CAN I BE COMPENSATED AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT ON SNOW AND ICE COVERED ROADS?
With winter weather upon us, road conditions can be hazardous, leading to many accidents. But even with the ice and snow covered roads, often times the road conditions are not the actual cause of an accident. There are many factors to consider besides the road conditions, including the negligence of the other driver. Was the person who caused the accident going too fast for the road conditions? Were they using headlights? Was their vehicle inspected and properly maintained? These are the factors our attorneys at Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C., P.C. examine when evaluating personal injury claims for auto accidents.
Determining Liability in Winter Accidents
When snow and ice are contributing factors in a car accident, insurance companies review every detail just as much as they would for any other claim. If a driver hits a patch of ice, skids through an intersection and then T-bones another car, the driver will most definitely blame the ice. However, insurance companies and bodily injury and accident attorneys view these factors very differently.
A driver is responsible to maintain control of his or her car, regardless of the weather conditions. So, in the event of an accident involving snow or ice, factors of the case that must be reviewed carefully are: how fast the driver was traveling; did the driver panic and slam on their brakes; was the driver distracted by a cell phone, music or another passenger; and was the driver’s car properly maintained and inspected to be on the road?
Both eyewitness testimony and evidence must be scrutinized when ascertaining where fault for an accident lies. It is very important to conduct this investigation as soon as possible, and Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C. has the resources, contacts and connections to make sure that the truth is known.
After Fault is Determined
If it is determined that the other driver was negligent and is liable for the accident, the injured driver can file a claim to recover economic and/or non-economic damages, depending upon the tort option they selected under their own policy and whether any circumstances exist that would allow those injured to break the threshold of limited tort into full tort.
Economic losses are those that are quantifiable, such as past and future income loss and out-of-pocket medical and other expenses. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of the pleasures of life, embarrassment and humiliation and scarring and disfigurement.
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company determines the other driver was at fault to any degree, they can still file a claim because of the “comparative fault rule.” This rule applies even if the driver was less than fifty percent at fault for the accident. For instance, if the injured driver incurs $100,000.00 in damages but was 35% at fault for the accident, he or she could still be able to collect $65,000 in damages.
Don’t Let the Insurance Company Fool You
Unfortunately, our attorneys have seen many instances where the injured driver wasn’t working or was laid off, and were wrongfully told they could not make a loss of income claim. That’s simply not the case. Accident victims have the right to file a claim for loss of predicted or potential income, as well as losses of actual income.
Additionally, many times, insurance claims representatives will be superficially kind to a person who was injured as a result of their insured’s fault, in order to have unfettered access to information concerning their injuries and claimed losses. A person hurt in a motor vehicle accident should never speak with the insurance company for the other driver before consulting with the lawyers at Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C.
What to do if You’re in a Winter Accident
Move to a Safe Place: After an accident, move to a safe place. Minor accidents in winter weather can quickly turn into something much more serious if you or your vehicle is in the path of other vehicles.
Call 911 and Contact Police: First and foremost, make sure anyone injured in the crash gets medical attention. Then, it is critical to file a police report. Often times, accident victims don’t feel the effects of the accident right away. They drive away without calling the police and filing a report, only to find they are dealing with pain weeks or months later. Police reports provide documentation that can be critical evidentiary support when filing a claim.
Take Pictures and Gather Information: If possible, take pictures and video of the accident scene, your injuries and the damage to both vehicles. Photos of poor road conditions, damaged or covered signs, or anything else that may have contributed to the accident are also helpful. Gather witness contact information, along with the information from the other driver to include their name, address, phone number, driver’s license number and insurance information.
Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance company. Leave that to your insurance company or an attorney.
Contact an Attorney: Car accidents are complicated and can be especially difficult to handle when you or a loved one is dealing with injuries. That’s why an attorney can help guide you through the process and let you know if you have a case. There’s nothing to lose to make the call—Georgelis Law Firm, P.C. will never bill you for their time.
Contact Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C.
Our experienced attorneys have recovered more than $25,000,000.00 for accident victims. We don’t let the insurance companies take advantage of you. Drivers who are injured because of the negligence or recklessness of somebody else deserve to be compensated for their medical bills, pain and suffering and their lost wages.
Contact Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C. at 1-800-HURT NOW for a free consultation. We’re available 24/7 and there’s never a fee unless we get money for you!