This past week, Philadelphia and surrounding areas had the first 2 snow storms of the season within 3 days of each other. Inclement weather often leads to Pennsylvania car, truck and bus accidents.
Not only do accidents happen during inclement weather, they also happen after the snow storm passes. The road conditions may still be icy and slippery. Even though the roads are salted and cleared during the day, the melted snow on the roads may refreeze overnight as the temperature drops. Drivers are then faced with driving on a sheet of ice the next morning.
Another type of snow related car, truck and bus accident involves snow and/or ice dislodging or falling from moving vehicles. Snow/ice falling off vehicles traveling at high speeds may strike other cars and trucks on the road, causing other drivers to lose control. This can result in serious accidents.
The law in Pennsylvania requires drivers to properly clear all snow and ice from their vehicles before driving on the roads. Section 3720 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code provides:
3720. Snow and ice dislodged or falling from moving vehicle. When snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury as defined in section 3742 (relating to accidents involving death or personal 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.
Not only are drivers subject to fines, they may also be liable in civil lawsuits. Injured drivers and/or passengers may file PA car or truck accident lawsuits against the negligent drivers.
For example, imagine a situation where a driver of a minivan decides not to clear the snow off the top of his car and goes on the PA turnpike. As the minivan accelerates to 65 miles per hour, the snow and ice on top of the minivan begins to fly off and a huge chunk of ice/snow lands on the windshield of a car traveling behind the minivan. The impact would be so forceful and sudden that the driver behind the minivan could lose control of his vehicle, drive off the shoulder and crash into the guardrail. In this situation, it could be argued that the minivan driver was negligent because he failed to remove the snow from his car, which caused a serious car accident. If the driver behind sustains serious injuries, the minivan driver may also be found liable for the injured driver’s damages and injuries.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car or truck accident as a result of inclement weather and would like to explore your legal rights, call the car accident lawyers at White and Williams @ 877.944.8396. The personal injury lawyers always offer an initial free consultation.