Do icy road conditions negate auto accident claims?

Today there is a slight mix of snow and sleet falling in metro Atlanta as we are getting the first wintry weather of the season. Schools are closing early today and we will likely have the usual Atlanta panic where bread and milk are cleared out at the grocery stores. While there is usually a slight over-reaction to snow in Atlanta, we all remember the bad ice storms of the past where people are stranded on highways and cars and trucks are wrecked as drivers lose control.

If you are struck and injured by a vehicle in wintry weather conditions do you still have a case?

Probably yes. Georgia law requires drivers to drive safely even taking into account weather and highway conditions. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-180 requires:

"No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard for the actual and potential hazards then existing. Consistently with the foregoing, every person shall drive at a reasonable and prudent speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railroad grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching and traversing a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazards exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions."

Consistent with O.C.G.A. § 40-6-180 if you are injured in a traffic accident where another driver loses control in icy or snowy conditions (or any other weather conditions), the law still holds the other driver accountable. You may have a claim for negligence and violating O.C.G.A. § 40-6-180.

Negligence involves proving (1) a duty, (2) a breach of that duty, (3) causation, and (4) damages. The other driver has a (1) duty to drive at a reasonable and prudent speed given the weather conditions. If he loses control of his vehicle he has (2) breached that duty. If he has struck and injured you he has (3) caused (4) damages. That is a potential claim under the laws of Georgia.

Insurance adjusters will sometimes try to deny claims based on weather conditions by arguing that the weather conditions made the accident unavoidable or that they were an act of God. That is simply not the law in Georgia. 

If another driver has struck and injured you in poor weather conditions in Georgia, please contact attorney Richard Armond at (678) 661-9585 for a free consultation. 

Attorney Richard Armond of The Armond Firm, LLC, handles serious personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia. He is licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Georgia and is based in Lawrenceville, one mile down the road from the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center. Call him today for a free consultation at (678) 661-9585. The information above is for informational purposes only as of the date of publication and should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor does the reading of it form an attorney-client relationship. Always consult directly with an attorney for legal advice.