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What if your car gets damaged or you're hurt by a government snowplow? Read this

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Posted at 5:36 PM, Jan 24, 2022

CLEVELAND — In light of the recent Ohio Turnpike snowplow incident that affected 40 cars and injured 12 people, News 5 Investigators wanted to let you know what you should do if your car is damaged or if you’re hurt because of a snowplow.

“Yes, you do have rights. Don’t let anyone tell you you don’t have rights,” said Ladi Williams, who is an attorney with Merriman Legal in Cleveland. He told us he couldn’t believe the turnpike snowplow video.

“Either it’s a lack of training or just not caring, I’m not sure. But no matter what it was, somebody has to be held responsible,” said Williams.

He said the first thing to do is if just your car is damaged and you have full insurance coverage, you should talk to your insurance company. If you don’t have full coverage, reach out to the entity that did it. For example, the Ohio Turnpike has a section on its site for damage claims.

Now, if you’re injured by a government snowplow, Williams told us you shouldn’t just accept pushback by the agency.

“Negligently driving or operating that vehicle in any way, shape or form and causes you injury, death or anything else — they’re responsible,” said Williams.

He did say there are some immunity laws that pertain to various emergency vehicles like city-owned ambulances, cop cars, or fire trucks. However, a snowplow is different.

“A snowplow causing a crash does not have the same protection as an emergency vehicle as long as that emergency vehicle is on an actual emergency run,” he said.

Williams also said be careful of direct calls to you wanting to wrap up the damages right away.

“Sometimes within a day or two you might hear from someone saying, ‘Hey, let’s take care of that real quick…’ before you’ve gotten any kind of medical treatment or anything like that,” he told us.

Williams said don’t sign anything until you’re 100% confident. To get there, you might have to hire an attorney to help.

“It’s something you should consider. If you do have injuries it’s always going to be more complicated than to have them taken care of as opposed to property damage,” he told us.

RELATED: Ohio Turnpike snowplow damages at least 40 vehicles, injures 12

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