SUE DRIVER THAT SLID INTO ME HIT ICE PATCH OR ICY ROAD – ATTORNEYS
In Minnesota winters, ice patches or “black ice” on the roads can cause slippery and dangerous driving conditions. Our car accident lawyers handle many MN injury cases every year where people are injured in an auto accident on an icy road or slippery road where another car hit a patch of ice and slid into them. The question our attorneys are asked is: “A car slid into me and hit me because of ice or black ice, do I have a claim?”
Many times, the driver causing the accident – or his insurance company – will argue that the driver cannot be responsible when he skids or slides into another car, or rear ends a car because of ice on the road. In Minnesota, there is a rule that loss of control or skidding is not by itself negligence. This has been applied in various situations, including wet, slippery road conditions. A driver is not necessarily negligent when he fails to anticipate a sudden or hidden change in local road conditions.
However, Minnesota drivers are held to a duty of due care in operating a vehicle. The driver owes a duty to all others on the roads to operate his vehicle at all times in compliance with the traffic laws and with reasonable care in light of the conditions then and there existing. An experienced car accident attorney knows that violation of a traffic law is prima facie evidence of negligence. Due care means mitigating unreasonable risks, which means balancing the likelihood of harm and the gravity of harm that could happen, against the burden of the precaution which would be effective to avoid the harm.
The manner of driving prior to skidding and the control of the car both before and after skidding presents a situation where an inference of negligence is permissible. The court focuses on a driver’s responsiveness to the weather conditions immediately before loss of control of the vehicle. Driving too fast for the conditions, or too close to the car ahead of you in icy conditions, can be negligence that justifies compensation for the person injured in the accident. Often, a top car accident attorney will succeed by finding supportive witnesses or with the help of an accident reconstructionist to show that the driver should have known about the danger from ice or weather and should have adjusted his driving accordingly. In other words, a reasonable person would have driven at a slower speed or kept a greater distance, and therefore even with ice on the road the crash should not have happened. When a driver drives to fast on an icy road he is at fault for causing the accident.
Cases where one car slides into another car because of black ice can be challenging in Minnesota because insurance companies like to argue that weather lets them off the hook. However, our MN car crash lawyers have successfully pursued many cases like this because we found witnesses that could verify the other driver was going too fast or driving too close.
If you are injured in a car accident because another driver slid into your car because of an icy road or hits a patch of ice, please call our Minnesota personal injury lawyers for a free consultation. Pam Rochlin and David Rochlin are Minnesota personal injury attorneys with more than 25 years’ experience representing hundreds of people injured in car accident cases. Pam was a former partner at Meshbesher & Spence, and offers small firm attention to her clients. An auto accident lawyer can meet with you to discuss your auto injury case at our offices in Edina, Woodbury and Minneapolis. A MN car accident attorney will also meet people at their homes to discuss car accident injury cases in St. Paul, Roseville, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, White Bear Lake, Forest Lake, Lino Lakes, Anoka, Maple Grove, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Burnsville, and other cities throughout Minnesota. We will always provide you with a free initial consultation and we never charge anything unless you receive compensation.