The biggest snowstorm in 18 years hit Colorado in March. Colorado drivers should be used to snow and icy conditions but some winter storms are worse than others. Drivers cannot rely on weather broadcasts which can over or underestimate the amount of snow and ice on the roads. As a result, some drivers can be struck by more hazardous weather conditions than expected, which can increase the risk of an accident.
If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by snow, ice, or weather conditions, who is responsible for the damages. If you were injured in a car accident, it may be time to contact an experienced Denver accident lawyer to make sure you get compensation.
Snow or Ice Caused the Accident
According to the Federal Highway Administration, over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,000 injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy, or icy roads. That accounts for about a quarter of all weather-related vehicle conditions.
Icy road can lead to dangerous car crashes when a driver is unable to stop, steer, or maintain control of the vehicle. Unfortunately for an injured driver, liability for accidents caused by an icy road is usually left with the driver. Drivers are supposed to drive safely given the conditions. If the conditions are too dangerous to drive, a driver may be found liable for causing an accident.
For example, even if the speed limit on a road is 50 miles per hour, driving at that speed may be considered negligent in dangerous conditions, like icy roads, heavy snow, dense fog, or heavy rain. Drivers have a duty to drive like a reasonable driver would in the given conditions. If the driver thinks they can drive safely but a “reasonable person” would not, then the driver may be considered negligent if they cause an accident.
Property Owners Liable for Dangerous Conditions
In some cases, a driver may be able to seek damages for an accident or injury that occurred on property grounds, including a driveway or parking lot. Under Colorado law, property owners are responsible for clearing driveways and sidewalks within 24 hours after a snowstorm. Property owners are responsible for clearing snow and ice to allow for safe use of the property. If a property owner fails to address unsafe conditions and a visitor is injured in an accident, the property owner may be liable for damages.
Inexperienced Drivers and Winter Car Accidents
Not all Colorado drivers know how to drive safely in winter weather conditions. Denver gets a lot of tourists every year who come for the ski resorts but just because they know how to travel through snow on skis does not mean they know how to travel through snow in a rental car. A lot of Colorado drivers may have learned to drive in other states before moving, including less snowy places like Florida or Texas. However, even people who have been driving in Colorado all their lives may still fail to drive safely.
If another driver's inexperience, carelessness, or reckless driving causes an injury accident, you should make sure you get the full compensation you deserve. An injury accident can cost tens of thousands in vehicle repairs, hospital bills, and lost wages. Contact our Denver accident attorneys to fight for your rights and recover the maximum damages.