In winter public highways are supposed to be kept clear of ice and snow as much as possible by county and state maintenance crews. If they neglect to do what they are required to do and a snowbank or icy road causes an accident, then they may be liable for any costs.
If you have hit a snowbank and are facing hefty bills you should talk to a personal injury lawyer about the possibility of seeking compensation. If the government entity is found to be liable, your bills could be paid with a compensation settlement.
Medical Bills After Hitting a Snowbank
Driving around in heavy snow or icy conditions is inherently risky, but there is an expectation that hazards like snowbanks should be removed as fast as possible. If you hit a snowbank, you could be seriously injured from the impact. Medical bills are almost inevitable after such an accident. Typical costs are for the following:
- ambulance service to the nearest hospital;
- examination by a doctor;
- scans of soft tissue;
- bed in hospital plus food;
- post-operative care including equipment needs.
Property Damage Bills After Hitting a Snowbank
If you hit a snowbank, it may be because you hit an icy patch first and were out of control. Your car may only be slightly damaged or badly damaged depending on how highly packed the snowbank was. Hard packed snow can ruin your car. Your car may need towing away to a repair yard.
Even minor repairs can cost several hundred dollars. If your engine was damaged, the total cost of spare parts and labor may run into the thousands of dollars in bills. You may be able to get these bills paid as part of your PI claim.
How a PI Claim Can Help Pay Bills After Hitting a Snowbank
Whether you can claim for damages depends on the responsibilities of the local government authority or contractor. It may be hard trying to find out whether the accident was caused by negligence on the part of a maintenance crew or the city, county or state department that is supposed to keep the roads cleared.
Claims against a government entity tend to be complicated because of the almost inevitable excuse of ‘sovereign immunity.’ In fact, it is still possible to sue a government department for negligence as long as you use a good lawyer and file a claim with evidence and before a time limit is reached, typically months rather than years. A successful claim can help pay all your accident bills and compensate for the pain and suffering caused and lost wages.
Why Working With a Lawyer Makes Sense
You are advised to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can after a snowbank accident. If there is a good chance of proving who was liable for your injuries, the lawyer will pursue whoever was at fault on your behalf. Most PI lawyers will provide a free initial discussion and will delay charging you for their services until a settlement is obtained.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against a city agency or department, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation