On Sunday, Jan.24, New York City was reeling under the impact of a blizzard that laid down about 26.8 inches of snow or more. It was at least the second worst accumulation of snow in New York City history. The police had to contend with some 312 accidents in the city prior to a ban on travel that was ordered by Gov. Cuomo to begin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Persons who were involved in a car accident, however, were not necessarily shielded from liability for negligence.
Even in blizzard conditions, the police may ticket drivers for negligent operation of their vehicles. For example, driving too fast for conditions would be a typical violation that would indicate negligent driving. If a motorist is driving too fast for conditions during a snow storm, the motorist will be liable for monetary damages to any innocent victims, including passengers or pedestrians, who suffer serious injuries as a result.
It is possible to drive carefully during a storm although the preferred option would be to stay at home or to pull one’s car over until the precipitation lets up. Safe driving requires a very slow speed at which the driver can control the vehicle, having all lights and windshield wipers operating and keeping a very close lookout for other vehicles and pedestrians. Proper equipment of the vehicle, such as chains and heavy duty snow tires, also add to the ability to maneuver safely.
Persons seriously injured in accidents during or in the aftermath of snow storms may still have a claim for personal injury compensation despite the difficulty in driving created by the weather. The best way to determine whether liability exists and a claim may be pursued is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who handles accidents in New York City. A claimant injured in a car accident will be best represented by having an attorney with local experience handling the claim.
Source: NBC New York, “Blizzard Blasts Region; 2nd Largest Snowfall in Central Park at 26.8 Inches“, Jan. 24, 2016
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