Car Sliding on Ice: Who's at Fault?
Winter weather and climatic conditions do not constitute a defense against a driver’s negligence on the road. Weather conditions are not considered legal justification under New York law. Every driver has the duty to follow reasonable care while operating their vehicle. This includes driving under adverse conditions, such as icy roads. If you get injured because of someone else’s car sliding on ice, you may have a strong case for compensation from the negligent party.
Icy Road Accidents
Icy road conditions can cause two or more vehicles to collide. However, the driver sliding into the other car cannot escape liability or financial responsibility by blaming the accident on ice. The other driver is likely to be found negligent if they initiated contact with your vehicle and caused the collision to take place.
New York is a No-Fault State
New York is a no-fault state where auto insurance and personal injury compensation is concerned. Here’s what that means: your insurance company is responsible for paying for all lost wages and medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the winter car accident. Victims can also file a personal injury lawsuit by going beyond the no-fault system if they have experienced serious pain and suffering as well as substantial medical costs and loss of income. The determination of “serious” under this legal threshold is something a quick consultation with the personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff can tell you.
Legal Obligation to Adapt and Drive Safely on Icy Roads
New York traffic laws require all drivers to recognize and adapt to changing weather and road conditions. Drivers need to change their driving habits during bad weather to ensure safety on the roads. This means that drivers need to drive slower when the roads are icy. They are also required to increase the following distance and drive more attentively and carefully to avoid accidents.
In case any driver hits an icy patch and is unable to avoid a collision, they will be held at fault and liable for injuries and damages. This is because they failed to exercise due care and drive safely. Generally, winter accidents can be avoided. Due care exercised by a motorist requires them to drive cautiously according to adverse weather conditions.
You should not waste time speaking with a committed winter car accident lawyer for weighing your legal options if you were a victim of a winter car accident.
Proper and Adequate Vehicle Maintenance
Motorists need to properly maintain their vehicles. In case the driver is unable to prevent an accident because of poorly maintained vehicles, they can be held liable for the collision. Poorly maintained parts include:
- Insufficient wiper fluid
- Windshield wipers not working
- Failure to scrape ice off the windshield
- Failure to clear ice or snow from the roof of the vehicle
- Improper tire inflation
When Can the Government be Held Accountable?
Poor road conditions are a significant contributor to weather-related accidents. You can hold relevant government agencies accountable if certain repairs were not performed on time. For instance, a broken guardrail could allow a car to fall down the embankment. Lack of warning signs and proper lighting are other factors.
Speak with a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer in New York Today
The personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff are here to help you if you or a loved one was injured in a car accident. We can advise you on the best legal course to take after evaluating your claim. Most car accident claims are settled out of court, but we will not hesitate in going to court if that is what it takes to help you obtain the rightful damages. Schedule a free consultation by filling out our online contact form or calling us at 212-962-1020.