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What You Need to Know if you Hit a Snow Bank

Personal Injury Claim, Car Hit Snow Bank

Did your car slide on an icy road or hit a snowbank because the street wasn’t cleared in bad weather? Wintry weather conditions can lead to all kinds of accidents including running into a snowbank that was left by snow plows or other cars.

If you hit a snowbank while driving in bad weather it may not be your fault. If you hit a snowbank in bad weather and were injured you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit that will cover your medical expenses and other bills. Talk to a personal injury attorney today to find out if you can file a personal injury lawsuit and get money to cover your medical expenses.

Determining Liability

There are a few different parties that may be liable for your injuries due to crashing into a snow bank. For instance, if you are driving in a parking lot of a store and the lot hasn’t been properly maintained and you crash, the owner of the property or the tenant business leasing the property could be liable.

If you are driving on a government owned street, the state, county, or municipality in which the accident took place could also be liable. A municipality holds some responsibility for keeping roads safe to drive in dangerous weather conditions, such as regularly plowing and salting roads.

Filing a personal injury claim against the government can be complicated, as there are rules in place to ensure that they are often immune to liability. Therefore, filing a claim in this instance may require legal assistance and a variety of administrative work.

As the driver, you could also be liable for your injuries in terms of hitting a snow bank in snowy or icy conditions. For instance, if you were driving during a declared snow emergency or driving ban, you were negligent by ignoring the weather advisory and risking your own safety.

All drivers are also expected to act with reasonable care when it comes to driving in snowy or icy conditions. This involves driving as carefully as possible during bad weather.

snow bank personal injury

Natural Accumulation

Depending on the area of the country, the weather patterns obviously differ greatly. A foot of accumulated snow can be expected for a January in New Hampshire, yet would be a case for the National Guard in, say, Georgia or Louisiana.

Some states follow a natural accumulation law that rules property owners or governments aren’t liable for injuries sustained as a result of snow and ice, because living in that state requires its inhabitants to be used to that weather to some degree.

You can expect a law of this type in states with harsher winters, such as New England and northern areas. Some states have recently been repealing these laws, however, under the argument that people in these states will go out in any type of weather, so property owners and the government need to make accommodations to businesses and roads for safe travel.

What kind of Compensation Can You Get After Hitting a Snowbank?

If you are driving and slid into a snowbank or hit a snowbank because the road was icy or not cleared of snow you could end up getting seriously injured. Whiplash injuries, back and neck injuries, and concussions are common injuries that occur in these types of accidents.

Traumatic Brain Injuries can also occur if you hit your head on the car roof or on the steering wheel as a result of the motion of the car. The damage from a TBI can be permanent and extensive so don’t take chances.

If you hit your head at all see a specialist to make sure that you don’t have even a mild TBI. Make sure to document all of your symptoms after a TBI because they could impact you in the future.

Any injury, but especially head injuries, can require a lot of follow up care. If you are injured you may receive compensation for all of your medical bills including physical therapy or other treatments. You also can receive compensation for lost wages while you cannot work.

If you are so injured that you are disabled you can receive compensation for that also. In addition to having your medical expenses and lost wages paid for you can also receive compensation for the damage done to your vehicle and reimbursement if you had to rent a vehicle or take cabs while your car was inoperable because of the accident.

It’s important to get medical documentation for every injury that is caused by the accident. When you file a claim you won’t be awarded compensation for anything that you can’t document so be sure to keep copies of all of your medical records, hospital bills, treatment expenses, and your pay stubs so that lost wages can be calculated correctly.

What Damages to your Vehicle Could Happen In This Type Of Accident?

The damage that is done to your car depends on a lot of different factors like your speed and the road condition as well as others. You may end up with just a broken head or tail light or other minor damages similar to what would happen in a small fender bender.

But if the road is very icy or you were traveling at a high rate of speed when you hit the snowbank your car could have dented side panels, serious damage to the body of the car, a broken windshield or broken windows, mechanical damage, or your car may even be totaled.

It’s important to have a certified mechanic examine your car from top to bottom after an accident like this to check all the mechanical systems and make sure there isn’t any hidden damage that isn’t accounted for.

Often an accident where the car is twisted or hits something like a snowbank at a high rate of speed will throw off the alignment of the vehicle and make it undrivable so a mechanic needs to check the car even if it doesn’t look like there is a lot of damage.

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you do plan to file a personal injury claim for an accident involving a snow bank and snowy, icy roads, you should consider hiring a lawyer to help you navigate the claims process.

A lawyer can help you gather necessary evidence and ensure that you receive a proper settlement.

Additional Resources

Personal Injury Claims and Snow
Sample Demand Letter – Auto Accident in Snow
Personal Injury Claims Involving an Auto Accident in a Snowstorm

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