An unseasonal snowstorm has delayed travel plans, cut power for 4 million people and, unfortunately, left several people dead in the New Jersey area. Several car accidents were blamed on the storm, some of them fatal. Some states received black ice on the highways that caused as many as 30 car crashes. Bus and rail travel was also affected by the weather, with an Amtrak train stranded on the track for 13 hours after the storm caused a rock-slide that blocked the train's path.
Hundreds of flights were delayed and canceled due to dangerous flying conditions. Even in states that were not affected, flights had to be sent to different locations due to infrastructure issues at airports in the storm region. A JetBlue representative explained that her company diverted 17 flights on the day of the storm. The company plans to provide affected customers with a free flight voucher and a refund on the original ticket.
Due to the harsh weather, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered several airports to close, although some were able to reopen after several hours. By 10 a.m. on the day following the storm, the FAA announced that no further delays were occurring due to the storm.
Several individuals that were not involved in traffic accidents died as well. One 84-year-old victim was asleep in his chair when part of a tree, bogged down with snow, crashed through the roof of his house and fatally injured him. Due to scattered debris around the area, emergency response crews took two hours to remove the man from the home. Another individual died after touching a metal guard rail near downed power lines behind a police barricade. The rail was charged and fatally electrocuted the victim.
Please do consider your legal options carefully and contact an attorney with any questions if you are injured. If you happen to be involved in a car accident during this inclement weather, it's a good idea to know your legal options. Too often, injured motorists settle out with insurance companies without understanding the full extent of their injuries and the financial ramifications that can occur due to these injuries.
Source: CNN, "Travel nightmares plague East Coast after snowstorm," by Ashley Hayes, Oct. 30, 2011