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Car Accidents Caused by Snow and Ice Are Not Excused in Indiana

Guy DiMartino Oct. 25, 2016

Michigan City Indiana car accidents that happen when a car loses control on snow or ice happen all the time in winter weather.

We saw an example of this a few weeks ago in I-94 in Michigan City with that 14 vehicle pile-up. The question this post answers is whether auto crashes are excused if a car slides on ice or snow causing injury. This involves the application of Indiana car accident and traffic laws.

The story of a traffic crash because a car could not stop in time and rear ended another car, is played out over and over again in snowy and icy conditions. These crashes also happen in other ways such as a car spinning into another lane or actually sliding off the road. Sometimes, the accidents are so frequent that the police may not even be able to come to the scene.

Icy or Snowy Conditions Are Not a Defense

However, it has long been Indiana law that skidding or sliding snow or ice, even if the car's speed was slow will not excuse the driver that crashed into an innocent motor vehicle or injured its own passenger. Under the law, a driver is required to act as a reasonable person under same or similar circumstances.

A lot of times the insurance company or insurance defense lawyer will take the position that the driver who caused the crash is not responsible because of the sudden emergency doctrine. Depending on the facts, many times this defense will not work. Because under the sudden emergency doctrine the driver that caused the crash has to show three things: 1) the driver must not have created or brought about the emergency through his own negligence; 2) the danger or peril confronting the actor must appear to be so imminent as to leave no time for deliberation; and 3) the actor's apprehension of the peril must itself be reasonable.

If a driver is driving too fast for road conditions, this defense will not work.

If the insurance company takes the position that it doesn't want to pay for your injuries because of the sudden emergency doctrine, you should probably hire an Indiana car accident lawyer to assist you with your claim.