When a devasting motor vehicle accident occurs on black ice or during inclement winter weather, drivers might be quick to blame the elements. Though nobody can control the weather, it often remains true that at least one party is liable for an accident even if it occurs on black ice.
Black ice is so called because it is clear and invisible, appearing just as black as the asphalt beneath it. If you decide to take to the road during the winter months, you should understand how the presence of black ice might affect liability in the event that you experience a collision.
Lack of precaution is an example of negligence
Black ice and other conditions resulting from winter weather can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle. Even though black ice is difficult or impossible to see, however, failing to take precautions against the possibility of encountering black ice is an example of negligence for which a driver is responsible if their carelessness causes an accident. (more?)
Drivers have an obligation to prepare for winter road conditions
The law acknowledges that motorists should understand the risks of taking to the road during poor conditions and should make preparations in anticipation of encountering black ice. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation provides guidelines that drivers should follow when travel becomes necessary. Namely, driving slowly and braking steadily can help prevent a loss of control when your car passes over black ice.
The presence of winter weather does not change the fact that negligence is grounds for an injured person to hold an at-fault driver liable for damages. Reckless individuals are liable for accidents that occur on black ice, and you have the right to pursue compensation from any such party who is responsible for injuries you sustain in a crash.