Driving during the winter in Utah is quite a chore. It’s a multi-step process involving bundling yourself up, ensuring your tires are snow and ice ready, and finally getting behind the wheel. Limiting your driving as frequently as possible when the weather is bad or icy is advisable, but sometimes life doesn’t allow you to stay bundled up and inside all day.
Icy roads are hard to manage even for the best of drivers, and it’s not uncommon to slip and slide. If this results in a car crash, you should speak with a car accident attorney as soon as you possibly can. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may be owed damages for your injuries. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help you establish liability and file a claim.
Who Is Liable When Icy Roads Cause Your Utah Car Crash?
As with any car crash, there is often one liable party. If the roads are icy, it does not mean they are to blame. There is a certain level of expected care when it comes to business and property owners, but the roads are not held to this same standard when it comes to ice. If the icy road has caused your accident, a few different parties may be liable:
The Other Driver
You are taking a risk when it comes to driving in bad weather conditions, and an icy road is no exception. If the slick streets prevented the other driver from braking in time or caused them to rear-end your vehicle, they are likely considered the liable party. This means you can file a claim against them for damages.
Similarly, you may also be liable for the accident. It is vital you follow the rules of the road meticulously when the weather is unusual. Drive slowly, brake early, and ensure your tires are prepared for the snow.
Maybe you didn’t slow down soon enough, or the car in front of you used its brakes too soon. If the accident seems to be the fault of two parties, filing a claim is a little trickier. Utah is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning if you are 50% at fault, you cannot receive damages. However, you are still eligible if you are only 49% at fault.
Sometimes other parties may be responsible for the icy conditions that caused your incident. For instance, a construction company that allows water runoff to accumulate dangerously in the road way or a business that is improperly allowing their roof or parking structures to empty melting snow and rain into roadways which later freezes and causes dangerously icy conditions.
Your personal injury lawyer can talk you through the events of the crash and help establish liability, even if it was partially your fault.
Are Icy Roads Considered an “Act of God”?
The “Act of God” clause is a way to protect drivers who are in accidents as a result of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or tornado. Icy roads are not considered under this clause, as there must be a level of no control over the situation. Since you can brake on time and use proper driving equipment, the icy roads are not to blame.
Going out with an understanding of the weather conditions may leave you liable for any accidents incurred during the drive.
Injured in a Car Crash? Speak to a Dedicated Car Accident Lawyer Today
Injuries associated with winter car accidents can be severe and result in lots of money lost to medical bills or missed work. Don’t suffer in silence and let the liable party get away. The team at Feller & Wendt is here to fight for your rightfully deserved compensation and give you the peace of mind and justice you need to recover fully.
While you focus on spending time with family and friends, we will gather evidence and begin to build your case. For a free consultation about how we can best help you, please call us at (801) 499-5060 or use our contact form.