle accident.
While the State or a municipality cannot possible be the insurer of all
motorists’ well-being and clear every hazard from the roadway, they
State and the municipality must take proper precautions by acting reasonably
to clear snow and ice accumulations on the snow. This is of course commensurate
with the amount of precipitation falling and the surrounding locality.
The State, county, or municipality is also responsible for warning motorists
of potential dangers on or around the roadway. This includes icy pavement
signs or snow drifting signs. In areas where there is icy pavement and
drifting snow, which the State or municipality have notice of but fail
to do anything, this may also bring liable if a
motor vehicle accident was caused by such ice or snow.
Further, other roadway conditions caused by snow and ice could bring liability
to the State or municipality. This includes pot holes which result from
water freezing in between or under the concrete and causing cracks, or
from poor plowing jobs which dig into the roadway. The State or municipality
can also be liable for piling mounds of snow in areas which decrease vision
and could result in
motor vehicle accidents—such as at stop signs or other intersections.
Read more about winter car accidents caused by hazardous road conditions in our
article available here. Find out about liability and car accidents caused by snow and ice in our
blog post here. Learn about liability in whiteout conditions and how heavy snowfall can
still create liability in
our blog post available here. Read about rear-end car accidents in the snow and ice, and how liability
our blog post available here.
Our personal injury 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 car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
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.