Winter in Manhattan is a beautiful time of year. But wintery weather also presents some serious challenges when it comes to driving. One of the biggest dangers of winter driving is traveling on snow and losing traction between a vehicle’s tires and the road surface.
The lack of traction makes steering difficult to maneuver, and it may sometimes be impossible for drivers to come to a safe stop. When this happens, cars can slide uncontrollably. Sadly, accidents may soon follow as a result.
When these sliding accidents occur, who is responsible for the resulting damage? Is it the driver’s fault for not being cautious enough? Determining fault in these situations is complicated, and the legal challenges can feel overwhelming.
If you find yourself in this situation, don’t face the legal fallout of a winter accident alone. Contact the seasoned legal team at Cellino Law today. Our Manhattan personal injury attorneys offer fierce advocacy when seeking compensation for you. Call (888) 888-8888 now to schedule a free consultation. We are available 24/7 to assist you.
Who Is Liable When an Accident Is Caused by Cars Sliding on Snow?
Not only do sliding cars pose a threat to other vehicles on the road, but they can also cause damage to public property or injure pedestrians. If the accident happens near roadside homes or private property, the risk of property damage can be high.
Damages can quickly accrue in the aftermath of an accident, and determining who bears responsibility for them is not always easy. The following factors must be considered when determining liability.
New York liability laws
New York’s no-fault liability laws, or “no-fault insurance system,” play a significant role in car accident cases. Under this system, every driver must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.
PIP coverage ensures that, if you are injured in a car accident, your insurance company can pay for your medical bills and lost wages up to a certain limit. This coverage is provided regardless of who was at fault.
It is worth noting that not all injuries or damages are covered under the no-fault law. In general, victims cannot file a third-party lawsuit unless their economic losses surpass no-fault benefits.
Lawsuits seeking non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are only allowed if the victim experiences a “serious injury.” As such, depending on your condition and whether your medical expenses exceed a certain threshold, you may be able to file a lawsuit.
Suppose the at-fault driver was intoxicated or engaged in intentional misconduct that caused the accident. In that case, you may be eligible to seek additional compensation beyond what is provided by the no-fault system of New York.
It is crucial to consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can assess your case and determine whether any exceptions apply.
The actions of the drivers involved
If your Manhattan car accident qualifies for trial, lawyers handling the case will review each driver’s actions. One question that may be asked is, “Was the driver of the out-of-control car acting recklessly or failing to take precautions?”
In snowy conditions, drivers must exercise caution and adjust their driving behavior accordingly. If a driver fails to do so and causes a collision due to sliding on snow, he or she may be held responsible for any resulting damages.
For example, suppose a driver was driving too fast for weather or road conditions or otherwise failed to maintain control of the vehicle. If he or she crashes into another car, that person may be held responsible for any resulting damages.
Many factors, such as the following, play a role in the determination of fault:
- Speeding or road rage
- Road conditions
- Visibility and weather conditions
- Reckless driver behavior
- Drug or alcohol influence
Witness testimony and evidence
It is always a good idea to document the accident scene and gather as much evidence as possible before leaving. Be sure to exchange information with witnesses and other parties involved.
Witness statements and police reports are often used as evidence in determining fault. Eyewitnesses can provide valuable insight into how an accident occurred and who was at fault.
Police reports typically include important details about road conditions and any contributing factors. These reports are helpful whether you file an insurance claim or qualify to pursue a lawsuit.
Insurance Coverage Can Determine Compensation
Insurance coverage also plays a crucial role in determining who pays for damages and how much may be paid out. The following types of auto insurance policies are optional in New York. Still, drivers with these add-ons can ride with peace of mind on Manhattan’s streets, knowing they are protected if a collision occurs.
Collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle when it collides with another vehicle or object, regardless of who is at fault.
In snowy conditions, collisions are more likely due to reduced visibility and slippery roads. Collision insurance can help cover the repair costs for your vehicle if it’s damaged in an accident caused by driving in snow.
Property Damage Liability insurance (PDL)
Property Damage Liability insurance covers the costs associated with damaging another person’s property. So if your car slides on snow and hits someone else’s vehicle or property, PDL coverage can help pay for the repairs so you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket expenses.
Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage (SUM)
SUM coverage can help if you are in an accident with a driver who has no insurance or the other driver has insurance and causes an accident. Still, the amount you qualify for may not be enough to cover your damages.
Comprehensive coverage protects against non-collision events – such as theft, vandalism, and natural disasters.
Snowstorms can cause various damages, including slippery roads. Comprehensive coverage can protect you if a non-collision event occurs when driving in snowy weather. Of course, some policies may have deductibles that need to be paid before the coverage kicks in.
If another driver is at fault for causing an accident due to sliding on snow, his or her liability insurance might cover any damages caused. Still, given the risks associated with driving in snow, having your own policy can offer peace of mind and financial security.
What Are Manhattan’s Comparative Fault Laws?
If you are eligible for filing a lawsuit, you need to understand New York’s pure comparative negligence law. That law plays a crucial factor in determining who pays damages for an auto accident.
Under comparative negligence law, multiple parties involved in an accident can be assigned a percentage of fault based on their contribution to the wreck. So even if you were mostly at faultfor the accident, you may still be entitled to compensation.
For example, suppose you were driving too fast for the road conditions during a snowstorm. If you collide with another vehicle whose driver failed to yield properly, both drivers could be liable. In such cases, each party would bear a portion of fault based on their degree of fault.
Manhattan Sliding Car Accident Lawyer Near Me
Whether it is due to icy roads, poor visibility, or negligent drivers, accidents can happen at any time during the winter months. Be prepared to keep you and your passengers safe.
In case of the unsuspected, though, we at Cellino Law take pride in providing personalized attention to each client. We understand that every case is unique and requires individualized strategies. With our team by your side, you can be confident that your best interests are at the forefront throughout every step of the legal process.
Were you involved in an auto collision due to slippery road conditions this winter season? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Cellino Law today.
Contact us at (888) 888-8888 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Let our Manhattan personal injury lawyers provide the guidance you need while fighting for justice on your behalf.
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