Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
Ohio is no stranger to inclement weather conditions in the winter seasons. When you are involved in a car accident due to snow and icy road conditions, you may initially think you do not have an opportunity to recover the compensation you need.
However, Ohio laws regarding snow and ice on the roadways are clear. If another party’s negligence is the cause of your car accident, you may have the right to hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
Ohio Snow and Ice on the Road Laws
Ohio sees its fair share of snowy weather conditions and icy roads. All drivers have an obligation to drive as safely as possible when they are out in inclement weather. This means putting your headlights on any time you are required to use your windshield wipers, properly warming up your vehicle so you can see out of all windows and taking other safety precautions.
Drivers should take steps to clear any snow or ice from the roof of their vehicle, so they do not pose a risk to other drivers on the roadways. While you will not face a penalty for having snow on the roof of your vehicle, if snow falls off your vehicle and causes a motor vehicle accident, you can be held responsible for any damages the victims sustain.
When Can You Sue for Icy Road Car Accidents in Ohio?
There are various situations in which you may be able to file a claim for a car accident caused by snow or ice on the roads. For example, if another driver failed to clean their vehicle and a large chunk of snow and ice fell off, subsequently causing your vehicle to crash, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver.
You might also have the opportunity to file a claim if the roadways are not safe. Local municipalities and the state have an obligation to ensure that they are clearing the roads in a timely manner. If government officials fail to clear certain roadways, fail to implement safety measures, or one of their vehicles causes a collision during inclement weather, you may have a claim against government agencies, municipalities, and other officials.
However, it is important to keep in mind that sometimes, an icy road accident is just that. Negligent actions that cause you to suffer significant injury entitle you to financial compensation. But if another driver was doing their part to drive safely, and the weather was just too severe, you may find it more challenging to hold them accountable for your damages.
What to Expect from Your Insurance Claim
Ohio is a fault state for car accidents and insurance purposes. When you are involved in an accident, you will need to file a claim with the liable party’s insurance provider. However, many claimants are surprised to find that the insurance company gives them a difficult time after attempting to seek the compensation and benefits that they deserve.
It is important to keep in mind that insurance companies are for profit. Every time they payout on a claim, they lose money. You can expect the insurance company to attempt to argue that you are at fault for causing the accident.
Ohio Comparative Negligence Law
Sharing fault can diminish the value of your claim under Ohio’s modified comparative negligence laws. If the insurance company can successfully argue that you share liability for your injuries, your settlement can be reduced accordingly.
For example, if you were not wearing your seatbelt when you were struck by a driver who was speeding in snowy weather conditions, the judge may find you 15% at fault for your injuries. You could then expect your injury settlement to be reduced by 15% to account for your portion of the liability.
If you hope to protect your injury settlement and avoid being taken advantage of by the insurance company, it may be in your best interests to have your car accident lawyer handle the insurance company on your behalf.
Get Help from a Car Accident Lawyer in Ohio
When snow and ice contribute to your accident, the liable party can still be held accountable for their negligent or reckless actions. Find out how to get the most out of your insurance and civil claims when you contact a dedicated Ohio car accident lawyer at Kisling, Nestico & Redick.
Schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation today when you give our office a call at 1-800-HURT NOW or fill out our convenient contact form, and we will reach out to you to find out more about your car accident damages.