Black ice can be a dangerous phenomenon that you can encounter on the road during the winter. It's a term that refers to a incredibly thin coating of ice so thin you may never be able to see on the road. It happens when the temperature outside gets warm, the snow and ice melt, then it suddenly gets cold again. That melted water turns into ice, and can cause an accident if you drive over it. If black ice causes you to hit another driver, are you responsible? Know your rights.
Liability Is Not Automatic
When an accident is due to the weather, even if your car is the one that hit another car, you may not be automatically found liable of causing the accident. For liability to be decided on, it needs to be shown that you were driving in a way that was negligent. Without negligence, it was not an accident that either driver could have prevented.
What Makes Someone Liable
Bad weather should change how any person drives on the road, and being found liable in court does take this into consideration. For instance, things will be looked at, such as if you were driving slowly in the bad weather, if you were keeping a reasonable distance with the car in front of you, if you were overcompensation your steering wheel, or using your brakes incorrectly.
Other factors that are considered are the shape of your car. Should it even be driven in dangerous conditions? Were your tires properly inflated? Was there enough tread on the tires to handle a wet road? If you are trying to prove that you are not liable, know that all of these things will be looked at.
What Makes The Other Driver Liable
Even if it seems like you caused the accident, the other drive could still be partially at fault. The other driver will need to prove that they were doing all of the same things correctly when it comes to how they were driving and the condition of their car.
If your accident occurred in another state, be aware that some states have no-fault insurance. This means that even if you were directly responsible for causing the accident, the state laws may decide that nobody was responsible. It's possible that all you'll need to pay for is the other drives deductible as a mini-tort, and that could even be paid for by your insurance company.
When you find yourself being sued for damages related to black ice, contact a local auto accident lawyer in your area so you are properly defended.