Motor Vehicle Accidents in Snow and Ice
Snow, ice and freezing temperatures are certain to change road conditions. Many drivers, especially in the Portland area, are unaccustomed to being on the road during these treacherous conditions. Because of the rarity of such weather, many Portlanders don’t know how to properly prepare for these situations.
There is the occasional instance where an accident may be a direct, unavoidable consequence of snow or ice but most of the time accidents are caused by the negligence of a driver. If the injured party is someone other than the negligent driver, said person can often recover for losses caused by the accident. This loss recovery can include medical expenses, loss of income, loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering (emotional and physical).
Proving negligence of a driver can be complicated under any circumstances but will be especially complex when an accident occurs during or after a snow or ice storm. This process almost always requires expert analysis of a great deal of evidence. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident during or after a snow and/or ice storm please fill out the “contact” form below, call 503-303-0600, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.
It makes sense that accidents occur more frequently due to snow or ice and a person could even be sympathetic to the difficulty of driving in these conditions. Still, when a driver fails to operate their vehicle in a reasonably safe manner, they are breaking the law and putting others at serious risk. When driving in severe weather, the most common negligent acts causing accident are:
- Speeding- Too many people are unaware that the posted speed limit may differ from the actual speed limit depending on road conditions and visibility.
- Failure to use turn signals (at all, and properly)- Especially in poor conditions, knowing what’s going on with the cars nearby is very important in determining ones own actions.
- Failure to use headlights- All too often, drivers see that it may be daylight and forget to turn their lights on. During a snowfall, visibility is obscured, cars are harder to see and having headlights and taillights could prevent motor vehicle collisions.
- Following too closely- Many drivers keep the same distance between them and the car in front of them no matter what the road and weather conditions may be. In snowy conditions, this causes big issues when a lead car starts to brake or hits a patch of black ice. What could be a momentary lapse turns into a multi-car pile-up if there isn’t enough space in between cars.
- Failing to maintain vehicle- Proper vehicle maintenance is important. The potential harm that could come from a failure to maintain the brakes or tires, or by failing to have proper tires for conditions, is, in some cases, substantial.
If negligence can be proven, that party is liable for any injuries and losses incurred as a result of the incident. Many people wrongly assume after an accident in snow or ice that it was an unavoidable situation. Any person injured in a seemingly “weather related accident” should always contact an attorney who will be able to tell you if you may be entitled to compensation. Call or email us today to review your case for free. We can be reached by phone at 1-888-353-5995 or email at email@example.com.