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Who’s At Fault for a Car Accident Caused by Ice & Snow?


October means that winter road conditions are coming to Colorado, and that means car accidents caused by snow and ice may become more common. Even the most careful and defensive drivers can unexpectedly hit a patch of black ice or fresh snow around a corner and lose control of their vehicles. A momentary loss of traction can be enough to cause an accident with another vehicle – but whenever ice or snow plays a role in an accident, it can be hard to determine fault.

Ice & Snow Aren’t at Fault for Car Accidents

If a car accident was caused by ice or snow, it’s natural for drivers to assume mother nature is at fault. Unfortunately, though, mother nature has neither an insurance policy nor any legal liability for what happens under her watch.

This leaves fault squarely in the hands of all drivers involved in a collision. In most cases, everyone will share some portion of blame. When it comes to a personal injury matter, though, the driver with the most fault is the one who will probably have to pay up – that makes it all the more important for plaintiffs to demonstrate that despite weather conditions, the defendant was negligent in some way to cause the accident.

Factors That Can Contribute to a Winter Car Accident

The factors that lead to a winter car accident are often the same as those that contribute to any other accident. The addition of hazards like ice and snow can merely amplify the danger of negligent driving behaviors.

Such behaviors include the following:

  • Disobeying traffic laws and signs
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Driving in an unsafe manner for the prevailing conditions

Although black ice is virtually invisible, a defendant can still be held liable for causing an accident if they were engaging in any behaviors that may have caused them to hit the ice or fail to regain control of their vehicle after doing so.

For example, if a vehicle is speeding when it hits black ice, the driver may be going too fast to regain traction in time to avoid an accident. If they’re still sliding and an accident is unavoidable, their excessive speed could also make an accident far worse than it would have been if the driver obeyed the speed limit (or drove even slower).

What Should I Do If I’m Involved in a Winter Car Accident?

If ice or snow played a role in a car accident you were in and injuries were sustained, you should immediately contact a personal injury attorney for help. These types of collisions are often difficult to resolve, which means you’ll need an experienced attorney to help you get the most out of your claim.

For more information about how The Orr Law Firm can help, contact us online today!