Massachusetts police sent out a flurry of messages reminding motorists to drive cautiously and reduce speed on snowy roads. Several accidents have been reported over the past few days in the Canton area all the way to Boston. One trucker lost control of the vehicle and went off the road, while another tractor-trailer lost most of its cargo bringing traffic on Interstate 495 to a standstill.
If you were recently involved in an accident on icy roads, you should contact a seasoned Canton car accident lawyer. You may be able to file a claim for reckless driving even if the other driver was not above the speed limit.
Is there a different speed limit in winter?
Most motorists know the speed limit on the road they take each day to go to work. However, you should keep in mind that what you know refers to fair weather. On a warm summer day when the roads are perfectly dry, you may go at 60 or 80 mph without a worry. This does not apply in winter though. In inclement weather, drivers are required to operate their vehicles at a “proper and reasonable” speed.
Under Massachusetts General Laws Title XIV, drivers must reduce the speed “when a special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic, or by reason of weather or highway conditions”.
This may be a bit confusing as drivers will have to figure out on their own what speed is reasonable if the wet snow is packed into ice.
On the Massachusetts Turnpike, drivers are accustomed to seeing lower speed limits posted during episodes of bad weather. That doesn’t happen on other roads as local authorities do not have the legal right to impose lower speed limits. Bottom line, you decide what is reasonable.
How do weather and speed play into a personal injury claim?
All personal injury claims focus on negligence. If you were injured in a car accident, your lawyers will have to prove that the other driver was guilty of negligence. Speeding is a form of reckless driving and constitutes negligence.
If your accident happened on a snowy or icy road, your lawyers will want to know what speed the other car had. According to the law, a driver can be accused of speeding even if they were below the legal limit, but were still going too fast given the road conditions.
In case of an accident, you must call the police right away. The police report will be crucial in your personal injury claim. You should also try to get the testimony of any witnesses. Make sure to get their names and phone numbers so your lawyers can talk to them.
Have you been injured in a crash caused by bad weather?
Don’t waste any time and contact a reliable attorney at the Neumann Law Group. Our attorneys have many years of experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases, in all types of car accidents. Through our dedicated representation of car accident victims and their families, we will help you win the damages you are entitled to. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our toll-free number at 800-525-6386.