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Blowing Snow, Flurries Continue to Cause Accidents

/ Car Accident, Driver Safety, Winter Hazards /

Blowing SnowROCHESTER, N.Y. – At any given time, there can be a dozen car accidents on city streets and along major highways. In New York State, those calls often jump in blustery winter weather.

In Monroe County alone, over a dozen calls were made to 911 on Friday at any given time of day to report a car crash.

Although roads and highway crews keep plowing, roads can be slick due to blowing snow. The heavy winds also made visibility a problem for drivers.

“One of the common responses you hear after a crash is ‘I didn’t see the other car.’ Blowing snow is a real problem for drivers but it’s not an excuse, they still need to be responsible and adjust to the conditions in Rochester,” car accident lawyer, Steve Barnes said.

rochestersnowForecasters expect more flurries throughout the weekend, adding to the adverse driving conditions. A Rochester attorney says city and highway driving will be particularly dangerous.

“One moment it can be clear with a light breeze, we’ve all seen it before,” Barnes said. “The next moment, the driver encounters near white-out conditions and there’s just not a lot of time to adjust.”

Rochester car accident attorneys say weather can be a dominating factor in many crashes but a driver is usually still held liable for his or her actions. He says it’s extremely important to adjust the speed and distance between cars when driving in winter’s hazards.

Northeast Plagued by Winter Weather Accidents

/ Car Accident, Personal Injury, Winter Hazards /

Winter Weather AccidentsNEW YORK – A slushy and snowy commute troubled drivers across northeastern roadways. In some places, the winter weather caused dangerous and deadly car accidents or slippery situations on the sidewalks.

Monday afternoon, Interstate 95 was closed in Rye, N.Y. due to crashes that killed two people. According to New York State Police, the first car crash was minor but while the drivers were exchanging insurance information outside their vehicles, a third car lost control and struck the two drivers.

In Buffalo, a man was hit by an oncoming car while retrieving a snow blower that fell out of his truck bed, according to The Buffalo News. The News said the man was treated for a forehead cut.

The slushy roads may have also played a role in an accident that caused a garbage truck to overturn in Brooklyn. According to CBS New York, the truck fell on its side and injured one person.

i95axSeveral vehicles collided on Interstate 287 in New Jersey. According to crash investigators, every driver was able to pull off the highway but authorities did close an exit ramp nearby.

Across the metro area, commuters were bogged down by delays and pedestrians battled heavy crowds and slippery sidewalks. In some areas of New York, it became even more dangerous when manhole covers blew off, seriously injuring a 71-year-old man on Monday.

“Roadways and sidewalks always have their risks but the dangers increase tenfold when there’s snow and ice. That’s why there are laws requiring homeowners and businesses to clear those areas of debris in New York,” car accident lawyer, Steve Barnes said.

Many public schools remained open in the city but elsewhere across the state and in New Jersey, school officials made the decision to delay or close as the winter weather advisory was extended.

Slip and Fall Accidents Spike in Winter Weather

/ Personal Injury, Slip and Fall, Winter Hazards /

Slip and Fall Accidents SpikeNEW YORK – After any big winter storm, the snow and ice piles up and it’s the responsibility of homeowners and businesses to keep walkways clear of slippery patches, potholes and anything else that would obstruct your path.

In most areas, shoveling, salting and repairing isn’t just the courteous thing to do, it’s the law.

“Homeowners and businesses can get reported and fined,” Slip and Fall attorney, Steve Barnes said. “Unfortunately, thousands of people are hospitalized every year because someone didn’t clear a path for them.”

These accidents aren’t just happening outside in the elements but liability extends inside homes and businesses as well.

Just recently, a Louisiana woman sued a grocery store chain because she slipped on an “unknown substance” spilled in one of the aisles. Although the case doesn’t specify an amount, the woman is asking to recover medical costs, loss of wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and distress.

“Many times, there’s a buildup of slippery snow, ice and slush as you walk into your neighborhood stores,” Barnes said. “They’re usually responsible for cleaning that up before someone gets hurt.”

In just one year, medical costs of falls added up to $30 billion.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2.5 million people were treated in emergency rooms after a slip and fall with a third of those accidents resulting in further hospitalization.

Travel Bans Lifted, Accidents Spike after Winter Storm

/ Car Accident, Winter Hazards /

Travel Bans LiftedNEW YORK – It wasn’t the worst blizzard the city has ever seen. You may need to go back to 1888 for that when a storm dropped four feet of snow in the Hudson River valley. That storm caused $25 million in damage (in today’s terms a half billion dollars) and 400 people died as a result.

Monday evening’s nor’easter wasn’t nearly as costly or deadly but the storm did have an impact on the area that can still be felt. Travel bans were in effect overnight, schools were cancelled and throughout the storm, accidents happened.

In Suffolk County, a teenager died in a sledding accident Monday night. Police said the teenager was snow-tubing, lost control and struck a light pole.

In New Jersey, a Jersey City driver crashed into a transit bus stopped at a red light before Gov. Chris Christie and other state leaders issued travel bans. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker called the ban ‘precautionary’ as his state received the brunt of the storm.

blizzard anthony quintano“Driving will be virtually impossible for extended periods of time starting late [Monday night],” Baker said. “Please stay off the roads. Everyone should expect impassible roads starting at midnight.”

However, there weren’t many major crashes. Officials in several northeastern states attribute that to practical planning and drivers adhering to the travel bans. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Mallory said the state only recorded a handful of accidents overnight.

“Under normal circumstances, we would have expected hundreds of car accidents on or highway system,” Mallory said. “Last night, we had 11.”

Although the storm wasn’t as severe as expected, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio urged drivers to avoid the roads, if possible.

“The roads are still dangerous and they are passable but there is a level of ice under the snow in many areas,” de Blasio said.

blizzard metrotransportationMore than 2,300 snow plows will continue clearing city streets preparing for New York’s grand reopening on Wednesday.


Avoiding the Emergency Room During the Snow Storm

/ Car Accident, Slip and Fall, Winter Hazards /

Avoiding the Emergency RoomNEW YORK – As millions stock up on canned goods, rock salt and snow shovels, bracing for a nor-easter winter storm. What few people consider are ways to stay out of the emergency room when the storm strikes.

Each winter, hospitals record a spike in cases of heart attacks, carbon monoxide poisonings and car accident injuries.

Doctors say cold weather immediately puts people at a greater risk of having a heart attack because the frigid air tightens the blood vessels. On top of that, treading through the snow and shoveling is heavy exercise, further straining your vascular system.

When the winter storm hits, another leading cause that brings people into the hospital is carbon monoxide poisoning. Studies have shown that many drivers will leave their cars idling while they shovel the snow. Doctors say this is a bad idea because snow and ice can get lodged in the tail pipe, causing a buildup of the deadly gas inside the car cabin.

Most often, drivers are rushed to the E.R. because of car accidents or because they’ve slipped and fallen on ice.

“Your daily routine has to fundamentally change during a winter storm around Buffalo,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “You could be a good driver but when it’s snowing, the risk of a auto accident or a slip and fall greatly increases.”

Roads can be dangerous even after they are plowed due to black ice, blowing snow and flash freezing.

As you prepare for the next winter storm, remember to stay informed and adhere to area driving bans. The best way to avoid the emergency room is to avoid the storm altogether and stay inside.

Slippery Roads a Top Cause for Car Accidents

/ Car Accident, Driver Safety, Personal Injury, Winter Hazards /

Slippery Roads a Top Cause for Car AccidentsNEW YORK – Every year, thousands of drivers hit the roads during a storm without realizing how much it can drastically increase the risk for car accidents.

On average, weather is blamed for over 1.3 million crashes each year.

When a winter storm rolls through your town, drivers may be putting their lives on the line to battle slushy pavement, ice, snow, and rain.

Statistics show slushy pavement can be blamed for 14 percent of weather-related crashes. If there’s slush on the road, the most important tip is to drive extra slow. Many times, the slush can quickly freeze, making stopping and turning much more difficult.

Ice causes about 12 percent of weather-related crashes. Black ice is most dangerous because drivers often don’t realize it’s there. New York car accident attorneys suggest avoiding nighttime driving because it is even more difficult to spot in low-light conditions.

Snow and sleet make up 17 percent of weather-related car accidents. Avoiding the roads altogether is safest when the snow is falling. However, if you must drive, avoid side streets which may not be plowed. Also, it’s important to increase your visibility both in front of the vehicle and behind; that means clearing snow from all your windows.

Snow, sleet and ice are mischievous on the roads but most crashes are due to wet pavement.

Nearly a million accidents happen on wet pavement every year and it becomes extremely dangerous in cold weather when wet pavement can freeze almost instantaneously. New York car accident lawyers know bridges and overpasses freeze faster and suggest avoiding those areas and driving slower.

While you can’t always avoid accidents from happening, following these tips can lower the risk of accidents on the roads.

Ask the Attorneys: Ice Storm Problems

/ Ask the Attorneys, Winter Hazards /

Q: During the ice storm that occurred recently, my children were outside playing in the yard when a power line came down and struck my son. Although the power line did not physically hurt my son when it struck him, he suffered a severe shock and burn shortly thereafter.  The burns on his arm did not require any skin grafting, but the doctor said that it was quite severe nevertheless.

I feel quite fortunate and I understand that the outcome could have been much worse.  I must admit that I previously noticed that the power lines that ran from the street to my house seemed to sag lower than normal, but I never notified the power company of my concerns.  Is the Power Company nevertheless liable for the injuries to my son?

A: The short answer is probably not. Acts of god like ice storms, earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes, etc., do not give rise to legal responsibility of homeowners or corporations.

However, the Power Company could possibly be liable if they knew about the low hanging power lines and failed to properly correct the situation.  Since you indicated that you did not notify the Power Company of the condition, they probably would not be liable – unless they independently learned about the condition and failed to do something to correct it. If you have any Personal Injury questions that have not been answered, contact us today for a free consultation.

Client Thanks

I would like to thank your firm for representing our family on behalf of my late husband. This whole process was, at times, difficult for us and sometimes painful. But, we were always in good hands as Brian and Maria are two of the hardest working and sincerest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They did a tremendous job.

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