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Who is at fault for Road Accidents which happen in Wintry Weather?

There is a myth that road accidents which take place in ice or snow on the road are spared of blame. This is not the case. Although UK judges will take bad weather conditions into account when evaluating your accident, this will not exempt you from blame. Bad driving is bad driving, poor road conditions or not.

Should you make a personal injury claim for injuries suffered in poor road conditions?

road accidents

Making a claim for compensation when you are injured in these accidents is trickier than normal. However, it is still worth pursuing a claim if you are injured in a traffic accident caused by the ice or snow. You can file a claim to hold the third party, council, or highway maintenance firm responsible.

You should always consult a lawyer if you have suffered injury in a road traffic accident. Here are some things which might affect the outcome of your claim, depending on your situation. Yes, driving in the ice or snow is a contributing factor, but it does not negate blame.

Did the weather cause the accident?

To determine whether the weather was to blame for the accident, any court official evaluating your claim will check for key elements which impact the case. First of all they will check if the driver’s visibility was so badly impaired that they could no longer see. They will ascertain if the cause of this poor visibility was their own fault or not.

For instance, if you knew the weather was horrendous before you drove, yet you chose to drive anyway, you may be more at fault than someone who was mid-journey when the weather changed.

Additionally, the rules of the Highway Code state that the driver should clear their windows and mirrors of ice and snow before they drive. If the driver could not see you due to ice on their windshield, they are to blame. The Highway Code also advises you to plan routes where there is less snow and that you demist and remove all snow from the roof of your vehicle.

Tips on preventing accidents when driving in the ice or snow

car accidents

Always make sure your journey is absolutely essential. Road accident lawyers recommend you place snow or winter tyres on your vehicle at the first sign of bad weather. This makes it harder for a third party to claim against you in poor conditions.

Did the driver fail in their duty of care?

Drivers have a duty of care to drive with consideration for other road users. If they failed to carry out the above instructions issued in the Highway Code, they could be proven in breach of that duty of care. In this case and you could file a claim for compensation with a specialist personal injury solicitor.

Third Party Responsibility: Councils and Highway Services

Other road users and pedestrians are not the only reasons why you might get into an accident in bad weather. If councils fail to clear the snow, do not salt high traffic areas, or otherwise fail to maintain the roads in the face of wintry weather, this breaches the law. The guidelines for this come from the Highways Act.

A recent case found that North Yorkshire Council failed to grit a road, causing one driver to lose control and hit another. The council were at fault on this occasion.

If you have suffered as a result of a road traffic accident, contact our team today. Our experts at SilverOak Solicitors – Personal Injury, Housing Disrepair and Immigration Services can talk you through your options in personal injury and insurance lawsuits.

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