As we continue to recover from snowstorms all across the area, the sound of snowplows roaring down the street has become the background soundtrack for many of us.

But what happens when the roar of the truck is interrupted by the sound of a crack, bam, pow, and the smashing of a mailbox?

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Now besides just snow to worry about, you have to worry about replacing your mailbox.

But who is expected to pay for the mailbox to be repaired or replaced?

If you say the snowplow company or the town or county that runs the snowplow you would be wrong.

In New York State, under Section 319 of the New York State Highway Law, mailboxes are considered highway obstructions and are only “allowed” in the right-of-way as a convenience to the owner to receive mail. So if a plow takes out your mailbox, it is on you to get it fixed or replaced.

Now some towns and counties do offer some help even if they don't legally have to. If a county or town-run snowplow damages your mailbox you can try to contact their highway department and see if they will repair the mailbox. Most will see if they can fix it, but most times they will not reimburse you to cover the cost to replace a broken mailbox.

Now if a third-party plowing company hits your mailbox, make sure to read the fine print of your contract with them. Most have in that contract that they are not liable to repair or replace your mailbox.

So in the end, most often it is the homeowner left to cover the cost to replace or repair a damaged mailbox that was hit by a snowplow.

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