I was hit by a driver in the snow, but the insurance company said it’s not their fault because of the snow and ice, is this true?
False, Washington State drivers are responsible for driving prudently and reasonably under any condition, including snow and ice. A driver is often driving “too fast for the conditions” and this alone causes a car accident. Negligence extends to drivers who cause car accidents in the snow and ice-there is no immunity because someone hits your car while there is snow or ice on the ground. In some cases, just deciding to operate your vehicle in dangerous conditions could be enough to find liability against an individual.
Below is the relevant statute in its entirety as it relates to driving in unsafe conditions, but specifically, it reads
In every event speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.
Essentially, slow down and make sure you’re able to drive with due care in any conditions. Insurance companies will try to use the weather as an excuse to not pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering and property damage, but the weather is not an excuse…don’t let them tell you differently! If they do, contact us for a free consultation!
Basic rule and maximum limits.
- No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.
- Except when a special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with subsection (1) of this section, the limits specified in this section or established as hereinafter authorized shall be maximum lawful speeds, and no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed in excess of such maximum limits.
- The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.