cars driving on snow covered road

Even the most careful driver can have a car accident in winter. Limited visibility, icy roads, and careless fellow drivers can all contribute to a winter driving mishap—and all those things are out of your control. To feel safer and minimize your risk of more serious damage to yourself, your passengers, or your automobile, remember these six steps that are within your control.

1. Move to a Safe Place

If you’re able to move your car, get it out of the paths of other vehicles. If not, get yourself and your passengers out of the car. Especially in snow-related car accidents, other vehicles could slide and skid into your automobile, turning a minor accident into something more serious.

2. Call 911 and/or Contact the Police

Once you’re out of harm’s way, get immediate medical attention for anyone injured in the accident. It’s a good idea to file a police report to document the details in the moment in case you have trouble recalling details in the future. Stay calm, don’t speculate, and avoid placing nor assuming blame. Stick to the facts.

3. Write Down the Information

Write down the information of the other driver or drivers, including their names, addresses, phone numbers, drivers’ license numbers, and insurance information. Look around for any witnesses and get their contact information, too.

4. Preserve the Evidence

That cell phone in your purse or back pocket can come in handy here. Take pictures of your injuries, damage to your car, the accident scene, any poor road conditions, limited sight lines, or covered road signs—anything that may have contributed to the accident.

5. Call Your Insurance Company

Report the accident to your insurance company but don’t consent to a recorded statement.

Don’t talk to the insurance companies of the other drivers involved. Leave that to your insurance company or attorney.

6. Contact an Auto Accident Attorney

Car accidents aren’t everyday occurrences for any of us, so knowing how to handle one when the pressure is on is tough under any circumstance. They’re even more difficult to handle if you or a passenger is injured. Calling on an experienced attorney will go a long way to helping you cope with the issues that may result from a winter driving accident. An attorney who is skilled in handling auto accident-related claims won’t let an insurance company take advantage of you. If you must deal with chronic pain, lost time at work, or medical bills, you deserve to be compensated.

If you need an auto accident attorney in Maryland, call the Law Office of Arthur Crum.

He is a Maryland attorney who represents individuals who have been injured due to vehicle accidents (including car, motorcycle, and commercial truck accidents). If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you can count on us to work hard to obtain you all the benefits and compensation you are entitled to recover under the law.

There are approximately 6 million car accidents  every year, and while most of these are not fatal, many do result in personal injury and vehicular damage. If it happens to you during this winter driving season, follow these steps and remember: you can reach out by phone or email to get the legal help you need from the Law Offices of Arthur Crum.

injured worker getting hand wrapped

Were you injured at work?

When you need workman’s comp attorneys you can trust, Arthur Crum will help you navigate Maryland workman’s comp laws. Here are the details you need to know about workman’s comp from the firm where the client is always our first priority.

What is Workman’s Comp in Maryland?

In Maryland, workman’s compensation covers work-related illnesses and injuries that happen while on the job. It is a type of no-fault insurance that employers carry. If you suffer a workplace injury, you are entitled to:

  • Two-thirds of your lost wages
  • Disability benefits
  • Doctor’s visits, treatments, and prescriptions
  • Any ER trips or hospitalization
  • Necessary surgical procedures
  • Physical therapy
  • Equipment for physical assistance
  • Modifications to your home
  • Some vocational training

According to workers’ comp in Maryland, you are entitled to death benefits if someone dies due to a work-related injury or illness.

Who Carries Workman’s Comp Insurance?

Maryland law requires businesses with one full- or part-time employee to carry workers’ comp insurance. Agricultural companies with less than three employees and a payroll of less than $15,000 per year are exempt.

To file a claim, you do not have to prove employer negligence, and laws are in place to protect you from retaliation. Businesses that do not carry the required coverage can be fined up to $10,000. If your boss tries to deduct any of these costs from your paycheck, it’s a misdemeanor.

How do I Know if I’m Eligible?

You are not eligible for benefits if you are:

  • An independent contractor
  • A business partner
  • A sole proprietor

You must be an employee that works for someone else. You are an employee if your boss:

  • Pays you a salary, whether hourly, weekly, or monthly
  • Schedules your working hours
  • Informs you of when you can take lunch and breaks
  • Provides the tools you need to do your job
  • Directly supervises your work
  • Pays for work or travel expenses
  • Provides employee benefits, like PTO days

What Claims Might be Denied?

Your place of business may fight or deny your Maryland claim if your situation:

  • Is not work-related
  • Was self-inflicted
  • Happened while you were impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Happened while you were involved in illegal activities
  • You have a pre-existing medical condition that brought this on

Denied claims can be appealed with the help of your attorney through an MWCC hearing, the Maryland Circuit Court, or the Maryland Appellate Court.

How do I Report a Claim?

Here are the steps you need to take immediately if you or someone you love is injured at work.

  • In writing, report it immediately at work, and provide proof (like a medical report or photos). Although you have ten days to tell your employer, do not delay.
  • All illnesses due to working conditions or hazards must be reported within one year. Again, this is not something you should delay. Report it to your workers’ comp representative as soon as possible.
  • Make sure an Employer’s First Report of Injury form is submitted on the MWCC website by your place of business.
  • Seek immediate medical treatment. Ask for documentation from your doctor or healthcare provider. Follow all advice and plans of treatment without fail. If you are given a prescription for medication, take it only as prescribed.
  • Fill out and then submit the Employee Claim Form C-1 on the MWCC website. Ask that a hard copy be mailed upon receipt. You have 60 days to complete this, yet time is of the essence, so please complete it as soon as possible.

With FREE initial consultations, it’s worth the call to Arthur Crum, who will work hard to ensure you’re compensated. He is the personal injury attorney in Frederick, MD, whom you can trust. Make the call!

Lawyer writing at desk

 

It’s hard enough to cope with being in a car accident. Dealing with an insurance claims adjuster who sees you as just another case number is an additional stressor you don’t need. Not everyone understands the ins and outs of dealing with auto insurance adjusters. How do you navigate the claim and settlement process? If you need a Maryland auto accident attorney, the Law Office of Arthur Crum is here to help you step by step and also to help you determine when it’s time to have a car accident lawyer by your side.

Start the Claim Process ASAP   

After you contact first responders and let loved ones know you’re okay, your next call should be to your insurance agent. Start the claim process as soon as possible. The sooner you recount the events, the better your memory of all the details. 

Detail Everything

Write down everything while it’s fresh. Take photos of the accident scene if possible. Exchange information with the other parties and witnesses. This also includes keeping accurate records of hospital visits, doctor bills, car repairs, police reports, and additional pertinent information. It may help to file it in chronological order rather than group it by category. That way, when you need something from a specific date, you can have it in hand quickly. 

A Fair Settlement

Calculating a fair settlement isn’t a guessing game. When finding an accurate figure, you should account for:

  • Medical care and related expenses
  • Any income lost due to injuries 
  • Long-term medical care or loss of employment due to disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Repairs to or replacement of your vehicle

This is a good starting point for a ballpark estimate: a minimum acceptable amount. 

Detailed Demand Letter

After you add up a fair settlement amount, it’s time to send your insurance company a demand letter. You should include:

  • Description of the accident
  • Details of your injuries
  • Medical treatment received
  • Ongoing health issues as a result
  • Vehicle damage
  • Losses incurred as a result
  • The total amount you find acceptable

They will likely reply with an offer lower than the requested amount, so consider adding 25 to 100% more in your demand letter. Again, this is why it is crucial to keep detailed records of everything. No evidence can leave you with less money in your pocket when you deserve more. 

Never Accept the First Offer

Your insurance company’s priority is not looking out for your best interests. They are in the business to maximize profits. 

When you first receive an offer, it may be low. That’s a tactic to see how quickly you will settle and if you honestly understand what your claim is possibly worth. Ask for specific reasoning behind every dollar offered. Do not propose a lower figure from your original ask. Wait for the insurance company to counter. 

Stay Focused

Remember to always emphasize the points in your favor when communicating with your adjuster. Be focused on what’s essential. Talk about your quality of life, how your finances have suffered, what this means for you work-wise due to a loss of transportation, and how this impacts your family. Make it clear that you expect to be compensated fairly. 

Always Get it in Writing

Always, always, always take detailed notes about your conversations with your insurance company. Get all settlement offers in writing. If you reach an agreement, ensure all dates and dollar amounts are in the contract and signed by the relevant parties.

If you find at any time that you are not making progress with your claim or your insurance adjuster is less than sympathetic and not taking you seriously, it’s time to contact the office of Arthur Crum. We have championed the rights of individuals in Western and Central Maryland who have been injured to ensure they are compensated. Our client is always our first priority. Let us help you maximize your case’s outcome. Contact us today! 

small car accident with victim speaking to police officers

Car accidents: they can happen in the blink of an eye. Once the shock wears off, witnessing one can leave you with questions. That’s why the Law Office of Arthur Crum, PA, has put together a list of the dos and don’ts you need to know before you become a traffic accident witness.

Do

Ensure Your Safety First: Stay calm, remain cool, and collect yourself before responding. If able, immediately pull over to the side of the road and attempt to keep a 100-foot distance between you and the accident scene, then turn on your hazard lights. Keep your vehicle clear of inbound traffic, broken glass, fuel leaks, and flames.

Call 911: Call first responders immediately. Never assume someone else will. Even if a crash looks like a minor fender bender, always confirm what you saw. Some states require witnesses to pull over and report, so know the laws concerning car accident witnesses in your area.

Check on All Victims: Once you and your automobile are safe and have alerted the police, check crash victims’ conditions. Make sure that they are safe and help if able. Although this can be a heated or emotional moment for those involved, remember you are a witness who needs to stick to the facts of what you observed. Do not assess blame on anyone nor pass judgment.

Stabilize Vehicles and Victims: If a vehicle fire is imminent, help drivers and passengers to safety. Otherwise, do not move injured parties. Although you may want to rush to help, you could unintentionally make their injury worse. Let the medical professionals do their job. Comfort and reassure those hurt that help is coming.

Provide a Statement and Contact Information: Give the authorities all relevant facts and contact information. You may be asked down the road for more details or to be a source for insurance agents, medical claims, or the authorities. Always be honest and factual, and stay consistent with your account.

Don’t

Rush Onto the Scene: Being cautious is critical. Although you may want to leap into action to help, be careful. The last thing you want is to become an additional victim when paramedics arrive.

Fear Liability: Many states across the US, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and the city of Washington, DC, have Good Samaritan laws in place. If responders are delayed, and someone urgently needs help, you are not liable for civil damages for giving emergency aid in good faith.

Allow Drivers to Leave the Scene Early: There’s no need to get your security guard skills ready and restrain anyone, yet ensuring information is exchanged between parties before anyone leaves the scene is vital. Jot down license plates, and remind people of the consequences of going before the authorities arrive.

Chase Hit-and-Run Drivers: If you witnessed a hit-and-run, your account of what happened is crucial. You may have seen a detail, big or small, that can help crack the case. Rather than chase the offender down, write down every fresh fact and check on the victims.

Ignore a Court Subpoena: If a judge orders you to testify, show up promptly on the assigned date and time. Failing to do so is against the law, meaning you could be held in contempt. Never risk jail time and always appear when ordered by the court.

Be Afraid to Contact an Attorney: If you witnessed a horrific accident and are concerned about your role in helping victims or what it means to be called to testify, give us a call. Our office is here to help with concerns and questions you may have during the legal process.

Clients are always our first priority. That’s why your initial consultation is free, and there are no legal fees or costs until Arthur Crum recovers for you.

yellow wet floor sign

Employee safety is paramount no matter the time of year. Yet summertime presents its own unique challenges, like scorching temperatures, busy construction schedules, and occasional torrential summer storms. The best way to prevent mishaps is to mitigate the risk before they happen. That’s why this is a great time to evaluate safety measures and hazards in the workplace. Here are the 5 most common work injuries that can happen during the year’s warmest months.

Dehydration

Employees working outdoors on the hottest days must consume large amounts of water to stay hydrated. Failure to do so can lead to exhaustion, nausea, and lightheadedness: all symptoms of being dehydrated. Access to fresh water and frequent breaks to cool off are critical to staying healthy.

Heatstroke

Hyperthermia is the medical term for heatstroke. Not only can it be fatal, but it is also one of the most common workers’ compensation claims during summer. Hot environments, lack of sufficient water breaks, and limited shade from the sun can cause increased heart rates, fevers, and the inability to sweat. Water breaks and time away from direct sunlight are critical to prevent overheating.

Traffic-Induced Injuries

Road trips, day trips, and those long-planned getaways mean more people travel. Summer also means an uptick in outdoor construction and road projects. Commercial and residential construction happens at a more rampant pace, and more workers and autos share the road. Tight deadlines for clients and heavy traffic mean an increase in potential accidents. Ensure proper signage is bright, visible, and predominantly posted in these areas––always. Also, traffic control teams are critical. Their direction and communication keep traffic flowing, controlled, and help prevent injuries for motorists and those putting in a hard day’s work.

Slips and Falls

Slips and falls can happen anywhere and anytime yet seem to increase during warm-weather jobs. Humid, muggy climates mean more water accumulation in the air. Rainy weather can make uneven ground and outdoor surfaces slippery. Wearing non-slip footwear can help prevent dangerous slips and falls.

Cancer

Wearing sunblock matters. It can be easy to forget when you go for a quick walk with the dog or just want to do a little bit of weeding in the garden. When you work outdoors, it’s easy to take using sunscreen for granted, especially when you think a nice base tan is all you need to keep your skin safe. Not using SPF when you’re outside for long durations can lead to sunburns and an increased risk of skin cancer.

 

Our firm wants you to stay safe year-round. If any of these issues happen to you on the job this summer, it’s crucial to take action. Filling out workers’ compensation claims is not an easy process. If you’re injured on the job, always begin by filling out an incident report and advising your supervisor immediately. Never wait to see if it “just gets better on its own.” These are time-sensitive claims. After you’ve filed and sought appropriate medical treatment, the next call should be to the Law Office of Arthur Crum, PA, for a free, no-obligation consultation.

damaged front end of a car

A hit-and-run accident is one of the most aggravating types you’ll ever encounter. You have damages to your car, possible injuries, and no one to hold responsible for the incident. If you’re lucky, you may have been able to grab the other vehicle’s license plate number. Usually, however, the other car speeds off before you can write it down. You may think an attorney can’t help you following these crashes, but the truth is that calling a lawyer after a hit-and-run will help you file claims against the driver or, if necessary, your own insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage.

What is a Hit-and-Run?

This term covers several types of incidents. The one that comes to mind frequently involves another driver who panics and leaves the scene, most likely due to prior legal issues, intoxication, or known insurance lapses.

Other examples may not be as clear-cut because the other driver might not even be aware that they have caused an accident. These include incidents when a vehicle cuts you off and causes you to crash into a stationary object or another vehicle, or when a vehicle’s actions cause you to become involved in a chain of events and secondary incidents of which they are unaware.

All of these result in damages, but without being able to identify the other driver, collecting these damages becomes very complex.

Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run Incident

Like with any other accident, your initial steps will involve contacting law enforcement. If you don’t have the license number, try to give as much information about the car and a physical description of the driver as you can. If the incident has caused damage to your vehicle, chances are it will have caused damage to the other one as well. Law enforcement can keep an eye out for a vehicle matching your description with damages that are in line with those expected from the incident. You will need the accident report for insurance purposes. Once you’ve contacted law enforcement, make sure to:

  1. See if there are any witnesses. Since they weren’t involved, they may have seen the car drive off after hearing the crash. You may be surprised at what a bystander can recall about the other vehicle.
  2. Take detailed photographs of your vehicle, the road, and other details of the scene. You may contact your insurance company for notification purposes, but don’t provide any written or recorded statements or details until you speak with an attorney. 
  3. Address any physical injuries immediately, regardless of not having the other driver’s insurance information. Documenting injuries will be important when it’s time to file a claim.
  4. Contact an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible.

Why Do You Need a Lawyer After a Hit-and-Run?

You may think that a lawyer can’t help you if you don’t have the other vehicle’s information. The truth is that an attorney will help you streamline the insurance process, ensure you get reimbursed for injuries and damages, and litigate if necessary.

A lawyer will help you negotiate with your insurance company whether the other driver is found or not. Negotiating is an important strategy to make sure you receive the maximum compensation allowed to cover your expenses.

Did you know that in Maryland, an accident with an uninsured driver requires insurance companies to drop deductibles to $250, regardless of your policy’s required deductible? Your attorney will make sure the insurance company upholds all of its obligations.

If the other driver is found, your attorney will begin the process of recouping your losses from their insurance company.

Arthur Crum, PA has been providing attorney services for accident victims for more than two decades. If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run incident, contact our offices today for your free consultation.

person riding motorcycle on road

Motorcycles are a fun way to get around, giving riders a sense of freedom they won’t find in a car. Riding a motorcycle, however, can be dangerous. Motorcyclists need to be hyperaware of their surroundings, protecting themselves from their own mistakes as well as the mistakes of others.

Here are some of the most common motorcycle accidents, and ways to avoid them.

Lane Splitting and Sharing

Many motorcycle accidents involve lane splitting and lane sharing.

Lane sharing is a potentially dangerous practice that involves two motorcyclists riding side by side in the same lane. While it is legal in Maryland, it is a maneuver best left to experienced motorcyclists.

Lane splitting involves riding the bike between two vehicles in traffic in an attempt to pass them. It is a dangerous practice, and it is illegal in Maryland.

When lane sharing, always ensure there is enough room between you and your partner as well as between your bikes and other vehicles. 

Intoxication

Part of the draw of motorcycles is the social aspect, with weekend warriors heading to favorite restaurants and bars. Unfortunately, this can lead to drunk driving. Motorcycles do not provide any physical protection for the rider, meaning that accidents are far more likely to be serious or even fatal. 

Limit yourself to one drink per hour, and set a hard stop on alcohol after three drinks. To keep everyone safer, consider having a designated driver with a car available. If you suspect you may be impaired, call Uber or Lyft.

Speeding

Some motorcyclists can’t resist the urge to drive fast, and lightweight sportbikes make it even harder to resist. Sports motorcycles are four times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than their more traditional, heavier counterparts.

Make sure to pay attention to posted speed limits, and know your bike’s limitations. A lightweight bike may be more likely to slide at high speeds, for instance, but are easier to control than heavier models. Traffic, rain, and weather concerns should always be factored into your speed.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions are frequently fatal for the motorcyclist. Drivers can be catapulted from the bike onto a hard surface, dragged, or crushed by the other vehicle and vehicles passing by.

To avoid head-on collisions, make sure you are visible with reflective clothing, that your headlight is on day and night and that you are staying to the right of your lane. Situational awareness is key; be aware of oncoming vehicles making a turn across your lane and pay attention to vehicles that are being driven erratically.

Turning and Cornering

Motorcyclists turning corners may find themselves hitting patches of debris, gravel, or even puddles of standing water. Once the front wheel makes contact with these obstacles, you may lose control of the bike. 

Stay in your lane, not the shoulder, when making turns or navigating curves on the road, and always maintain a safe speed.

Always Maintain Situational Awareness

When driving a car, we understand that situational awareness is the key to safety. This is even more relevant for bikers, who not only must be aware of their own safety practices but also be aware of the actions of every vehicle around them.

Dress appropriately in heavy, approved gear, and always wear your helmet. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, and that you check your bike thoroughly, especially if you don’t drive it every day. 

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the law offices of Arthur Crum, PA, and let’s talk about your case.

Spring means warmer weather, increased traffic, and a few more things to consider when you get behind the wheel.

Here are six tips for staying safe on the road this spring.

1. Ice May Still be a Problem

Now that it’s getting warmer, ice should no longer be an issue…right? Not necessarily. Warm days do not always mean warm nights. When driving, be alert for wet patches of pavement that could mean black ice.

2. Spring Brings Flowers…and Potholes

Asphalt and concrete surfaces are no matches for snowplows, sand, and ice-melting chemicals. When these surfaces break down, they leave potholes in their wake. While avoiding potholes is always the best choice, sometimes you have no choice but to hit them. Drive over them slowly to minimize damage to your car’s suspension or tires.

3. Animals Abound

Wild animals along with their babies are common in the spring, so be aware that animals may unexpectedly dart in front of you. Additionally, you’ll find pedestrians walking their pets and even pets who have escaped their yards. Stay on alert for animals, and always expect the unexpected. Be especially careful at dusk and when driving in a rural area or near wooded areas.

4. Watch for Bicyclists and Pedestrians

Spring fever mixes with cabin fever, and this time of year everyone wants out. Some will walk or jog, some will ride bikes, and others will finally get to dust off their motorcycles. Prepare to share the road again, and be on the lookout for pedestrians, motorbike riders, and bicyclists.

5. Rookie Drivers Take to the Streets

New drivers may have gotten learner’s permits before it got cold, but they have most likely waited until the weather was more predictable before taking to the road. That means they are like tulips…popping up everywhere in the spring. Be alert for new driver bumper stickers, and if you see a young driver driving erratically, be patient and avoid tailgating or cutting them off.

6. Windshield Wipers Damaged From Winter Driving

Rushed drivers frequently use their windshield wipers to remove ice from their windshields. This can lead to torn or damaged windshield wipers that will not function properly in the rain. Windshield wipers should be replaced every twelve months, so get in the habit of changing them every spring so you face the warmer rainy seasons ahead with a fresh pair of wipers.

7. Keep Experienced Automobile Accident Attorney Arthur Crum in Your Contacts

After an auto accident, you will need fair legal representation to make sure you understand your rights. Contact the law office of Arthur Crum, PA for a free consultation today.

construction working shoveling snow

Between slips and falls, weather-related auto accidents, and even illness, it’s no surprise that winter weather causes a significant increase in workman’s compensation claims.

Here are some of the most common workers’ comp claims in winter:

Cold Stress Injuries

Most common among employees working outside or in unheated spaces such as warehouses, cold stress injuries are caused by prolonged exposure to extreme cold. These include:

  • Hypothermia
  • Respiratory Disease Exacerbation (ie. asthma, COPD)
  • Pernio (chilblains)
  • Trench foot (immersion foot)
  • Frostbite

Employees who are required to work outside should be provided with and required to wear appropriate attire including waterproof boots, proper outerwear, gloves, knit caps, and other cold protection.

Winter-Related Auto Accidents

While it’s advisable for your employees to stay off the roads in inclement weather, it’s not always possible. Truck drivers and delivery personnel, for instance, are required to drive regardless of road conditions. Winter weather complications such as slush, ice, and snow account for 24% of all weather-related automobile accidents.

Slips and Falls

Ice and snow account for many of these incidents, but don’t forget that wet floors create a slip hazard inside, too. In addition, some workers may be injured while entering or exiting vehicles in poorly maintained parking lots. Slips, trips, and falls account for up to 15% of all workman’s comp claims; this number will increase throughout the winter months.

Muscle Strains and Sprains

Whether it’s partially slipping on ice or shoveling the sidewalk, muscle strains and sprains can increase over the winter months. An employee doesn’t need to fall completely to place undue strain on joints and muscles; in fact, some of the worst injuries can come from attempting to “catch” oneself from a fall.

Illnesses

While the majority of winter illnesses, such as the flu, aren’t worker’s comp related on their own, employees may file a claim if they can prove the illness was contracted at work. Requiring employees to report to work sick, failing to provide appropriate PPE, or refusing to shut down for a few days after multiple employees have contracted the same illness are all instances that could lead to a claim. 

It’s Not Always Simple to File Workers Comp Claims

If you’re injured on the job, always start by filling out an incident report and advising your supervisor that you have been injured. Never wait to see if it “just gets better on its own,” as these claims are time-sensitive. After you’ve filed and sought appropriate medical treatment, the next call should be to the Law Office of Arthur Crum, PA. 

Mr. Crum’s record of successful litigation has led to his being recognized as the “Attorney’s Attorney,” and one of his specialties is settling workman’s compensation claims. If you’re injured at work this winter, call Arthur Crum, attorney at law, and discuss your case with a free, no-obligation consultation.

car driving in winter snowEvery winter finds Maryland roads a skating rink full of hazards causing incidents, from minor fender benders and off-road skids to serious and life-altering accidents. Driving in winter weather can be hazardous.

Here are the top causes of serious auto accidents in winter:

1. Black Ice

Black ice refers to the transparent coating of ice on a road’s surface, usually resulting from refreezing of melted snow or ice. Black ice is dangerous because it looks like wet pavement. That’s seldom a concern for drivers, however, and they will hit a patch of black ice at normal speeds, causing the vehicle to slide. The seriousness of an incident involving black ice will depend on how much is on the road’s surface, how fast the car was traveling, and the driver’s ability to react quickly.

2. Slush

After roads have been treated and plowed, drivers think it’s safe to hit the highway at normal speeds. Even the best plowed roads can have patches of slushy snow and ice, and for an unprepared driver traveling the speed limit, the slush is as dangerous as ice on the road’s surface. Slush is dangerous for several reasons:

  • It collects on your windshield, decreasing visibility
  • It keeps your tires from grabbing the surface of the road
  • It can hide ice underneath
  • Slush can refreeze into ice

3. Failure of Drivers to Remove Snow from Vehicles

Driving with snow on your vehicle is a hazard to every other driver around you. The snow can blow off your car in a powder that reduces visibility for other cars around you, slide off the vehicle and cause slippery conditions for the vehicles near you, or break off in solid chunks of ice that can damage a vehicle’s windshield and startle the person driving it. In Maryland, there is not a specific law for driving in winter weather that snow is removed from your vehicle if it is not impeding your own ability to see clearly, but it is “recommended.” Drivers of snow-covered cars or trucks can be held responsible for any damages resulting from snow or ice falling from their vehicles.

4. Other Drivers

Winter accidents are frequently caused by drivers themselves, such as failure to yield a right-of-way, driving too fast for the conditions of the road, and driving at a speed that creates an inability to stop at traffic signals or signs. In slippery conditions, these accidents frequently compound due to road conditions, making the accident difficult to avoid by other drivers.

5. Poor Visibility

Whether it’s driving in white-out conditions or battling the salty spray from roads, winter weather creates extremely dangerous visibility issues. To make matters even worse, other drivers may insist on using high beams in bad weather conditions such as fog, snow, sleet, or rain. High beams are not intended for use in these conditions, and not only add to your own difficulty seeing, but blind drivers in oncoming traffic.

6. Stalled Drivers on the Side of the Road

If the roads are slick, drivers need to be alert for vehicles that have stalled or skidded off the main roadways. While they may “almost” be off the road, they may still be partially blocking a lane.

7. Indistinct Pavement Markings

Snow-covered roads almost always equal obscured pavement markings such as lane indicators, pedestrian walkways, and “turn only” arrows. If you must be on roads before they are paved, make sure you are in the middle of your lane and use caution at intersections and traffic signals.

If you’ve been involved in a serious auto accident because of another driver’s actions in dangerous winter weather, call attorney Arthur Crum at 301-662-4088 to discuss your case, or contact us here for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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