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Snowy roads are no excuse for negligence

snow.jpgWell, its snowing again in Seattle and the surrounding areas. Many northwest drivers don't have much opportunity to drive in the snow, and may be unprepared to do so. Making matters worse, our cities and towns are poorly equipped to handle any accumulation of snow and ice on the roadways. The result can be a mess of slippery, snowy roads and lots of disabled vehicles and wrecks.

If your car skids on ice and hits another car, who is responsible? The answer is simple: you are. As a driver, you are always responsible for operating your vehicle in a safe manner. If you can't safely operate your car because of weather or road conditions, you shouldn't be driving. Likewise, if you get hit by another driver who couldn't control his vehicle on the icy roads, he and his insurance company are responsible for your losses.

It would be easy to just blame it on the weather, but the law is clear. If you lose control of your vehicle and crash into another vehicle, or into someone's property, you are liable for the damages caused.

So if the roads are icy and you are nervous about driving, stay home or find someone who is more comfortable driving in wintery conditions. If you must drive, keep to the main thoroughfares and take is slowly. There may be patches of ice you can't see, and one mistake could result in disaster.

If you have been hit by another driver in snowy or icy conditions, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your rights. A qualified lawyer will be able to tell you whether you have a claim worth pursuing, and will help protect your rights.

Meanwhile, be safe out there and watch out for others.

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