The winter months bring heavy snowfall, but life does not pause. Pennsylvanians still need to go to school, work and to appointments, among other things. With that in mind, snowplows come out to clear the roads. All this can translate into a higher chance of accidents between vehicles and snowplows.
Consider a recent case where a Pennsylvania man was killed by a city snowplow as he was outside using a snowblower after 3 feet of snow had arrived overnight. The plow hit him as it was backing up the street. The man died at the scene. Or another crash involving a plow and a local driver in the middle of an intersection.
Snowplow accidents during the winter are not unusual. These accidents are very distressing for those involved. Many can result in severe injuries and even death.
Many drivers and/or pedestrians do not realize that due to their limited field of vision, the space directly behind the plow is a blind spot. Never assume that the snowplow driver can see you.
It is not always the snowplow driver that is at fault in a crash. When traveling near or behind a snowplow, it is best not to attempt to pass it. Stay at least three car lengths behind a snowplow.
If the at-fault party in the accident is a government-owned snowplow, things get complicated and confusing due to the legal doctrine of "governmental immunity." In such cases, the injured party must notify the government agency responsible within six months of the injury. If notice is not provided within that timeframe, any lawsuit is barred.
Additionally, the injured or deceased plaintiff's estate must prove one of the following: permanent loss of a bodily function, death, permanent disfigurement or permanent dismemberment where medical/dental expenses are greater than $1,500.
This does not mean that government entities can escape being held responsible if negligence is proven. It is not easy to prove, however. Your best option is to connect with Melaragno, Placidi & Parini to determine your legal rights in this kind of situation.
If you or a loved one were injured or died in a snowplow accident, speak to an experienced snowplow accident attorney at Melaragno, Placidi & Parini as soon as possible. Time is of the essence in such cases and if you need help seeking compensation, having legal counsel in your corner is your best bet for success.