Who's At Fault for A Winter Car Accident in Utah?
Utah has recently been hit with two massive winter storms along the Wasatch Front. The first, February 19, 2018, led to at least 458 car accidents. The second, February 23, 2018, contributed to 130 accidents in Northern Utah. Snow and ice are part of every Utah Winter and often are a factor in car and truck accidents. Who is at fault for a car accident in Utah when bad weather is involved? The answer to this question is significant because it determines who's insurance company will pay for the resulting property damage and personal injuries.
When snow or icy road conditions contribute to drivers losing control, they may want to blame the road for the accident. However, under Utah law, generally a driver is responsible to keep their vehicle under control regardless of the road conditions. Drivers are expected to adjust their driving to account for the road and weather conditions. Speed should be reduced, following distances increased, and extra time should allowed for travel. In addition, drivers should be sure their brakes, tires, lights, and other mechanical aspects of their vehicles are in good working order prior to attempting to drive in adverse conditions.
Insurance companies and the other driver may try to avoid financial responsibility for a car accident by blaming the weather. Don't let them do this. As discussed above, drivers are required to maintain control of their vehicle regardless of the road conditions.
Utah law allows fault to be shared among drivers. In some situations, both drivers may be partially at fault for an accident. In such a situation, if a plaintiff driver is less than 50% at fault for an accident, that driver may still be able to recover for their injuries. Their recover, however, would be reduced by their percentage of fault.
I have helped numerous individuals throughout Utah recover financially and physically from injuries they suffered due to the negligence of other drivers who didn't take appropriate precautions to drive safely in our Utah Winters. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car or truck accident, I would happy to talk to you for free to see if I could also help you.