NYC Snow Plow Accident Lawyer

NYC snow plow driving streets at night

All motorists must obey traffic laws and drive carefully to avoid wrecks, including snow plow operators. Nevertheless, many people are hurt every year in snow plow accidents in New York City. These crashes can cause devastating injuries, lasting disabilities, and significant pain and suffering. 

If you were hurt in an NYC snow plow accident, you could be eligible for compensation for your injuries and related losses. Snow plow crash cases can be complex, so it’s crucial to hire a trusted attorney who can effectively advocate for your rights. At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., we have more than 40 years of experience helping injured victims seek justice. During that time, we have recovered half a billion dollars for our clients. 

Contact our firm today to speak to one of our award-winning attorneys about your case during a free and confidential consultation.

Common Types and Causes of Crashes with Snow Plows in NYC

Snow plow operators often work long shifts at odd hours in dangerous, low-visibility conditions. The hazardous nature of the work means there are many types and causes of crashes with snow plows.

Snow plow accidents often occur due to the following: 

  • Driver fatigue, intoxication, or another impairment
  • Driver inexperience
  • Driver distraction
  • Speeding or another type of recklessness
  • Poor road visibility due to inclement weather
  • Failure to properly monitor blind spots
  • Driving on untreated roads with poor traction
  • Poorly maintained snow plows

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Snow Plow Crash?

Determining liability for a snow plow accident is often tricky because multiple parties could be responsible depending on who operates and owns the plow.

For instance, you might have grounds for a claim against:

  • A private snow plow operator – Some people use their own snow plow attachments on their personal vehicles. If you get hurt by a negligent private snow plow operator, you would likely have a claim against them.
  • A commercial snow plow operator – If you suffer injuries in an accident involving a commercial snow plow, you might have grounds for a claim against the snow plow operator, company, and owner.
  • A municipal snow plow operator – If you get hurt by a municipal snow plow operator, your options are usually more limited. Municipal snow plows are not subject to the same traffic rules as other vehicles. Municipal plow operators have the authority to drive through red lights and execute other maneuvers that are typically illegal. As such, it can be challenging to hold these operators liable. Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1103, a plaintiff must prove that a municipal snow plow operator who was engaged in snow or ice removal or was otherwise working at the time of an accident behaved recklessly, meaning they knowingly disregarded the safety of others. If an accident occurs when the plow operator is not actively working, a plaintiff must prove only that the operator was negligent, which is an easier standard to meet.
  • Another road user – A motorist other than the plow operator, such as a motorcycle rider, cyclist, or pedestrian, might be liable if they caused the accident. For example, a pedestrian might be partially at fault if they darted in front of an oncoming snow plow, prompting the operator to swerve into oncoming traffic.
  • A snow plow manufacturer – The manufacturer of a snow plow might be liable if faulty design or manufacturing standards contributed to a defect that caused the accident.
  • A snow plow mechanic or shop – A mechanic or repair shop could be liable if it failed to properly inspect, maintain, or repair a defective mechanical component that contributed to the crash.

Potential Compensation for Injuries in a Snow Plow Crash

If you were injured in a snow plow crash that another party caused, you could pursue  compensation for the following losses:

  • Medical expenses you incur as a result of your injuries from the snow plow accident
  • The value of lost wages due to missed time at work
  • Projected losses in earning potential, if you suffer permanent injuries
  • Subjective losses, such as pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life
  • Incidental costs, such as the cost of traveling to doctor’s appointments

Tips When Driving Near Snow Plow Vehicles

You can decrease the chances of collisions with snow plow vehicles by staying attentive and alert on the road at all times and following these 3 tips:

  1. Give snow plows lots of extra road space. Snow plows often cross over designated center lines and into adjacent traffic lanes, so give them a wide berth. Keep in mind that plow operators often make unexpected turns, stops, and other maneuvers, especially due to their limited range of visibility.
  2. Refrain from passing in front of plows. If you are behind one or more slow-moving snow plows, you might feel frustrated and eager to pass. But remember that the road in front of an active snow plow is likely treacherous, and there’s no guarantee that the operator will see your vehicle amid the snow.
  3. Keep your headlights on. Make sure your vehicle stays as visible as possible to plow operators by turning your headlights on and leaving them on any time you drive near a snow plow. 

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After a Snow Plow Crash?

You have limited time to take legal action after an NYC snow plow accident. If you suffered injuries in a crash involving a municipal snow plow, you have just 90 days to give the municipality notice of your intent to file a claim, then an additional year to file the claim. 

If you suffered injuries in a crash involving a private or commercial snow plow, New York’s standard three-year time limit applies. That means you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in civil court against any at-fault parties. 

Contact Our NYC Snow Plow Crash Lawyers Today

If you were hurt in an NYC snow plow wreck caused by a plow operator or another party, The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., is ready to help. Contact our NYC snow plow crash lawyers today to learn more about your legal options.