Snow and ice make driving difficult in any vehicle but especially so in a semi-truck. Semi-trucks have so many tires and are so large that handling them in these conditions is hard. Poor handling can lead to serious accidents, and if they occur, the driver is likely the one at fault.
Driving Semi-Trucks On Ice Is Hard
Winter conditions are particularly hard for semi-truck drivers. They need to slow their rigs down heavily to ensure that they don't go out of control. While there are many steps they can take to ensure that this doesn't happen, such as accelerating slowly and avoiding potentially icy areas, it is still possible for this danger to occur at any time.
Who is to blame when the weather conditions contribute to a semi-truck accident? That all depends on the actions of both drivers. Generally, an accident caused by a semi-truck driver in icy weather is likely to fall on the shoulders of that driver.
Liability Is Simple
While snow and ice make driving a semi-truck very difficult, it cannot be used as a defense in a semi-truck accident. If the driver did not adjust their driving to the conditions in a way that a reasonable person would have in the same situation, they are liable for the accident. This reason is why people who suffer car crashes in winter weather often receive a ticket even if nobody else is impacted.
In these conditions, speed is typically a contributing factor. However, the semi-truck driver may also have driven in a dangerous way. For example, if they tried to use a passing lane to get around a slow driver and lost control, they are liable for not adjusting their driving properly to the serious conditions of the road.
Comparative Fault Is A Typical Defense
So while the driver of the semi-truck is likely at fault for not adjusting their driving properly during poor driving conditions, they may still create a successful defense. The most likely defense in a case like this is an argument of comparative fault. This legal concept states that both drivers were at fault in the accident and that the lawsuit should be adjusted accordingly.
For example, in a case where the weather contributed to the accident, the person being sued may try to argue that the other driver was also driving too fast for conditions. In this instance, liability may be split between the two and nullify the case. It may also lead to an adjustment of penalties if the case is not split evenly. Often, trucking companies use this defense to minimize the economic impact.
Anyone involved in this kind of case needs to talk to a trucking lawyer right away. They can sort through all the difficult legal defenses and find a way to ensure that the truth about the incident comes out and the right person wins. For more information, contact a business such as Brownfield Law Office.