Car accidents in winter weather

Region: Ontario Answer # 3400

Weather-related car accidents are common during the winter in Canada. An important part of personal injury law involves proving negligence and recovering damages for victims of car accidents.

What is negligence in winter car accidents?

To establish negligence in a winter car accident, it must be proven that the party at fault failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. This can manifest in various ways, such as not adjusting driving speed to match road conditions, failing to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, or not clearing snow and ice from one’s car before driving.

In winter, the standard of what constitutes ‘reasonable care’ is heightened. Drivers are expected to be more vigilant and cautious, given the increased risks posed by icy roads, reduced visibility, and other winter hazards. Failing to adapt to these conditions is one of the key conditions viewed as negligence.

What to do after an accident

After an accident, documentation is critical. When possible, take photographs of the accident scene, including any skid marks, vehicle positions, and relevant road conditions. Of course, conditions can quickly become unsafe after an accident occurs, so never take action that will put you in danger. With whatever evidence you can gather, it is also helpful to gather weather reports from the day of the accident. This information can be invaluable in constructing a narrative that illustrates how the other party’s negligence contributed to the accident.

How to deal with insurance claims / can you sue?

Ontario operates under a no-fault insurance system, meaning regardless of who is at fault, your own insurance company will typically handle your accident benefits claim. These benefits can cover medical expenses, lost income, and other costs related to your injury. However, if another driver’s negligence causes the accident, you may also have the right to sue the at-fault driver for additional damages, especially if your injuries are severe.

What types of compensation may be available?

The compensation you can seek in a winter car accident case may include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover tangible losses like medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost earnings. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, compensate for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Proving these damages often requires thorough documentation, including medical records, expert testimony, and a detailed accounting of lost wages. A skilled personal injury lawyer can be instrumental in navigating these complexities.

Car accidents in winter weather pose unique challenges in proving negligence and recovering damages. It is crucial to understand the heightened standard of care required during these months and to meticulously document all aspects of the accident and its aftermath. If you find yourself in such a situation, consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can be a critical step in protecting your rights and securing the compensation you deserve.

Get help

This answer is brought to with the expert assistance of Bergeron Clifford, a personal injury law firm with over 20 years of experience.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a winter-related or other accident, contact our preferred experts, Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers. They offer a free consultation and do not charge up-front fees.

Neinstein June 2017 Ontario Personal Injury 474Neinstein June 2017 Ontario Personal Injury 474


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