Atlanta Car Accident on an Icy Road: Who Is Responsible?


January 18, 2011

Atlanta was virtually shutdown by the harsh winter storm that made for dangerous roads and lots of serious traffic accidents. While Atlanta road maintenance crews worked hard to clear the roadways, the continued freezing temperatures meant icy roads would persist. The Georgia Department of Transportation urged drivers to stay off the roadways, especially heavy tractor-trailers that can be particularly dangerous because of their size and weight.

Each year many people in the U.S. suffer serious injury or wrongful death in accidents on icy roads. Many of those accident victims presume that because the car crash occurred on an ice covered road, they cannot seek compensation for their injuries including medical costs, lost earnings, pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, property damage and other costs. However, most auto accidents have more than one contributing factor so an accident on an icy Atlanta road may still entitle you to financial compensation by those whose conduct contributed to your Georgia car accident. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those who suffer catastrophic injuries and wrongful death on Georgia roads that are covered with ice and snow for over 25 years.

It is a tragic reality that many accident victims find themselves overwhelmed with massive medical expenses and other costs because they do not realize they can seek financial compensation for their car crash on an icy roadway. All too often we see prospective clients who have waited to file a claim because they assumed they had no legal basis for a lawsuit until after the deadline to initiate a lawsuit (called the "Statute of Limitations") had already expired. In many such cases, there was a clear basis for liability by other drivers or the public entity that designed, built or maintained the roadway. An example of a roadway design that public safety officials in Atlanta have indicated may become dangerous as roads freeze is grooved highways. As snow melts and water fills the grooves in the highway, the risk of the moisture freezing as temperatures drop at night can mean long stretches of dangerous ice covered roadway.

The government entity that designed or maintains a road may be responsible for your injuries if they did not design or maintain the road with reasonable care to prevent car accidents. While public entities are not charged with guaranteeing road safety during a winter storm, they may be liable for an unsafe design that makes the road more treacherous or failure to exercise reasonable care in maintaining the road safely. Sometimes public entities use substances for resurfacing a roadway that make roads even more slick when wet or covered in snow. A public entity may be held liable to the degree their conduct caused your icy road accident or resulted in you suffering more serious injuries.

Other drivers whose conduct contributed to your accident may also be responsible for your injuries. All drivers have a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care to avoid car accidents, which includes taking into account existing weather and road conditions. A driver who is following too closely, driving too fast, makes an unsafe lane change or engages in other unsafe driving maneuvers can be liable for contributing to your car accident even if the accident might not have occurred had the road not been covered in ice or snow. Serious auto accidents often result in substantial financial, physical and emotional burdens. A car accident victim can suffer permanent injuries like traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries that may mean a lifetime of pain management, loss of mobility and costly grueling rehabilitation. If you are involved in a serious icy road auto accident, you need the best legal advice from an experienced Georgia auto accident attorney. Your experienced Georgia car accident lawyer will carefully investigate your icy roadway accident and identify all contributing causes and all potential responsible parties.

Montlick and Associates has been helping icy road accident victims in Atlanta and throughout Georgia for over 25 years. Our Georgia icy road car accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Posted by David Montlick

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied up as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.