Can You Blame Snow or Ice for Your Car Accident in New Hampshire?
The number of car accidents in Manchester and other parts of New Hampshire increases substantially when there is snow, ice, and that disgusting slush on our roads. Snow-packed road conditions and bad weather are a common contributing factor in vehicle crashes, but what about liability?
Who is at fault when you get into an accident on snowy, icy, or slushy roads? To determine liability in your car accident caused by adverse weather conditions, speak with a Manchester car accident attorney.
Fact: According to the American Highway Users Alliance (AHUA), an estimated more than 1,300 people die, and nearly 117,000 are injured on snowy and icy roads every year.
Liability in Winter Weather Car Accidents in New Hampshire
Snow has been accumulating across New Hampshire in recent days and weeks. As reported by WMUR9, a few inches of snow accumulated in many parts of the state on December 17. Many roads were covered in snow, causing traffic slowdowns, spinouts, and car crashes.
But can you blame the weather if you cause a car crash while driving in adverse weather conditions? Unfortunately, not really. Under New Hampshire law, drivers have a duty to drive safely no matter what the circumstances.
While some people believe that snowy or icy roads can be considered an “Act of God” to avoid liability, you could actually be held responsible if you cause a car accident in adverse weather conditions.
Yes, you might argue that it is unfair to be found at fault when you cannot control your vehicle due to snow or black ice, but the law is the law. When you are aware of the dangers of operating a car in winter weather conditions, you need to slow down to a speed that if appropriate for the conditions. If you fail to maintain control of your vehicle, you may still be liable for any resulting damages when a crash occurs.
Potentially Liable Parties in Car Accidents on Snowy or Icy Roads
It is not true that most winter weather car accidents are completely unpreventable, as there are many situations in which another individual or entity could have done something to prevent the crash.
Every driver in New Hampshire must drive with due care, and the level of that care depends on the conditions of the roadways and weather. If a motorist loses control of the vehicle and collides with another car, the fact that the roads were covered with snow or were icy does not give the driver a pass. Instead, that driver may still be responsible for causing personal injury and property damage to other parties.
One exception might be if the snow and ice were unexpected or unforeseen. When snow and ice are expected and foreseen, a reasonable person knows that they should exercise extra caution, such as maintaining a greater following distance and traveling at a slower speed.
Contact our Manchester car accident attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman to identify other potentially liable parties in your vehicle crash caused by bad weather conditions. Liability is not always a black-and-white issue, which is why you need legal help. Call at 603-624-7200 or 800-984-3151 to discuss your case.