What Are My Legal Rights After a Winter Driving Car Accident in Utah?
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident due to winter driving conditions in Utah, you may be wondering whether you have any legal rights. Can another driver be at fault for losing control of a car in snowy or icy conditions? What responsibilities do drivers have to maintain their cars for optimal performance in winter weather?
Negligence and Winter Driving in Utah
For another driver to be legally responsible to pay for your injuries sustained in a winter driving car accident, they have to be “negligent”. In legal terms, negligence has a very specific meaning. All drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles like a “reasonably prudent person” in similar circumstances. The reasonableness of the other driver’s behavior is at the heart of most winter driving car accident cases. For example, driving a vehicle at the speed limit would likely be “reasonable” on a clear and sunny day, but almost certainly not “reasonable” in snowy or icy conditions.
Some common examples of driver negligence in snowy or icy conditions include:
- Driving too fast for the conditions
- Failure to use headlights
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Improper tire pressure
- Failure to use windshield wipers
- Turning or changing lanes too quickly
- Following too closely
Protecting Yourself Against a Winter Driving Car Accident in Utah
If you plan on driving on Utah roads in snowy or icy conditions this winter, you can take the following steps to keep yourself or your loved ones safe.
- Be Patient and allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Speeding and aggressive driving both lead to accidents, especially if road conditions are poor.
- Pay Attention to the Conditions and slow down if roads become wet or icy. This can reduce the possibility of sliding into harm’s way if you need to stop suddenly.
- Wear Your Seatbelt. Utah law requires the use of seatbelts, and you are less likely to be seriously injured or killed in a crash if you have your seatbelt on.
For additional winter safety tips, check out http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865642384/Winter-tips-for-a-safer-holiday-season.html?pg=all.
Should You Hire an Attorney for Your Winter Driving Car Accident in Utah?
If you have been involved in a car accident due to snowy or icy conditions on Utah roads, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The insurance companies may claim that another car skidded into you simply due to snowy or icy road conditions and that the collision was unavoidable; however, the reality is that the other driver may have been following too closely or driving too fast for the conditions.
At Hepworth & Associates, our experienced personal injury attorneys will investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine if any evidence of driver negligence exists. In some cases, the very act of being out on the roads may be enough to establish driver negligence. If you or a loved one has been involved in the winter driving car accident, please call Hepworth & Associates at 801-895-4408, to schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney regarding your case.