If you’ve ever driven on an ice-covered road before, you know that it’s dangerous. You know that control of your vehicle is tentative at best, and that the slightest change in the surface of the road can cause an accident. You also know that any road that has ice on it, and that if it’s a road that people have to use for travel, that it should be salted and cleared of any ice or snow. But what do you do when you have to use a road that is covered in snow or ice and it hasn’t been treated? What do you do when that road causes you to lose control of your vehicle and an accident happens? Are you responsible because you should have just stayed home and not risked driving on an ice-covered road, or is the person or company who is in charge of the road responsible for making sure that it is safe to travel on? In this FAQ, we’re going to look at who can be held accountable when an accident happens on an icy road.
If you’ve been in an accident involving an ice-covered road, and you need immediate assistance with your claim, call our contact our Personal Injury Lawyers in St. Louis immediately. We don’t charge any fees for our consultations, and we never charge any attorneys fees unless we win your claim.
Who do I sue if my Car Accident happened due to Icy Roads?
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The vast majority of us have to drive to work, which means we’re either driving on interstates, city roads, or sometimes roads that are maintained by private businesses or entities such as condo complexes, private entry roads, etc. If you aren’t personally responsible for the roads you drive on, then you can’t be expected to salt and clear the roads yourself. That’s why municipalities and states have snow trucks, and why there are contractors who specialize in clearing and salting roads. So let’s say you’ve been involved in an accident on an icy road, and you aren’t responsible for the clearing and maintaining of the road. You know for certain that if the road had not been in the condition that it was that you would have not been involved in an accident. Because of the accident you’re now injured, your vehicle isn’t operable, and you’re missing work and you’ve lost wages. Who can you sue? Can the entity responsible for the maintenance of the road be held accountable?
The answer is YES. You can sue someone if the condition of the road they are responsible for is directly responsible for the accident that injured you. This is no different from a premises liability case. There are cases where if the road is maintained by the state or a municipality that you’re case is going to be harder to pursue due to immunities of government. Also, most insurance companies are going to remind you that when you’re driving on an icy road, or a road that is in bad condition, your still responsible for the control of your vehicle.
But let’s say that you’re driving on a privately maintained road, and it’s covered in ice and snow, and it’s a road you absolutely have to use to get to work or go anywhere. You try your best to maintain control of your vehicle, but an accident happens and now you’re injured and your vehicle is damaged and needs costly repairs. Because you have to use this road, it’s known as a right of easement, and you can sue whoever is responsible for maintaining the road. You’re going to pursue your claim just as if it were a car accident claim, but your also going to look into labeling it a premise liability claim as well because the person, entity, or business responsible for maintaining that road failed in their responsibility to maintain it.
This may seem like a complex legal case, but in reality it isn’t. Proving that a road is in a dangerous condition is as easy as taking a few photos, and showing the damages that were caused to your vehicle and person because of it. Photo evidence is solid way to prove any claim. Also, because your vehicle was damaged, your insurance company is going to be looking for someone to throw the blame at, and they will most likely also pursue a claim against the manager of the road.
It’s important to remember that you didn’t cause the accident, and you shouldn’t have to pay a dime for the injuries you’ve sustained. You can fully recover from the accident, and our Personal Injury Lawyers in St. Louis can help you do that. We don’t charge any fees for our consultations, and we never charge any attorney’s fees unless we win your claim. If you have any questions about our practices, or you just want to speak with an attorney to see what options you have, call our personal injury firm in St. Louis. We can help.