Determining Liability in Ice-Related Car AccidentsJanuary 13, 2020
As we head into the cold winter months, most of the leaves on the trees have fallen, the temperatures continue to drop, and the weather forecast will start to include winter storm warnings. Driving becomes much more treacherous, particularly when the roads are covered in snow, ice, or freezing rain. One of the most dangerous hazards occurs when snow or rain freezes, causing isolated ice patches, which drivers do not always see until it is too late. This can cause serious car accidents if the driver loses control of their vehicle and hits another car. When this happens, questions often arise as to who is at-fault? An experienced car accident lawyer can explain how liability is determined in these types of car accidents.
What Causes Isolated Ice Patches?
Isolated ice patches are one of the common causes of ice-related car accidents. There are a number of conditions that cause these hazards to happen, including the following:
- Water that is not normally on the road finds its way there, oftentimes from a downspout from a sewer. The source of the water may determine liability.
- Water or moisture on the road is unable to drain properly. Whoever’s responsibility it is to clear away or drain the water may be held liable.
- The temperatures must be cold enough to cause the water to freeze.
Car accidents that are caused by inclement weather conditions are common in this part of the country. However, unlike other types of car accidents, such as drunk driving, distracted driving, or aggressive driving, where it is usually clear who is at-fault, determining fault in an accident where a driver skidded on ice is not as simple. From a legal standpoint, each driver owes other motorists on the road the duty to drive safely. If a vehicle skids on ice, hitting another vehicle, the occupant of the vehicle that initiated contact is usually found to be the negligent party.
In some cases, the driver who hit the other car may successfully argue that they were responding to a sudden emergency, which caused them to lose control of the vehicle. However, even when a motorist moves suddenly in an attempt to avoid a sudden emergency, that person will likely still be held liable since drivers are expected to take the weather into account and drive accordingly. If the temperatures outside are below freezing, it is more likely that the roads will be icy, so drivers should increase their following distance, reduce their speed, and use extra caution.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Ice-Related Car Accidents
If you were involved in a car accident involving another driver who hit your vehicle after skidding on ice, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. You may be entitled to compensation, even if the other driver hit a patch of ice, causing the car to skid. Our experienced legal team will determine the exact cause of the accident and seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. Protecting your rights is our top priority. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, we represent clients throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.