Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Snow and Ice on Roads: Who Is Liable for Accident Damage?

Originally published by highrank.

Despite what a meteorologists says, weather can still unpredictable. If you find yourself stuck in the middle of a snowstorm with little option but to continue to your destination, and, you have an accident, call in a skilled attorney. It’s possible that if the road had been better maintained, your accident could have been avoided. Depending on the circumstances, the government may be held liable for an accident caused by poor road conditions.

Road Maintenance Responsibility

Cities, counties, and states are responsible for road maintenance. Depending on the type of maintenance and the location, the responsibility may be shared by more than one organization. These are the types of details your attorney will need to understand to decide who would be liable for an accident caused by snowy conditions.

Proving Negligence

After your attorney identifies the government agencies involved, the next step is to prove neglect. In the case of snow-covered or icy roads, this can be challenging. If your accident happened shortly after the start of a snowstorm, agencies would not be held liable because they would not have had enough time to respond to the weather conditions. Furthermore, the negligence may be seen as your own, because you decided to drive (or continue to drive) despite the bad road conditions.

If, however, the government agency is aware of the problem and has had time to respond, it can be held responsible for any injuries incurred on snow-covered or icy roadways.

Comparative Negligence

If a negligence lawsuit is brought to a government agency, it will typically try to transfer the neglect back onto the plaintiff. It may be difficult to prove an unplowed road was the cause of your accident, depending on the details of your incident. Without evidence such as a witness, a police report, or photos, it may be difficult or impossible to prove that something else was not the cause the accident. Even some evidence may prove inconclusive as to where fault lies.

Some examples may be that another driver contributed to your actions or the damage sustained to your car. Your quality of driving considering the road conditions could be brought into question.

You may be found partially negligent, meaning that the jury could find the plaintiff 20% responsible for the incident, reducing your compensation, if any is granted.

Special Circumstances When Suing an Agency

Sovereign Immunity protects Texas state agencies from lawsuits. Even with immunity, however, these agencies be sued under certain exceptions. Normally, negligence in roadway maintenance is cause for waiving immunity. However, there are many stipulations that need to be met to allow an agency to be sued. One example is that the agency must be deemed “very” negligent, such as a major road that was not plowed that should have been a priority once the poor weather conditions began.

Another special circumstance is the road conditions before the turning of the weather. Snow and ice on a poorly maintained road that already has potholes and other dangers is extremely hazardous. If a driver unknowingly has an accident during bad weather conditions because of those previous hazards, the county or city may be deemed grossly negligent.

If you have been in an automobile accident and feel that unplowed or icy roads in the greater Houston area were the major cause of your accident, contact a lawyer who understands Texas highway laws and how conditions may negate Sovereign Immunity. Remember, you may have a limited time to start a case so contact our attorneys at Gordon, Elias, & Seely LLP today. We will advise you on the particulars of your case during your free consultation.

The post Snow and Ice on Roads: Who Is Liable for Accident Damage? appeared first on Ges Injury Attorneys.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

from Texas Bar Today
via Abogado Aly Website

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