Winter Creates Hazardous Driving Conditions in Massachusetts | How to Determine if you Have a Personal Injury Claim

Harsh winters with plenty of snow, freezing cold temperatures and dangerous road conditions are not uncommon in Massachusetts. The weather predictions of extreme cold and snow will certainly make the roads and highways very hazardous. The unsafe driving conditions often result in car accidents that injure many, many people in Massachusetts as you will see from the statistics below.

If you are injured in a car accident that was caused by another person’s negligent driving in the snow and ice, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for your injuries and losses. One way to be certain if you have a valid legal claim for compensation for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident is to speak with an experienced, qualified Massachusetts personal injury attorney.  

Alarming Statistics of Weather-Related Car Crashes

It should come as no surprise that the winter weather in Massachusetts is a major contributor to serious accidents and injuries. The snow we get every year along with the freezing cold temperatures cause road conditions to be very dangerous. These dangerous conditions can cause drivers to skid out, lose control of their vehicles and crash into other, unsuspecting drivers.

Each year twenty-four percent of weather-related car crashes happen on snowy, slushy or icy pavement according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The winters in Massachusetts typically cause these types of dangerous driving conditions. Approximately 900 people are fatally injured and well over 70,000 people are seriously hurt in car crashes during snowfall. The U.S. DOT also reported that over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement annually.

If you are unfortunately injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver in the snowy, icy driving conditions, you can seek financial compensation for your injuries and losses suffered. Below are some factors to consider in determining if you have a personal injury claim after an accident.

Personal Injury Claims From Motor Vehicle Accidents  

To seek compensation for injuries suffered in a car crash, you can file a personal injury claim or bodily injury claim with the other driver’s auto insurance company. In the injury claim, you as the injured person must establish that the other driver was negligent and that his or her negligence was the cause of the accident and your injuries. 

Determining Liability

Negligence is what determines liability in a motor vehicle accident case. Under Massachusetts law negligence is the failure of a responsible person to exercise that degree of care and/or vigilance, which a reasonably prudent person of ordinary caution ought to exercise under the particular circumstances. With respect to motor vehicle cases, Massachusetts law requires motorists using the roads of the Commonwealth to use reasonable care for their own safety and for the safety of other motorists. In other words, an operator of a motor vehicle must exercise reasonable care under the circumstances.  The particular circumstances depend on the facts of the case or accident.

With car accidents that occur in the snow and ice, negligence is determined by considering how a driver operated his or her car in those conditions. For example, if a driver drove at speeds that were considered unsafe given the snowy or icy road conditions and they skid out and crash into another car, they would most likely be found negligent.

If an injured person is successful in proving that the other driver was negligent, he or she would be entitled to recover financial compensation for the injuries and losses suffered in the accident.

Assessing Damages

The next step in a personal injury claim from a car accident is to assess your damages. Generally, the purpose of the law in Massachusetts in awarding damages is to compensate an injured person for the losses incurred because of another's negligent conduct. The goal is to try to restore the person to the position he would have been in had the accident not occurred. Damages are to be awarded to the plaintiff as fair and reasonable compensation for the legal wrong done to him by the defendant.

In your personal injury claim, you would be entitled to be compensated for those expenses which were reasonable and necessary for his medical treatment and care. Essentially, these expenses are the cost of medical treatment for injuries suffered in the accident.  Likewise, you would also be entitled to compensation for the loss of your earning capacity caused by the accident and injures. These types of damages are more commonly referred to as lost wages, both past and future. Additionally, you may receive reasonable compensation for the pain and suffering endured which resulted from the accident and your injuries.

The above is just a brief summary of a some types of damages recoverable in a personal injury claim. There are other types of damages, but they would depend on the facts and circumstances of your case.

Here's How to Know if You Have a Personal Injury Claim

In order to be certain that you have a valid personal injury claim or case from a car accident, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Massachusetts. An attorney who is qualified and experienced in handling personal injury cases will be able to properly evaluate your situation and advise you whether you have a claim or not. Furthermore, an experienced lawyer will know what type of damages you are entitled to and how to go about obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Do not rely on the insurance companies to tell you whether you have a claim or not or what type of compensation you can seek. The insurance companies and their adjusters are concerned with themselves. While they may seem like they are trying to help you, their loyalty is to the insurance company and saving them money. So, do yourself a favor and speak with a personal injury lawyer.

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