Motor vehicle accidents occur daily, whether due to driver negligence, inclement weather, poorly maintained roads, or a combination of these factors. If you are lucky, a car crash will only damage your vehicle slightly, but many accidents are much more severe.
When you suffer a personal injury from a vehicle accident due to poor road conditions, your first instinct might be to sue the government. However, the answer to who is responsible for vehicular incidents is rarely straightforward and depends on several factors.
What Constitutes Poor Road Conditions?
One of the first considerations when determining liability in vehicle accidents due to poor road conditions is what constitutes a substandard driving environment. Adverse weather and negligence from the municipality responsible for maintaining roads are potential causes of automobile accidents. These factors negatively affect your ability to drive safely and can lead to a collision.
What Determines Responsibility in Vehicle Accidents Due to Poor Road Conditions?
Naturally, unpleasant weather conditions are frequent targets of blame for people who end up in car accidents during snow storms or rainy weather. Yet pointing the finger at mother nature is hardly a compelling case for insurance companies, which are more likely to look at the state of the driver and their car.
For instance, if you have alcohol in your system during a highway accident, the liability will likely fall on you, even if a violent storm made conditions less favourable. You might also be at fault if your vehicle is behind on necessary maintenance or if you have a history of driver negligence. Responsibility for accidents caused by poor road conditions can still land on you if any of the following apply:
- Low tire tread levels
- Worn-out or rusty brakes
- Reckless or distracted driving
- Malfunctioning head or brake lights
- Worn-out windshield wipers
When Is the Road Authority Accountable?
Outside of major or secondary highways, road conditions are the responsibility of the local municipality. Each has a statutory duty to maintain roadway safety to prevent a vehicle accident due to poor road conditions. This means following standards set forth by the Ontario Traffic Manual (OTM), which judges regularly cite when presiding over car accident cases.
It may be liable when a road authority fails to comply with OTM guidance, such as avoiding 150-meter sightlines on hills. However, causation from a driver speeding or driving erratically can also nullify the municipality’s responsibility, which is why the question of liability often varies from case to case.
You Know What To Do … Call Chorney Sidhu
At Chorney Sidhu Injury Lawyers, we can help you with damages from vehicle accidents due to poor road conditions. If you were in a vehicle accident due to poor road conditions and are searching for a qualified car accident lawyer, Chorney Sidhu Injury Lawyers in Brampton will work for you. We understand the impact a car crash on a slippery or otherwise dangerous road can have on your life and strive to guide you through the process to an agreeable resolution.