Although many New Yorkers enjoy the change of seasons, along with that comes all types of bad weather including rain, fog, wind, sleet, and snow. These conditions often lead to accidents, particularly slip and falls and motor vehicle collisions that leave victims with significant injuries. Because determining liability in a weather-related accident can be complicated, it is crucial to have an experienced personal injury attorney in your corner.
The law office of Michael LoGiudice has decades of experience fighting for the rights of injury victims in the greater New York Area. We have the skills and resources that are necessary for pursuing successful personal injury claims, and will tirelessly fight for your right to just compensation.
Weather-Related Slip and Fall Accidents
In the winter and early spring, snow and ice can lead to dangerous conditions on walkways and parking lots, putting many individuals at greater risk of serious injuries. However, owners of public and private property have a responsibility to protect visitors and pedestrians by keeping surfaces reasonably clear of snow, ice, and other hazards.
In New York City, for example, property owners have a legal obligation to clear hazardous conditions within a reasonable amount of time after a snowstorm ends, generally four hours during the day time. If the snow stops between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., the snow and ice must be removed by 11:00 a.m. Other municipalities and towns have ordinances about snow removal as well.
There are a number of factors involved in inclement weather injuries. For example, if the injury occurred in public housing or other public property, the municipality may be responsible for removing the hazardous condition. In order to bring a lawsuit against a municipality in New York, it is necessary to first file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the accident.
If the injury occurred on private property, or a sidewalk in front of a private dwelling, a claim is typically filed with the property owner’s insurance company. However, insurers often try to settle claims for as little as possible by finding the injury victim partially at fault. In addition, businesses often have contracts with snow removal companies that include provisions protecting them from liability if the hazardous condition is not removed within a reasonable amount of time. Ultimately, knowing your rights in these situations requires the assistance of a highly-skilled personal injury attorney.
If you were injured in a slip, and fall that was caused by snow, ice or any other hazardous condition, you should immediately seek medical treatment. If possible, you should also note the conditions at the time of the accident, take pictures, and obtain contact information from witnesses. This evidence will help us build a successful claim and enable you to recover the compensation you deserve.
Bad Weather Automobile Accidents
Although some of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents are distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence, inclement weather and poor road conditions are contributing factors in many vehicle collisions. In fact, drivers in the New York area often face a number of weather-related hazards, including:
- Limited visibility – Heavy rain, snow and fog can greatly reduce visibility, making it difficult for drivers to see other vehicles or impediments that suddenly appear before a driver can react and avoid a collision.
- Black ice – Seemingly clear roads can be covered with a thin layer of ice when wet surfaces freeze as the temperature drops, or ice can be hidden by a fresh layer of snow, making roadways extremely slippery and difficult to safely navigate.
- Freezing rain – This results when freezes after contacting cold surfaces, including windshields and roadways. Freezing rain can lead to poor visibility and slippery surfaces, often resulting in accidents.
- Sleet – Far more slippery than packed snow, drivers are often unaware of this hazard and can easily lose control of a vehicle.
Despite these hazards, however, drivers have a responsibility to take the necessary precautions and exercise reasonable care not to injure others.
Safe Driving Tips in Bad Weather
Drivers should thoroughly clear off their cars after a snowstorm since snow and ice can fly off moving vehicles and cause other drivers to lose control. Drivers must also prepare their vehicles for bad weather by ensuring tires, brakes, brake lights, and windshield wipers are in good condition. In addition, drivers should operate their vehicles cautiously during bad weather by observing speed limits, reducing their speed if necessary, increasing their following distance, allowing more time to stop or make turns and know how to handle skids. Although some accidents are unavoidable, drivers who fail to take these precautions can be held liable in the event of an accident.
Dedicated Inclement Weather Injury Attorney
The law office of Michael LoGiudice routinely pursues cases against negligent parties in weather-related accidents, including slip, trip and falls and automobile accidents. We have the skills and resources that are necessary to determine the degree to which bad weather was a contributing factor. We work diligently to demonstrate the other party’s negligence and help our clients obtain meaningful compensation. If you or a loved one was injured in a weather-related accident, please fill out a contact form or call our office today for a free consultation.