New York winters can be quite harsh. Whether the season brings snowstorms or rain or slush or ice, it is a time of year in which car accidents are more likely. Often collisions are due to decreased visibility, but sometimes, they are the result of inattentive driving behaviors, the consequences of which are aggravated by difficult weather and road conditions. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a winter accident, you should discuss what happened with the seasoned Syracuse car accident attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano as soon as possible. We want our clients to receive the best damages award possible and have worked hard to achieve that.Winter Accidents
Common causes of winter accidents in or around Syracuse include reduction in maneuverability, hydroplaning and sudden slow-down in speeds. Often visibility is reduced significantly by sleet, heavy rain, and snow, which can cause crashes. Conditions are made further dangerous because roads tend to get clogged during heightened periods of slowed-down traffic, particularly in the mornings and evenings. There may be cars that come to a standstill but are not easily seen through the snow. If you are within a car that is stopped due to backed-up traffic, it can be terrifying to be rear-ended at high speed and your injuries are likely serious.
Sometimes drivers are on the roads for longer because of the holidays and may be intoxicated while driving for the same reason, and these situations also result in a higher likelihood of catastrophic or fatal accidents.Serious Injuries
Crashes in the wintertime can be particularly serious and may involve multiple accident victims. Injuries could include broken bones, fractures, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, road rash, burns, paralysis and amputations. While you must first turn to your own PIP insurance to address a portion of your economic harms after a car accident, you can sue in court for pain and suffering and the full scope of their losses when you’ve suffered serious injuries.
When handling most winter accident cases, our attorneys must establish other drivers’ negligence in order to recover damages from them. This means we will need to prove: (1) you were owed a duty of care by the other driver, (2) breach of the duty of reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. A driver can breach the duty to use reasonable care by speeding or driving too fast for conditions, weaving, tailgating, driving under the influence, failing to properly maintain the car, or failing to obey traffic signs and signals.
The circumstances of the accident will impact the court’s analysis of whether another driver used reasonable care. Even when the speed limit is 55 mph, this may be too fast for a snowstorm in which visibility is very poor. If you were injured in a situation like that, it may be appropriate to sue a driver going too fast for the weather that caused your crash. Similarly, if a driver failed to maintain his car’s tires and as a result the car hydroplanes and he crashes into you, you may be able to sue for damages.
Upstate roads in New York can also have other problems that may contribute to winter accidents. For instance, a poorly designed or maintained road could result in build-up of snow, ice, or floods. When an accident occurs due to problems with the road, it may be appropriate to bring a premises liability lawsuit against the government or other parties, such as a private road owner. Similarly, if there are issues with chains on your tires or a defective car part, it may be appropriate to pursue damages against other parties such as a mechanic, manufacturer, or other entity.Damages
The nature and extent of your injuries will determine the damages our lawyers can recover on your behalf. These damages could include any economic or noneconomic losses, including medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment. When a driver’s intoxication was the cause of a winter accident, it may be appropriate to pursue punitive damages as well because of the well-known risks of driving under the influence.Best Results in a Car Accident Lawsuit Require Experienced Counsel
If you suffered serious injuries or a loved one died during a winter accident in Upstate New York, you should call the seasoned Syracuse car accident lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We seek the best results available for clients in Lowville, Rochester, Auburn, Watertown, Herkimer, Oswego, Wampsville, Canandaigua, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oneida, Utica, Binghamton, and Elmira. Complete our online form or call us at 315-479-9000 for a free consultation.