Who Is At Fault During An Auto Accident In Winter Conditions?
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Jan 15, 2014 in Advice
It’s the new year and in Michiana we’re used to Lake Effect snow. Just because we’re used to snow, however, it doesn’t mean that it’s any less dangerous to drive in - or that its not your fault if you get in an accident.
For that reason, we will look at how fault is determined in winter auto accidents and whether fault may be waived.
Any time you go out on the road, you are taking responsibility for what happens with your car. When winter weather makes the roads more slippery, it’s up to you to make sure that the proper precautions have been taken to keep you, and others, safe on the road. In general, when there is an accident, someone must be assigned fault.
While road and weather conditions may be taken into consideration, someone will be considered at fault. The way this is determined is by who caused the accident in the first place. In the eyes of the insurance company, the road conditions are not important. The driver should have taken them into account. Where fault may be waived, though, is where the police are concerned. In some instances, even if you are at fault for the accident, you may not be given a citation or ticket for losing control.
However, this does not impact how the insurance company views or determines fault in the accident. It is possible, in some instances, to have both drivers be considered at fault if there is not clear evidence that one is definitely at fault.
When driving in winter conditions, you should make sure that your vehicle is properly maintained and prepared for slippery conditions. You, as a driver, should also take care when driving in snow and ice. You should increase your following distance, decrease your speed, and break sooner and more carefully at a minimum. If you find that you’ve been in an accident, you should make sure to contact the police and your insurance company as soon as possible, and make sure you and your passengers are OK.
Do not talk to anyone else, or admit fault to anyone, without speaking to an attorney. An experienced attorney can make the process of dealing with the insurance company a little bit less stressful.