I was in my car when it was struck by another vehicle that came sliding down the hill in our road. There was nothing he could do but my car has been damaged and I have really hurt my hip and elbow as he crashed into my door very hard. Can I claim if it was caused by snow and ice?

This is a very common question that we get asked at this time of year. With the country gripped by snow people often cannot afford to follow the advice of not traveling unless it’s essential as they need to get to work and so accidents do increase. Many people believe there are exceptions regarding accidents which occur when there is ice and snow around – this is a common misconception.

Firstly you should remember that there are no special legal rules at play when road conditions deteriorate due to the conditions. The general standards of driving will apply and every road user must moderate their driving to take account of the conditions. The law imposes a duty on all road users to take care not to injure others and all that happens when there is snow is that you must drive slower and more carefully to fulfill your duty.

If a driver skids this would suggest that he has not driven in accordance with the prevailing conditions. In other words they have driven too fast or turned too sharply or braked too quickly. This is all evidence of their standard of driving falling below that required to fulfill their duty of care to other road users. In other words they are at fault and must pay for any damage caused (or rather their insurers must).

In such a case they cannot say “there was nothing I could do, it was the ice“. The negligence, or rather, breach of duty, happens before that moment when they drive too fast etc and cause the skid.

So in conclusion in this case, it is the fault of the skidding driver entirely and you should present your claim to his insurers once you have taken good legal advice.