Car accidents can happen at any time, even on a perfectly dry and sunny day. Add wintry precipitation to the mix, however, and the risk of a car crash occurring goes up significantly. As a resident of the Philadelphia area, surely you’re no stranger to the dangers of driving on slippery roads. However, you may not know the legal rules surrounding winter weather-related car accidents.
Our Bucks County auto accident attorney feels it is important for every Pennsylvania citizen to be familiar with how liability works for motor vehicle incidents in which snow and/or ice play a role. By understanding the laws, you will be better prepared in case you are ever in an accident involving slick road conditions. Here are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Contrary to what many people assume, insurance companies typically will not clear a driver of fault simply because hazardous road conditions were present at the time of their accident. While this may be factored in, it’s unlikely that at least one of the motorists involved will not be held at least partially liable.
- If your insurance company determines that you are partially at fault for the accident, your claim may be reduced under what is called the “comparative fault rule” (typically applies if you are less than 50% at fault). For instance, let’s say you incurred $50,000 in damages, but the insurance company rules that you are 30% at fault for the crash. In this scenario, you would likely only be given $35,000.
- For accidents in which snow or ice flies off a moving vehicle and causes a crash or injures a pedestrian, a special rule called the 75 PA Cons Stat § 3720 applies. According to this provision, “When snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of the vehicle from which the snow or ice is dislodged or falls shall be subject to a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $1,000 for each offense.” Bearing this in mind, our auto accident attorney in Bucks County urges you to always clear ALL snow and ice from your vehicle before heading out onto the roads.
Ultimately, every car accident case is different, and the outcome for your case will depend on the specifics of the incident. Furthermore, even when you know the basics of how winter car accident liability works, this remains an incredibly complex area of law best dealt with by an experienced Bucks County auto accident attorney.
Seek Assistance from Our Trusted Bucks County Auto Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a car accident to which winter conditions contributed, you can count on Gary Heslin to provide the skillful legal guidance you need. Recognized as an auto accident attorney Bucks County can rely on, Mr. Heslin will investigate the specifics of your case in order to determine who should be held liable and whether you have grounds to challenge the insurance company’s decision.
In need of sound legal advice after a car accident? Reach out to the Heslin Law Firm’s office at (215) 332-0300, and we will be happy to schedule a time for you to meet with Mr. Heslin for a free case evaluation. Should you need dependable legal help at any time, we will be ready and willing to serve as your auto accident attorney in Bucks County.