Over last few weeks, the snow has hit Michigan pretty hard. And where there is snow there are snow plows. Is there anything you can do when a snow plow hits your car?
Coverage on Parked Cars
If your car gets hit while no one’s in it you won’t have a no-fault claim. No fault insurance only applies to personal injuries resulting from car accidents. But that doesn’t mean you give up on your insurance company. Most major no-fault carriers recommend “comprehensive” coverage, which pays for damage to your car even when it’s parked. This comprehensive policy could cover fallen trees, natural disasters, and even the errant snow plow.
Negligence by Snow Plow Drivers
Because you aren’t dealing with no-fault injuries, if your car is damaged by a snow plow you may have to sue the plowing company and the driver for the damages. A lot of landscaping companies bring on independent contractors to help with snow removal. That can make it difficult to determine whose insurance will cover the damages: yours, the driver’s, or the company’s. A lot will depend on who was negligent and how the driver was hired.
What makes snow plow accidents especially difficult is that many communities have snow emergency laws that prohibit street parking when significant snow falls. If your car is hit as the city-owned snow plows clear the streets, you could actually get a ticket instead of a benefits check. Make sure you know the local rules about snow emergencies so you can protect your property.
Government Snow Plows
When a city government owns the snow plow, or even when they have contracted the work out to a local company, you could face an added hurdle to recovering for your damages: governmental immunity. This legal defense protects government workers from getting sued for injuries caused while doing their jobs. Unless the driver was “grossly negligent” you may be limited to what your own insurance will cover.
Snow plows can do significant damage to vehicles parked on the street or in a parking lot. But the laws around who can be sued and whose insurance should pay can be tricky. David Christensen and his team at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan can help you navigate the twists and turns and figure out whether you can recover after a snow plow hits your car. If you or someone you know is dealing with property damage after a crash, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.