Winter Car Accidents—What You Need to Know
This winter has been a particularly harsh one for many areas of the United States, and the northeast is no different. With unexpected snow, sleet, ice, and weather advisories, it should be no surprise that the roads are often a mess in the New London area. For many people, winter weather led to a traffic accident and serious injuries—sleet, snow, and freezing rain accounted for about 7,000 of the state’s traffic accidents.
Often, it is not difficult to identify when a driver acted negligently. If a driver is clearly exceeding the speed limit, tailgating, texting and driving, or under the influence of alcohol, it should be clear the driver was responsible for the accident, and that they should be liable for your medical bills, property damage, and other losses. However, in many winter weather accidents, it can be difficult to know whether a crash was preventable or not.
Driving Too Fast for Weather and Road Conditions
When you think of speeding, you likely look to the number on the speed limit sign. As long as a driver is within the posted speed limit, they are not speeding, right? This is not always the case, as drivers have the duty to operate their cars safely based on the current conditions, including winter weather and icy roads.
Just because the speed limit says 60 miles per hour does not mean that it is appropriate to drive 60 miles per hour at all times. If there is heavy traffic, drivers adapt and slow down. The same should go for winter weather conditions. If a driver is traveling 50 miles per hour (in a 60 mile per hour zone) on icy roads and loses control, that driver may be negligent if 50 miles per hour was too fast for the conditions. Our attorneys examine whether a driver was going too fast for weather conditions on a case-by-case basis.
What to Do After a Winter Weather Accident
If a driver who was not taking proper care during winter weather crashes into you, the law gives you the right to seek compensation for your medical bills and other losses from that driver’s insurance company. Taking certain steps after a crash can help keep you safe and help protect your rights.
- Stay warm – If you can pull your vehicle to the side of the road, do so and remain inside your car until the authorities arrive. Always have blankets and winter weather gear packed in the car to prevent frostbite or hypothermia.
- Take pictures or video – Once you get out of your car to speak with police officers and medics, use your smartphone to document the scene if you can. Pictures or even a video will give a clear picture of the weather, road conditions, and damage to your vehicles.
Let Our New London Car Accident Attorneys Evaluate Your Rights for Free
Once you receive medical help, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer in New London who can advise you of your rights. Polito & Associates, LLC, is ready to handle complicated winter weather accident claims, so please call (860) 447-3300 or contact us online for more information today.