Snow plows play a critical role in keeping our community safe. Without plows driving clearing the road of snow and laying down sand or salt, more people would spin out and crash their vehicles. The number of people injured every winter would climb dramatically.
Unfortunately, plows themselves sometimes cause accidents. Virtually everyone has seen an aggressive snowplow driver going much too fast or hugging the center of the road. These are big trucks, and the plows often extend too far into adjacent lanes. Although we appreciate the work plow drivers perform, the fact is that they are sometimes to blame when they crash or cause another vehicle to swerve off the road.
At Groth & Associates, our Toledo snow plow accident lawyers have years of experience helping people who are clipped, crunched, or nailed by a snow plow. For more information, please contact us today.
Snow and ice are not the only hazards on the roads. Sometimes, a negligent or reckless snowplow driver can cause a collision or other accident. At Groth & Associates, our lawyers are aware of many different types of accidents, include:
- Rear-end collisions. A plow moving much too face can slam into a vehicle in front of it.
- Head-on collisions. Plow drivers can slam into the front of another car, especially with the plow that often hangs into adjoining lanes.
- Hitting parked cars. A plow might scrape along the side of a parked vehicle and tear off the side mirror. Anyone seated in the car can suffer a serious injury. These types of crashes are common in parking lots as well.
- Forcing vehicles off the road. Sometimes a plow is so far in your lane that all you can do is take your chances by pulling into a ditch or off the highway.
- Pedestrian crashes. Snowplows can also strike pedestrians, especially when they are clearing parking lots and the downtown area. A pedestrian who is clipped could be seriously injured.
Plow drivers have difficult jobs. Still, they must operate their vehicles with sufficient care. Some drive recklessly because they feel that having the plow gives them a right to go anywhere they want on the road. Others are simply not paying close enough attention. For example, many roads are deserted during a storm, and the plow driver might be surprised to come along another vehicle out and about in the snowy conditions.
Other drivers are fatigued after working too many hours, or they have used drugs or alcohol for stimulation or relaxation. An impaired plow driver is just as dangerous as any other impaired motorist on the road.
For a free legal consultation with a snowplow accident lawyer serving Toledo, call (419) 930-3030
SNOWPLOWS: WHO OWNS & OPERATES THEM
After a big storm, Toledo residents can see countless snowplows around the city cleaning off streets and parking lots. It’s a mistake to assume that all plows are owned and operated by the government. Some are actually owned by private businesses.
To make a case for compensation, our team needs to understand who owns and/or operates the truck that caused your collision. There are several options:
- Private contractors
- The city of Toledo
- The Ohio Department of Transportation
Suing a private contract for injuries is different than suing a government agency, such as the city or county. For this reason, our lawyers do a “deep dive” into every case to fully understand the different parties involved in a wreck.
Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me (419) 930-3030
WHAT TO DO AFTER A SNOW PLOW ACCIDENT
Getting struck by a snowplow can be a difficult experience. Some plow drivers might not even stop (though they should). To protect your rights, you should do the following:
- Get the driver’s information (if the driver stops). We need things like names, contact information, etc. If the plow is owned by a private company, we need the name and contact information for the company as well.
- Write down a description of the plow truck. License plate number, company name, etc. Anything that helps us identify the plow, which is critical if the driver does not stop after the wreck.
- Document the location and time/date of the crash. We can often track down the plow driver who is to blame if he or she does not stop by knowing where it happened. For example, private businesses usually hire only one snow removal company to clean their parking lots.
- Call the police. In a blizzard, an officer might not come out. But you still need to report the accident as soon as possible. You will want a police report.
We also encourage you to seek prompt medical care for your injuries. Prompt care allows accident victims to make the most progress toward a full recovery. You should also hold onto all medical bills, drug receipts, and other information that shows the full cost of a treatment since you can seek compensation for these medical expenses.
SUING THE GOVERNMENT
As mentioned above, it matters who owned and/or operated the plow that hit you. This is why an attorney must fully investigate a claim before bringing a lawsuit for compensation. Seeking compensation from a private business is different than seeking it from the government.
When a government plow hits you or forces you from the road, we need to analyze whether you can bring a claim. Generally, the state and its departments are immune from lawsuits. But Ohio law makes exceptions in many situations.
If a privately-owned plow struck you, we can proceed to negotiate a settlement without any impediments. Private businesses should have sufficient liability insurance to cover our clients’ losses, including lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
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WRONGFUL DEATH & TOLEDO SNOW PLOW ACCIDENTS
The Toledo area has seen several fatal crashes involving motorists and snowplows recently. These tragic accidents leave family members behind to grieve and grapple with their future. Fortunately, Ohio law allows many surviving family members to receive compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.
At Groth & Associates, we have ample experience bringing a wrongful death claim on behalf of family members. We can obtain money to make up for lost income, medical care, and other losses.
CONTACT US TODAY
To speak with a Toledo snowplow accident lawyer, call Groth & Associates to schedule a free consultation. Avoid delay.