New Jersey Snow Plow Injury Attorneys

Helping Victims Sue for Snowplow Accidents in NJ

Snow Plow Injury Lawsuits in New Jersey

Anyone who lives in New Jersey can attest to the snowy and icy winters here every year. From December through February, snow can be in the forecast. The average snowfall in New Jersey is 23.1 inches. Snow is pretty to look at, but it can make roads hazardous. Whether sent by the local municipalities or under a private contractor, the snowplows are out before the snow has stopped. The plows must get ahead of the heavy snowfall in blizzard conditions to keep the roads clear.

Approximately 75% of the roads and highways in the United States are found in places with regular snowfalls of more than five inches. It is logical to consider that drivers nationwide will occasionally encounter snowplows and salt trucks. From 2017 to 2021, the Department of Transportation reported an average of 81 yearly snowplow accidents involving other vehicles. There were few casualties but several severe injuries and millions of dollars in damage. Snowplow drivers are on the road when the weather is at its worst; ice and snow can cause even the most expert drivers to lose control.

Accidents happen, but negligence shouldn’t. Snowplow operators and their employers must be accountable for injuries they cause. At Cohen & Riechelson, we fight for fair compensation in snow plow accident cases in Robbinsville, Lambertville, Princeton, Edison, Woodbridge, New Brunswick, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County, and throughout New Jersey. Contact us at (609) 528-2596 for a free consultation, and remember, you only pay if we win.

Snowplow Accident Causes and Their Aftermath

When plows hit other vehicles, it is for many reasons. Not following traffic signs or stoplights can cause an accident on the part of the snowplow or the other vehicle. When drivers attempt to pass a snowplow that is driving slowly, unsafe road conditions can cause an accident. Due to poor visibility or sudden stops on an icy road, sometimes a vehicle will rear-end a plow. If snowplow operators aren’t careful, they can push snow off a bridge or overpass and onto the traffic below. Poorly set blades can take out fire hydrants or damage cars parked on the side of the road.

Snowplow drivers are required to maintain a speed of 35 mph or less. Because of their weight and size, they pose a greater risk to other motorists than regular vehicles. Snowplows are on the roads when the weather is the nastiest. Visibility and driving conditions are treacherous. Long hours in blizzard conditions can cause fatigue in drivers who could make a careless mistake. They can become drowsy or inattentive and make a grave mistake. They were driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which is a date with disaster. Snowplow drivers need to be alert to do their job safely. Distracted driving is another factor. Talking or texting while driving is dangerous behavior for any motorist, let alone a 10-ton snowplow.

Like all vehicles, snowplows have blind spots, but operators have more to look out for as the snow is pushed off the road and onto the shoulder while checking their mirrors for nearby cars sharing the road. Faulty equipment can cause an accident: tires that don’t have enough tread, transmission issues, burned-out safety lights, bad breaks, and a damaged, bent, or broken plow should be repaired before going on the road. Lastly, inexperienced or untrained drivers contribute to snowplow accidents. Drivers must be aware of the safety regulations they must follow and have hours of supervised experience to keep everyone safe on the road.

What Injuries Can Be Caused By a Snow Plow Accident?

Snowplow accidents can cause various injuries, from mild to life-threatening. A snowplow can weigh more than 50,000 pounds, and even at slow speeds, it can do much damage. The 10-12-foot-long blades on the front of the plow can tear a car to shreds. The most serious injury a snowplow accident can cause is death. Fatal injuries caused when a snowplow crushes a vehicle or pushes it into another lane of traffic could cause an impact that is too severe to survive. Also, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause decreased motor or neurological function, which can be permanent.

Anytime someone is involved in a crash, spinal injuries are a possibility. A spinal cord injury can result in a loss of mobility with partial or total paralysis. Broken bones or crushed limbs can occur in motorists who have an accident involving a snowplow. Internal organ damage and internal bleeding are life-threatening injuries. Lacerations and embedded materials such as glass and metal can also cause injuries and scars that will last forever.

Handling Claims for Municipal Snowplow Accidents vs. Claims Against Private Snow Removal Companies

Municipal snowplow operators are generally exempt from a lawsuit. The Vehicle and Traffic Code Section 1103(b) states that an operator can only be sued if they recklessly operate the plow while actively working. It must be proven that they acted with blatant disregard for an obvious risk, knowing that harm was imminent.

Private companies are required to have commercial insurance to protect themselves from any injuries caused by one of their snowplows. Property owners hire private companies to remove snow in parking lots and loading areas. If one of their operators fails to use reasonable care, the private company and the driver can be held accountable. The difficulty is proving that the accident was caused by willfully disregarding safety regulations. For example, if a driver is told to stay on a rig several hours past their scheduled route and displays signs of intense fatigue, and the company supervisor requires them to keep driving, the company and the driver could be at fault.

What Legal Compensation Can You Recover After a Snowplow Accident in NJ?

Discover How Our Team of Lawyers Can Help You Recover Damages After a Snowplow Accident in NJ

Your personal injury claim could allow you to recover present and future lost wages, medical expenses, transportation to and from your doctor’s appointments, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. Any partial or total disabilities caused by the accident can be included in your claim. Payment can also be sought if you require assistance at home for daily tasks. In the case of an unfortunate wrongful death, future lost income and burial expenses can be gained.

Fight for Your Right to Compensation when Injured by Snow Plow in NJ with Help from Cohen & Riechelson

No one plans to have an accident, but some accidents can be avoided if the proper care is taken. Snowplow drivers have a difficult and dangerous job that can seriously harm others when negligence is a factor. Negligent snowplow drivers and the companies that hire them should be held accountable for their actions and the harm they cause.

At Cohen & Riechelson, we aim to help our clients recover the award they are entitled to. Medical bills, lost wages, and a long and painful recovery should be compensated. We know the financial strain you are under and will do everything we can to help. Our attorneys are seasoned professionals passionate about helping our clients get the relief they deserve for snow plow injuries in Hamilton, Ewing, Lawrence, Pennington, East Windsor, Trenton, and across New Jersey.

Call us risk-free for your consultation at (609) 528-2596 or you can contact us online.