Snow Plow Accident Injury
Buffalo, New York gets over 7 feet of snow per year. Therefore, snow plows are a common sight in the winter months. Snow and ice left on parking lots, walkways, driveways, steps and other walking surfaces can be dangerous. People who negligently fail to remove snow and ice are responsible for injuries that happen to people who fall.
There are generally two types of snow plow driver cases:
- Cases against private snow removal companies; and
- Cases against municipal snow removal entities.
Private snow plow drivers are subject to different rules than municipal (city, town or New York State) snow plow drivers. Private snow plow drivers are not allowed to operate on public roadways or highways. Private snow plow drivers maintain parking lots, driveways and roads that are not public streets.
Cases against municipal snow plow drivers are very difficult to prove because Courts have ruled that you must show that a municipal snow plow driver was reckless to obtain compensation. The recklessness standard is a much higher standard to meet than the negligence standard.Why Do You Need a Buffalo, New York Snow Plow Injury Lawyer?
- You may be injured by slipping on snow that was not removed properly at your apartment complex;
- You may be injured by falling as a result of negligent snow plow operators failing to properly salt a parking lot or walkway at a department store;
- You may be injured by a snow plow operator driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- You may be injured by falling on snow that is not cleared from a private parking lot in a timely manner;
- You may be injured by a snow plow operator who was talking on their phone when their truck hit your car, SUV or other vehicle;
- You may be injured as a result of a slip and fall caused by snow or ice in a grocery store parking lot; or
- You may be injured by a negligent snow plow driver’s truck striking your car, SUV or other vehicle.
If you, or a loved one, were injured as a result of a negligent snow plow operator, please call us today at (716) 839-3939 for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!The Importance of Researching Snow Removal Contracts
Apartment complexes, condominiums, warehouses, hotels, office buildings, shopping malls and shopping plazas can be owned by individuals, companies or real estate investment trusts (REITS). These ownership companies are generally responsible for keeping their properties safe for their tenants, customers and the public at large.
Often, individual spaces within a larger property are leased or sold to tenants. Tenants also can be held accountable for negligently maintaining a property.
Property owners and tenants commonly enter into agreements, or written contracts, regarding who is responsible for snow and ice removal.
The parties responsible for snow and ice removal may then hire a third-party company, or an independent contractor, to remove the snow and the ice. Sometimes the property owner or the tenant enter into another agreement with a third-party, or independent, snow removal service company.
The property owner, the tenant and the snow removal service company could all be defendants in a slip and fall injury case in Buffalo, New York. Typically, these defendants argue between themselves concerning who will pay for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering as a result of a slip and fall on snow and ice. We will fight tooth and nail to obtain maximum compensation for you!
We will bring claims against every negligent defendant including:
- Property managers;
- Owners; and
In Espinal v. Melville Snow Contractors, Inc., the Court decided whether a snow plow driver has a legal duty to an injured person who slipped and fell on ice or snow. Jed Dietrich, Esq. and the top rated lawyers at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. are very familiar with the personal injury law regarding slip and fall cases as a result of negligent owners, tenants or independent contractors.
In the Espinal case, the plaintiff, Violeta Espinal slipped and fell at a business. The property owner entered into a snow removal contract with a third-party contractor, Melville Snow Contractors, Inc. Espinal claimed that she fell as a result of negligent snow removal at the parking lot.
The New York State Court of Appeals set forth three situations where a contracted third-party snow plow operator would be responsible for injuries:
- If a snow plow operator failed to exercise reasonable care while removing snow that launches a “force” or “instrument” of harm;
- If the plaintiff detrimentally relies on the continued removal of snow from the snow plow operator; or
- If the snow plow operator displaced the property owner’s duty to maintain the premises.
Reasonable care is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as “the degree of care shown by a person who is responsible and trustworthy.”
We will review your case and sue every negligent party on your behalf. Call Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his top rated team at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. to pursue your claim for injuries as a result of negligent snow removal.Actual and Constructive Notice
Property owners are required to clear walkways of ice, snow or debris in their parking areas, side walks and areas surrounding the doors into and out of their homes and businesses.
To obtain compensation, an injured person must prove that a defendant had actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition and that the defendant did not act with reasonable care to correct the dangerous condition.
An example of actual notice would be if a property owner calls a contractor to report that the property must be cleared of snow, ice and debris. In this example, the property owner gave actual notice to the snow plow operator through the phone call and therefore, the snow plow driver would have actual notice that there was a dangerous condition.
Constructive notice is notice that can be inferred through the circumstances.
Proving notice is essential to your case. Our top rated lawyers have significant experience with these types of cases and the difficulty of proving notice. Call us now at (716) 839-3939 so that we can fight to obtain maximum compensation for you.3 Most Frequently Asked Questions
- Who Pays for My Medical Costs and Lost Wages After a Slip and Fall?
- I Fell on Ice and Snow Outside of a Business. Who can I Sue?
- How Much is My Case Worth?
Who Pays for My Medical Costs and Lost Wages After a Slip and Fall?
Your medical treatment is usually paid by your own personal medical insurance company.
In some situations, property owners have insurance policies with medical pay provisions. Essentially, a medical pay provision means that in some cases your medical bills can be submitted directly to the property owner’s insurance company for prompt payment as the case proceeds. We will assist you in getting your medical bills paid.
Depending on the insurance policy that you have through work, you may qualify for New York State Short Term Disability or Long Term Disability to assist in paying you compensation shortly after you are deemed disabled by a doctor.
I Fell on Ice and Snow Outside of a Business. Who can I Sue?
In most instances, the owner of the property where you fell is liable for your injuries if the property was negligently maintained. In some other cases, the owner of the property may have agreed, through contracts, to have an individual tenant or a third-party company remove ice and snow. Those entities may also be sued to provide compensation to you if they were negligent.
It can be difficult to determine who is responsible for ice and snow removal; however, our top rated personal injury lawyers who focus on slip and fall cases because of negligent property owners will pursue every possible defendant.
How Much is My Case Worth?
Every case is unique. The following inquiries assist in determining how much a personal injury claim is worth:
- The extent of your injuries;
- The extent of your medical care;
- How much time you missed from work; and
- The impact that your fall has had on your daily activities.
Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at (716) 839-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Buffalo, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!