Is Sliding on Ice an At-Fault Accident?
Sliding on ice can be a scary and dangerous experience. If you get hurt in an accident in wintry conditions, you may wonder, “Is sliding on ice an at-fault accident?”
In short, the answer is not always straightforward and can depend on the circumstances of the crash.
Generally, drivers must exercise reasonable care when operating their vehicles, particularly on ice or snow. If you get injured because someone else did not take proper precautions, such as failing to reduce speed, you could have a compensation claim against them.
Understanding your legal rights and obligations is critical, whether you are an injured victim or caused an accident while sliding on ice. Morgan & Morgan is here to help. We can analyze your accident, determine your legal rights, and move forward with a claim on your behalf. Contact us now for a free consultation to find out more.
What Is an At-Fault Accident?
In most car accidents, someone is at fault. The at-fault party is the person, business, or government agency that is responsible for the accident and any resulting damages. Sometimes, two or more parties may share responsibility for the crash. In legal terms, this is known as “comparative negligence.”
Identifying who is at fault for a sliding-on-ice accident can be challenging. For example, if you crash into another car while sliding on ice, you may be considered at fault for the accident. Drivers are responsible for maintaining control of their vehicles at all times, including in inclement weather.
However, there are some circumstances where sliding on ice may not be considered an at-fault accident. For example, someone else may be responsible for the crash if you were driving at low speed and could not control your vehicle due to a poorly designed road or a car defect. Proving that another is liable for the collision and your damages can be tricky. Consider speaking to an experienced car accident lawyer at Morgan & Morgan to understand your options.
Preventing Sliding-on-Ice Crashes
Sometimes, ice is invisible, and you cannot prevent a crash. However, in many cases, drivers can avoid accidents in wintry weather by taking the following steps:
- Slow down: When driving in winter weather and icy conditions, always slow down, even if it means driving below the posted speed limit.
- Leave plenty of space: Leave a good amount of space between you and the car in front of you, as this will give you more reaction time if the other vehicle suddenly stops or slides.
- Stay alert: Avoid distractions such as loud music or using your cell phone. Stay alert and focused on the road at all times.
- “Winterproof” your vehicle: Ensure your car is adequately maintained, and your tires have sufficient tread. Good tires will help you maintain better traction on icy roads.
- Avoid sudden movements: Hard braking or a sharp turn is never a good idea on icy surfaces. Such movements can cause your vehicle to slide on ice and increase your risk of an accident.
Determining Fault in a Sliding-on-Ice Accident
Identifying who is at fault in a sliding-on-ice accident can be challenging and involve various factors, including:
- The weather at the time of the crash
- The behavior of other drivers, such as speeding or driving distracted
- The road conditions
Here are some examples of how these factors can impact fault:
- If another driver failed to slow down during icy conditions or was driving intoxicated, they may be partially or wholly responsible for the collision.
- If road conditions were hazardous due to poor maintenance, such as lack of salting or plowing, the responsible parties (such as local government bodies) could be liable for the accident.
Moreover, multiple parties may share responsibility for a crash. Sometimes, both drivers could be at fault for failing to adjust their driving behaviors to icy and snowy roads.
Types of Losses in At-Fault Accidents
Driving on icy roads can be daunting. You may worry about losing control of your vehicle and the potential damages in the event of an accident. Here’s what you need to know about insurance coverage for damages caused by a sliding-on-ice at-fault accident.
Injuries to Other Involved Parties
Most drivers have liability insurance. If you are responsible for an accident, your bodily injury liability coverage typically covers other parties’ expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages, up to policy limits.
Injuries to You or Your Passengers
You may have personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (MedPay) coverage, depending on your state. These policies can pay for your healthcare costs, lost income, rehabilitation costs, and other expenses related to the collision.
Damage to Your Car
If your vehicle is damaged in an accident caused by sliding on ice, and you have collision coverage, your insurer should pay for the cost of repairs up to the limits of your policy. However, you are generally responsible for any deductibles. If someone else caused the crash, their insurance company should reimburse you for your losses.
Damage to Someone Else’s Vehicle and Property
In most states, liability coverage pays for damages to another’s vehicle or property if you cause an accident. However, if your policy does not cover the other party’s losses, you may be responsible for paying for the difference.
Insurance claims in crashes involving ice are often complex and can depend on your state laws. A car accident attorney at Morgan & Morgan can review your policy and determine your next best steps after a sliding-on-ice at-fault accident.
Compensation for Sliding-on-Ice At-Fault Accident Victims
In a sliding-on-ice at-fault accident, liability for the accident typically falls on the driver who couldn’t maintain control of their vehicle due to the icy conditions. If you or a loved one got hurt in such a crash, you may be able to recover compensation from the at-fault driver or their insurance company. While compensation will vary from one accident to another, here are some examples of damages you could receive:
If you are hurt in an accident caused by another, you may qualify for all necessary medical costs related to your accident injuries. Healthcare expenses could include the following:
- Appointments with specialists
- Medical devices
- Medical transport costs
If your car is considerably damaged and needs repairs, or your vehicle is totaled, you should be reimbursed appropriately. Moreover, if your items, such as a laptop, phone, jewelry, or clothing, were damaged and destroyed in the crash, you could receive reimbursement for repairing or replacing your belongings.
If you couldn’t work due to getting hurt in a sliding-on-ice at-fault accident, you could receive lost wages and other losses, such as benefits, overtime, bonuses, and future loss of income.
Depending on the severities of your injuries, you may also be entitled to pain and suffering and other non-economic damages, such as:
- Physical pain
- Emotional anguish
- Reduced life enjoyment
An experienced car accident lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can help you assess your damages and negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to secure a fair settlement.
Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer if I Am Involved in a Sliding-on-Ice At-Fault Accident?
Determining who is ultimately at fault can be complex if you are involved in an accident caused by sliding on ice. Moreover, various parties, such as a negligent driver and a local government entity, may be responsible for a crash. A car accident lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can identify all liable parties and pursue all potential avenues for compensation.
We can also calculate the damages you incurred in the accident, such as medical bills, loss of wages, and others. Insurance companies may try to deny or minimize your claim. However, our attorneys can level the playing field and negotiate a fair settlement that covers all damages you may have sustained in the crash. If an insurance company refuses to budge and offer an adequate payment, we can represent your case powerfully in front of a judge or jury in court.
Working with an experienced and tenacious car accident attorney is crucial if you suffer significant injuries, as you may have to fight hard for what you deserve. Hiring an attorney can be essential to give yourself the best chance of winning.
What Should I Do if I Am Involved in an Accident Caused by Ice?
If you are involved in an accident caused by ice or snow, just like with any other crash, try to protect yourself and others. Here are some steps to take after an accident caused by sliding on ice:
- Check for injuries: If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately and request medical assistance.
- Move to safety: If possible, move your vehicle away from traffic and turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers of the accident.
- Exchange information: Exchange details with the other driver(s) involved in the accident, such as names, addresses, insurance information, and vehicle registration.
- Collect Evidence: Take photos of the accident scene, including any vehicle damage and injuries.
- Call your insurance company: Contact your car insurer promptly to report the accident and provide them with any necessary information.
- Seek a doctor: Even if you do not feel injured at the crash scene, seek medical attention immediately. Some injuries may not show symptoms until days after a crash.
- Consult a car accident lawyer: If you or a loved one suffered injuries in the accident, you should get legal advice. Morgan & Morgan can help you understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation.
Can I Sue the City or Municipality for an Accident Caused by Icy Roads?
Sometimes, you can sue your city or municipality if you experience an accident on icy roads. However, suing a local government body can be challenging, as there are specific requirements and deadlines that you must meet to hold a city or municipality liable for your crash.
For example, you must demonstrate that the local government was negligent in maintaining the road, such as failing to properly plow or salt the road or warn drivers of dangerous road conditions.
If you believe that a city or municipality’s negligence led to your accident and damages, it’s critical to speak to a car accident attorney as soon as possible, as the time to file a claim may be limited.
What if the Other Driver Was Also Sliding on Ice at the Time of the Accident?
If you and the other driver lost control of their vehicle due to ice or speeding in wintry conditions, you may both have some fault for the collision. However, who is responsible will also depend on the specific circumstances of the crash, such as how fast each driver was going, the condition of the road, and other factors.
If you got hurt in an accident where both you and the other driver were sliding on ice, a car accident lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can determine who is at fault for the collision and help you get the compensation you deserve.
We Have Your Back
You don’t have to struggle with a compensation claim alone. Morgan & Morgan is here to help if you wonder whether sliding on ice is an at-fault accident, and you are entitled to damages. Our tenacious attorneys want to help you get the compensation you need to put your life back together and face the future without financial uncertainty.
Working with us is free until we win and you receive damages. Contact Morgan & Morgan now for a free case review to learn about your legal rights.