At Levin & Malkin, our car accident attorneys are knowledgeable and responsive. We have won millions of dollars for clients throughout New Jersey and New York who have suffered serious injuries due to another driver’s negligence. When the other driver was driving recklessly during inclement weather, we find his/her behavior all the more egregious and are doubly committed to making sure that victims receive just compensation. If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in an inclement weather accident, do yourself a favor and contact us for a free consultation. If we determine that you have a viable case, we are well-prepared to fight in and/or out of court to get you every dollar you deserve.
How Risk-Taking Drivers Contribute to an Inclement Weather Accident
Everyone is aware that bad weather conditions increase the risk of traffic accidents, but not everyone adjusts their speed and level of caution to accommodate altered surfaces and decreased visibility. Though the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that 21 percent of road accidents are weather-related, you may have noticed one or more reckless drivers speeding through blizzards or weaving across lanes obscured by fog. While some weather accidents may be unavoidable, the majority involve some element of driver fault.
Most drivers do drive with extra care when driving during hazardous conditions, but there are always some drivers who flaunt their incaution by:
- Failing to put on their lights during the daytime
- Passing other vehicles with inadequate room to do so
- Refusing to eliminate distractions like telephone conversations or even texting
- Not paying attention to traffic signals or signs
It is no surprise to find that intoxicated or drug-impaired drivers show no better judgment in bad weather than they do in good weather — only now, of course, their behavior is all the more dangerous.
Types of Inclement Weather
It is not always possible to avoid driving in bad weather conditions. Beyond necessities like getting to work (especially urgent for first responders and essential workers) or picking up necessities, many drivers are caught by unexpected bad or worsening weather while already on the road without a place to stop safely. Inclement weather they may confront includes:
- Rain and thunderstorms — Though common in the summer, sudden downpours and local thunderstorms can crop up at any time of the year, making driving extremely dangerous, even if only for a short time. Not only can slippery road surfaces result in sliding or even hydroplaning, but sudden flooding can also cause brakes to fail or even result in setting cars afloat.
- Fog — The calm, quiet demeanor of fog hides many dangers. Dense fog can not only camouflage obstructions and blur side streets and forks in the road, but it can also lessen visibility to the point of blindness. The inability to make out road dividers, curbs and other vehicles exponentially increases the possibility of accidents.
- Snow — The more rapidly snow accumulates, the more it impedes traction and visibility. During blizzards, windshield wipers and plows are insufficient; lane markers and road signs are soon obscured, and even traffic signals become dim. Moderate snows can also be very dangerous, especially when drivers underestimate their ability to endanger lives.
- Ice — Ice is difficult to contend with while driving, whether it appears as hail during a summer storm or sleet in the winter. Not only is ice slippery on the road surface, but it can also overcome defrosters and even crack or break windshields.
- Hurricanes and Nor’easters — Rain and high winds combine to endanger drivers by flooding roadways, blowing debris and even vehicles, downing power lines, and cutting power to streetlights.
- Wildfires — Wildfires are not confined to the West Coast. Every year they occur in New Jersey and New York as well, their heavy smoke impairing driver vision and breathing, their rapid spread forcing roadways to close and traffic to build as individuals and families flee the hazards. The winds that fuel such fires also down power lines, causing blackouts, and blowing fire, smoke and debris across roadways. Though whether wildfires fit into the category of “weather” is debatable, their power to cause accidents is not.
Weather-related accidents also occur due to leftover hazards, such as “black ice,” deep potholes, and even wet leaves. Even severe sun glare is the cause of some serious accidents.
Levin & Malkin Will Fight Aggressively to Win You the Damages
Our skilled traffic attorneys are well aware of how traumatic incurring a serious injury can be. Whether you have suffered a severe fracture, a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, a burn, or some other awful injury, we know how many punishing consequences there are. Not only are you unable to work, in terrible physical pain, and experiencing unbelievable emotional distress, you are likely financially strung out. For this reason, Levin & Malkin will not charge you any attorneys’ fees until we win your case.
Our talented attorneys have a track record of success and are eager to obtain damages that will give you and your family a fresh start, including monetary compensation for:
- Loss of income, now and in the future
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Property damage
- Psychological counseling
- Prolonged nursing care
- Household or childcare replacement services
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Scarring or other permanent disfigurements
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If your family has borne the misery of losing a loved one in an inclement weather accident, we will fight hard to bring you some measure of justice by providing you with funds for final medical costs, funeral expenses, lost financial support, and loss of companionship.
What if I was partly to blame for the accident?
It is by no means unusual for both parties to bear some responsibility for a bad weather accident. If this is true in your case, Levin & Malkin can still win you substantial compensation under New Jersey’s “modified comparative fault” policy. According to the modified comparative fault principle, the court will assign a percentage of fault to each driver, and as long as you are not deemed more than 50 percent at fault for your own injuries, we will be able to obtain damages.
The amount of the awarded settlement will simply be adjusted to mirror your portion of the blame. So, if you are found to be 20 percent responsible and you are awarded $100,000 in damages, you will actually receive $80,000 — $100,000 minus 20 percent.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Inclement Weather Accident Today
The sooner you call Levin & Malkin, the sooner we will take up your cause. We have the skill set to win you the resources you need to restart your life with comfort and security.