Liability for Winter Weather Injuries: Can I File a Claim?

Winter weather will soon be here, and Rochester and other areas of upstate New York have already seen snow and dangerous conditions for driving and walking. If you are injured in an accident that results from winter weather, can you file a claim against another person or entity to seek compensation? In other words, can another party be liable for winter weather injuries? While there is not much we can do to prevent inclement conditions, motorists, property owners, and other parties owe a duty of care to others when it comes to safety and winter weather. Accordingly, it may be possible to work with a Rochester personal injury attorney to file a claim for a winter weather injury.

Motorists on the Roads

When drivers get on the road, they owe a duty of care to other motorists, as well as to motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Indeed, drivers must behave in a manner that a reasonable person would consider appropriate. When inclement weather strikes, drivers have a duty to behave accordingly. In other words, if there is snow or ice, drivers must take appropriate precautions. In many cases, this means slowing down to a speed that is well below the speed limit, or leaving a significantly larger following distance. If an accident happens during wintry weather, even if a driver is traveling within the posted speed limit, that driver may be liable.

Property Owners, Renters, and Managers

Property owners, including residential property owners and commercial property owners, can be liable for winter weather injuries that occur on their property. Other parties like tenants and managers can also be responsible in some cases. Property owners have a duty to ensure that their premises are reasonably safe and do not pose unreasonable hazards. Thus if a property owner fails to remove ice from a walkway, for example, and a person slips and falls, that property owner may be responsible. A Rochester injury lawyer can assess your case and discuss your options for filing a claim against a property owner.

Construction Site Employers

Winter weather can also wreak havoc on outdoor construction sites, and employers need to consider construction worker safety issues that may arise as a result of inclement conditions. New York is distinct from most other states in that it allows injured construction workers to sue employers for injuries resulting from negligence under New York Labor Law. If you were injured while working on a construction site because of your employer’s failure to take winter weather safety protocols into account, you should seek advice from a Rochester construction accident lawyer about your eligibility to file a claim under New York Labor Law. Even if you ultimately cannot seek compensation through a lawsuit, you may certainly be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Contact a Rochester Personal Injury Attorney

If you have questions about filing a personal injury claim after sustaining a winter weather injury, you should seek advice from one of our upstate New York personal injury attorneys. You may be able to file a claim for financial compensation. Contact King Law today for more information.


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