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Does Ice on the Road Impact Your Alberta Car Accident Case?

Here in Alberta, we see heavy snow and ice for 5 months out of the year. On average, we see measurable snowfall 126 days a year.

It’s safe to say that many of the people who get into car accidents here in Alberta will get into car accidents when there’s ice on the road.

Just how much does that ice and snow actually impact your Alberta case?


Duty of Care in Icy Conditions

Every driver who gets on the road has a duty of care to every other driver. It’s expected that drivers will drive safely based on prevailing road conditions.

This means driving more slowly in the winter time, avoiding cruise control, and leaving more car lengths between cars. It also means braking more gently than you would in warm, sunny weather.

Driving in accordance with prevailing road conditions is the law.

Your duty of care in the winter time also obligates you to scrape all the ice and snow off your car before getting onto the road, to making sure you have the appropriate tires for the weather, to keeping your wind shield wipers and headlights in good repair, and to ensuring your brakes are well cared for.

Drivers who fail to drive slowly or maintain their vehicles properly can still be held at-fault for an accident.

This won’t stop the other driver’s insurance company from claiming the accident was “unavoidable’ due to prevailing conditions. This defense works at times, but not very often. Those of us who are from Alberta are all expected to know how to drive in snow.

In some cases, we’ve been successful at holding municipalities accountable for ice and snow accidents, simply because they didn’t salt the roads or clear the snow when they should have.

Determining liability is always complex. As your Calgary, AB personal injury attorneys, we’ll take a hard look at the facts of your case and use them to determine who should ultimately bear the brunt of a lawsuit.


Recovering Compensation

The amount of compensation you can recover remains exactly the same when ice or snow were on the roads. This means your medical bills, lost wages, special expenses, loss of earning capacity, pain, and suffering are all compensable.

Alberta is a contributory negligence province, so it will be important to show you were taking the appropriate safety and maintenance measures. Otherwise, your percentage of negligence might be high enough to wipe out a significant portion of your settlement. Remember, the percentage of fault you bear is the percentage by which your personal injury settlement will be reduced.


Schedule a Consultation Today

No blog post can tell you exactly how your own personal injury case will unfold.

The team at Merchant Law is full of passionate injury attorneys with decades of experience.

Contact us to schedule a free case review. We’ll take a hard look at the facts of your case, and help you decide on next steps.

About Donald I.M. Outerbridge

Donald became the Executive Director of Merchant Law Group LLP starting in 1993, nearly 30 years ago. His experience managing law firms at various levels and in multiple provinces across Canada goes back even further to 1981.

Please note: The information provided on this website is Not Legal Advice. The information may or may not be accurate. The information is for discussion purposes only. Reliance upon any information provided would not be grounds to advance a claim against Merchant Law for providing any advice. In order to get a formal legal opinion upon which you may rely about any specific fact scenario, you would have to first retain the services of a lawyer and request a formal legal opinion.