For any commuter, one of the worst pieces of news to hear is that a major snowstorm is on its way. For those who live or work in Northern Virginia, that news item was all most people were talking about in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. The most substantial storm of this winter struck the area heavily on Feb. 13, and left many drivers coping with the aftermath of two major hassles: severe weather and car accidents.

According to officials in the DC metro area, morning traffic on Feb. 14 was not too bad. Still, for those who absolutely had to drive somewhere, it was far from easy to get around without encountering an auto accident. Both the north and south lanes of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway were closed for several hours on the morning of Feb. 14 due to the presence of car accidents. In addition, the Parkway’s lanes near Route 202 and Route 410 also experienced closures.

Overall, more than 20 people died in the huge winter storm that pummeled the entire east coast. In any adverse weather event, many deaths and injuries are preventable if all drivers exercise extreme caution or simply stay home when told to do so by authorities. Still, some people must still go in to work, and, sadly, this places them at risk for rollovers, a multi-vehicle accident or even a hit-and-run during a time when many are panicky, scared or confused.

Sometimes, when there are so many car accidents on the highway, police will tell motorists to exchange insurance information and make a full police report later. Accident victims always should follow officials’ orders, but also can find it helpful to follow the advice of an auto accident attorney. In personal injury cases, time is of the essence and timely filing of legal documents is key to obtaining compensation for damages suffered by another’s negligence in a storm.

Source: The Washington Post, “D.C. region begins digging out after major snowstorm finally moves on,” Ashley Halsey III and Paul Dugan, Feb. 14, 2014