New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1180 obligates motorists to refrain from driving speeds in excess of what is
“reasonable and prudent” given the weather conditions and
hazards present at the time. This law is a descendant of the common law
rule that reasonable care must be exercised when operating a motor vehicle.
Section 1212 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law also precludes reckless driving which “unreasonably endangers”
other motorists, including the prohibition on obstructing parts of a roadway.
It is February in Newburgh and winter storms have pounded the Mid-Hudson
Valley region. This means that motorists must still use reasonable care
when operating a vehicle, but moreover, drivers must alter their driving
habits so as to account for treacherous road conditions.
A common Newburgh winter roadway accident involves drivers losing control
of their vehicle and skidding into other motorists, pedestrians, and property
of others. Reasonable care under the circumstances may still not prevent
an accident. This is why you need an experienced
car accident attorney to analyze your case and work to gain you adequate compensation.
Merely skidding on snow and/or ice does not mean that the driver will be
held negligent in a New York civil court. Skidding, along with other factors,
such as speed, condition of the vehicle, weather conditions, proximity
to other vehicles prior to the accident, visibility, etc. may all be considered
as possible evidence of negligence. Whether or not there has been negligence
is a matter decided by a jury.
Since the rate of speed at which one drives can often contribute to vehicle
accidents, one must be aware that driving at, or less than, the posted
speed limit may not protect a driver from liability. This is because inclement
weather conditions may necessitate driving at an even slower pace. Skidding
under these conditions may therefore force a driver to face possible violations
of both Section 1180 and Section 1212 of the New York VTL.
Proving negligence at trial will require your attorney to not only prove
that a duty to other motorists was owed. Breach of this duty must also
be pleaded and proved. Testimony from witnesses, motorists involved in
the accident, and evidence of weather conditions must be introduced during
trial. All of which must show by a preponderance of the evidence that
a duty was owed, that the duty was breached, that the breach is what caused
the accident, and finally that the plaintiff actually suffered damages.
An experienced Newburgh car accident attorney may be able to get you compensation
for the medical bills you have paid, for your lost wages, including lost
earning potential, as well as compensation for pain and suffering.
Are you interested in learning more about car accidents caused by snow
and ice? Yesterday we discussed how
snow and ice can affect your duty of care and what special considerations you must make.
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,
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.