Last month, the Highways Agency praised motorists who took extra care when driving on the icy British roads as the snow continued to fall. They also warned that drivers must keep up this effort in order to ensure everyone remains safe on the road.
The advice for snowy weather is always the same. Extra room should be left for braking, while careful consideration should be given before attempting normally standard manoeuvres such as overtaking. All motorists are asked to consider the same question – “Is your journey really necessary?”
Of course, any accident on the road will have unpleasant consequences, but let us consider for a moment the legal implications of finding yourself involved in an incident on an icy road.
How ice can affect a road accident claim
Adverse weather conditions do not change to fact that any compensation claim for a road traffic accident will focus on trying to establish who was at fault. If it can be shown that one party was not driving with due care in the hazardous conditions then a solicitor may be able to prove that the accident was their fault.
If your accident involved two parties, such as two cars, a car and motorbike or a vehicle and a pedestrian, then the complainant will have to show that the fault for the accident lies with the other party if they hope to receive any compensation.
This is where the ice on the road will need to be considered, for there are some actions, such as overtaking or driving at a certain speed, which would be deemed safe and appropriate in drier weather but could well cause an accident if performed in the snow.
Motorbikes are particularly at risk in the icy conditions, so riders should take extra care to ensure they complete their journey safely and do not end up on the receiving end of a traffic accident compensation claim.
It may be the case that your accident did not involve another vehicle or pedestrian. If you have an accident on your own while driving on an icy road, it may still be possible to make a compensation claim.
For instance, if the road was not sufficiently gritted then you may be able to make a claim against the local council for that area. Much will depend on the time and place where your crash occurred, but if you can show that there should have been grit on that stretch of road you have a good chance of receiving compensation.
Making a road traffic accident compensation claim
If you are involved in such an incident, you should contact experienced road traffic accident solicitors as soon as possible.
They will ensure all the correct procedures are carried out, starting by preparing a claim against the other party involved in the accident. There are a number of factors you will need to be compensated for, such as lost wages through missing work, medical expenses and the potential cost of repairing your vehicle, and all of these will be taken into account when requesting a compensation amount.