Who Is Responsible for an Accident on Ice?

Car Accident Lawyer

Inclement weather conditions always increase the risk of car accidents, but ice is perhaps the most dangerous weather condition of all. This is especially true of black ice, which is a thin, transparent layer of frozen water that mimics the appearance of the road. If you are injured in a car accident that occurred under icy conditions, you may wonder if you have the right to file a lawsuit.

The good news is that, yes, it is usually possible to file a lawsuit after a car accident involving ice on the road. Not only that, but there are multiple parties that you may be able to hold liable.

The Other Driver

If another driver hits you after losing control of his or her vehicle due to ice, you may wonder if it is fair to hold him or her responsible for the accident. It is fair if you have evidence demonstrating that the other driver behaved in a way that was negligent, such as driving too fast for conditions. The mere fact that there was ice on the road is not an excuse because a reasonable person should be able to recognize the danger and adjust driving in response to the situation.

The Maintenance Company

It may be that a maintenance company hired by the city to clear the roads and lay down salt or gravel failed to live up to its obligations. If the maintenance company had fulfilled its responsibilities to the fullest of its abilities, the ice may not have formed and the accident may not have occurred. If you can provide evidence indicating negligence on the part of the maintenance company, you may be able to name it in a lawsuit.

The Municipality

It may be that the roadway was poorly designed in the first place, and as a result, water collects and freezes on the road rather than draining properly. In that instance, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against city, state, or county government, depending on which entity is responsible for the faulty engineering that went into designing and building the road in the first place.

The same principle applies if the accident occurs in a parking lot rather than on the road. If the design is faulty or the parking lot is not adequately maintained, it may be possible to sue the owner of the property.

If you need help determining who is liable for your accident, contact our office.  Contact a car accident attorney, like David & Philpot, P.L., to learn more.