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My car was damaged during the snow storm: Now what?

WBFO News file photo

The snow has stopped in some parts of western New York and many cars are being dug out of piles of snow. Now, many residents are wondering who’s on the hook for the damage cars were subjected to by plows, high lifts, and tow trucks.

Law Offices of James Morris Attorney Matthew Louisos says once you’ve discovered the damage, the first step is to file a claim with your insurance company. The majority of vehicles damaged by plows will be covered under certain policies.

But, for some whose deductible may go up as a result and they might want to take legal action. Louisos says cases against municipalities for damage will be very difficult.

“There may be situations where making a claim with the state, the county, the city might be a good idea, but generally speaking, especially in storms of this magnitude, that’s not going to be the best avenue for these people. But my job will be generally speaking, to try to help these people figure out what the best solution to their specific issue is going to be,” said Louisos.

Louisos says the big challenge will be proving which snow plow damaged your vehicle.

“Unless they have some sort of eyewitness or they can identify the snow plow specifically, that makes their claims against any municipalities very difficult, because this particular storm has snow plows from all over the western New York area,” said Louisos.

Louisos adds many plow drivers are covered under a provision within the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.

“That’s qualified immunity for those type of vehicles that are actively engaged in plowing the roads, in which it holds these snow plow drivers to a reckless disregard standard, so not the normal negligent standard. So, there’s going to be a difficulty recovering for any damage on those vehicles as a result of this law,” said Louisos.

Louisos warns that the process could take a while, but some people might still want to file claims.