If another car slides on ice and damages your private property or results in an accident, that car’s driver can be held responsible for alleged roadway negligence in civil court. Accident survivors like you have the right to demand that an at-fault party and their insurance help you contend with the bills that come in the wake of such an accident.
That said, determining how to approach your legal rights after an icy road accident can be difficult, particularly if you’ve never interacted with civil law before. Fortunately, you can contact a personal injury attorney in Michigan to discuss what deadline you need to submit your claim by and what information your claim needs to include.
You Can Hold Someone Accountable For Sliding on Ice
It’s not easy to control a vehicle when the weather starts to turn. You have to make an extra effort to pay attention on the road and, in some cases, kit out your car to better contend with the changing weather. Drivers who don’t make a point to diligently consider the effect ice may have on the road can be held liable for those oversights if they cause an accident.
As a car accident victim, you can specifically take up a civil complaint against the driver responsible for your recent accident, even if ice is primarily to blame for your losses.
Sliding on Black Ice Doesn’t Always Constitute Criminal Misconduct
Car accidents stemming from roadway ice may entitle you to a personal injury claim, but you may not have the right to pursue criminal charges against the party responsible for your recent accident. Unless the driver in question engaged in deliberate recklessness at the time of your accident, police officers may struggle to press charges against them.
What does that mean for you? It means that you can’t bank on a criminal traffic conviction to serve as evidence of a driver’s roadway misconduct. You should contact an attorney in the days following your accident to more thoroughly investigate the negligence that resulted in your recent losses.
Understanding Duty of Care After an Icy Road Accident
Your right to pursue a personal injury claim hinges on your ability to indicate that a party owed you a duty of care when your accident occurred. “Duty of care” specifically refers to the expectation that a driver will behave reasonably when they take to the road. However, the definition of “reasonable” is often determined by an applicable court.
In the face of severe winter weather and roadway ice, each driver who takes to the road is expected to drive slowly, abide by local laws, and take particular care when navigating around other cars. Drivers who behave recklessly or fail to take the weather’s impact on the road can cause accidents – and be held liable for them.
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Michigan is a No-Fault State
Insurance providers have a considerable say over what your post-accident recovery looks like. Michigan is specifically a no-fault state, meaning that an at-fault driver’s insurance provider is not obligated to help you recover from an accident, even if it appears that another driver’s icy road negligence resulted in your losses.
You, instead, are expected to secure personal injury protection (PIP) coverage if you want to stay safe on the road. While you can opt out of this protection, investing in up to $500,000 of coverage ensures that you’ll have the means to support yourself after a severe accident.
That said, you can always file a civil claim against the party responsible for your losses. Even if the evidence shows that you contributed to your own accident, you can make the most out of your right to legal action courtesy of Michigan’s modified comparative negligence policy. You can discuss your applicable rights and limitations with a Michigan personal injury attorney.
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Bringing Your Icy Road Losses Forward in Civil Court
If you don’t have enough PIP to cover your losses and you want to bring a claim forward in civil court, you have a limited amount of time to do so. Michigan Compiled Laws section 600.5805 gives you three years from the day your accident occurs to act. The complaint you then file with the appropriate parties must elaborate on:
- The identity of the party responsible for your icy road accident
- The negligence that resulted in your losses
- The nature of your accident’s losses
- What evidence you have defending these claims
Our team works to gather all of the applicable information within Michigan’s filing deadline so that you can have the best chance of securing the compensation you need to recover from an icy road accident.
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Staying Ahead of Icy Road Accidents
You can’t control how other people behave on the road. You can, however, have the equipment you need to stay safe after an icy road accident in your car. It’s in your best interest to make sure you have all of the following available to you if you want to protect yourself from an icy road accident:
- Kitty litter to melt the ice around your car
- Gloves, hats, a scarf, and other winter clothing
- Non-perishable foodstuffs
- A miniature shovel
- An ice scraper
It’s not in your best interest to keep water in your car during the winter, as the rapidly changing temperatures can cause your water bottles to explode.
You should also, of course, make sure you have information regarding your insurance policy as well as your registration when you take to the road. Having physical copies of this information can make it easier to explain your situation to police officers, a liable party, and/or other survivors should the need to do so arise.
Discuss Your Recent Accident With Our Lawyers
Sliding on ice can constitute a violation of a driver’s roadway duty of care if that lack of control results in an accident. If you’ve recently been hit by a driver sliding on ice, you can bring your concerns regarding your new expenses to a team of experienced car accident attorneys. White Law PLLC representatives are prepared to help you advocate for yourself in civil court.
Sit down with our team, and we can discuss how you can go about securing financial support after an icy road car accident. We’re available to discuss our services in more detail over the phone or through our online contact form. Contact us today, and let’s calculate the value of your most recent accident.
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