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Who's At Fault If Ice Or Snow Causes A New Hampshire Car Accident?

winter scene of two cars on a city road as it snows

Most people who live or work in New Hampshire have developed keen winter-weather driving skills, but even the best motorist can be caught off-guard by black ice or hit by a distracted driver.

When the weather is a crash factor, who pays for car accident injuries and damages? In New Hampshire, there are a lot of people asking this question.

Last month, New Hampshire suffered dozens of serious weather-related fatal car accidents. A Christmas morning "pileup" was caused by "flash freezing." The accident on I-95 near the Massachusetts border involved about 15 vehicles, Nashua Police say.

Just days earlier (Dec. 22), freezing rain led to New Hampshire State Police addressing 30 crashes within a span of 5 hours.

In the winter, serious and fatal car accident risks are augmented by the environment. Snow and ice reduce braking, maneuvering, and visibility in addition to other driving challenges. Bad weather, however, is no excuse or defense for a crash. Negligent drivers who cause serious car or truck accidents are still liable for damages.

Who Is Liable In A Snow Or Ice Car Accident?

Some accident victims mistakenly think that if weather conditions played a role in their crash, they cannot file an injury claim.

The truth is that everyone who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle has the legal responsibility to operate it safely in present conditions. If they don't, then they have to compensate their victims for injuries and other losses. For example, if the driver who hit you was driving too fast for the conditions or following too closely given that the road was slippery, you have grounds for a claim.

Common Snow And Ice Accident Injuries

While every accident is different, there are some injuries that are more often associated with snow and ice crashes than others. Frequent snow and ice car accident injuries include:

  • Broken bones - Because vehicles have more difficulty braking on slippery surfaces, speed is often a factor in winter-weather crashes that magnifies injuries. Broken or fractured bones in a crash are often in the arms, legs, fingers, back and spine, hips, chest, ribs, and skull.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs) - SCIs can cause life-long damage, including partial or complete paralysis below the location of the injury.
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) - Injuries to soft and connective tissues or muscles.
  • Joint damage - Knees, wrists, shoulders, hips, and ankles can be severely damaged in a crash.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) - This includes concussions as well as more serious brain injuries, but even a "mild" traumatic brain injury can have serious consequences.

Protecting Victims' Rights

For more than a century, people injured in New Hampshire accidents have turned to Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin, PA. for help, including in winter weather accidents. When an accident turns fatal, we work with families to build strong wrongful death lawsuits.

Our established personal injury practice is one of the oldest law firms in the state. We serve all of New Hampshire, including Brentwood, Concord, Dover, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a winter-weather-related or another type of car accident, contact us to schedule a free case consultation. There is no obligation.

Do not talk with an insurance adjuster and do not accept a settlement offer until you have consulted with an attorney. Call, email, or chat online with a member of our legal team to schedule a free case evaluation right now.

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