Heavy snows and high winds are a common occurrence for New Jersey winter, and drivers are asked to make the best of a tough situation year after year. But while you accept that clearing the snow out of your driveway is your responsibility, removing the snow from city streets, sidewalks, and other public property is a job for the city—and one that seems to be going slowly at best.
Can Drivers Sue for a Crash on a Slippery or Unplowed Road?
When a car accident occurs, people often assume that one of the drivers is at fault. However, there are many factors that can contribute to a collision, including unsafe road conditions. If you were attempting to drive safely down a slippery roads or through an uncleared intersection, you could be able to hold the city, county, or other municipal agency responsible for damages. For example, a city or county could be held liable for winter accidents caused by:
- Unplowed streets. Cities have a duty to clear public roads after snowstorms to ensure the safest possible travel. If streets are not plowed, cars may form deep ruts in the snow that freeze over, making travel treacherous and increasing the risk of accidents.
- Inconsistent plowing. Major streets may be plowed by city governments, but culs-de-sac and subdivisions may not be cleared until hours or even days after snowfall. Snow that has been allowed to build up on road surfaces can lead to unnecessarily slippery conditions and encourages ice formation beneath.
- Lack of salt. In addition to plowing, cities may be obligated to send salt trucks to melt icy buildup. Salt also provides additional grip on slippery roads and helps head off continual snowfall.
- Obstructed views. The buildup of snow after the recent winter storms in the northeast reached several feet high in many areas. If the snow obstructs road signs, blocks intersections, or prevents drivers from seeing around corners, the government could be held liable.
What Do I Need to Do To Start My Case?
If you were injured in a snow-related car accident, you will need to prove that poor road conditions played a part in your accident. In order to do this, you need to establish negligence on the part of the agency responsible for clearing snow or ice, and then make a direct link between that negligence and your injuries and damage to your vehicle. You will need to have strong evidence that the municipal body failed to provide safe driving conditions, or at least failed to adequately warn the public about potential driving hazards.
At MFR Law, we can help you build your case against the municipality that is responsible for your crash. We can examine police reports, medical records, and survey the accident scene for evidence that can be used to prove negligence. Call us today at (877) 360-0183 or click the contact link on this page to find out how we can help you get proper for compensation for your accident.