The State of Connecticut, or Another Driver, May Be Responsible for Your Winter Auto Accident

Posted on 11/14/13
While many may not enjoy the winter season, it is typically one of the busiest times of year for a personal injury attorney. Connecticut’s icy wintertime roads inevitably lead to more motor vehicle accidents, and thus a larger caseload.
That’s why it is extremely important at this time of year to be careful when you are operating a car around Connecticut. With that parent-like advice out of the way, someone asked me a question at a holiday party that I wanted to share on this blog; who is responsible when a car crash is the result of Mother Nature?
According to Connecticut law, in order for an injured party to collect from another person, the injured party typically must show that the other party acted negligently. This is true under icy or other safer driving conditions. To be negligent in Connecticut, another party’s operation of a motor vehicle must not meet, or “breach”, the required standard of care. The required standard of care is described throughout Connecticut as that of a reasonably prudent man, but the issues presented may also be fact-specific. Therefore, people are expected to conform their actions to their surroundings, and when the roads are in hazardous conditions, drivers are expected to operate vehicles more carefully, as would a hypothetical reasonably prudent man.
A potential legal question regarding a motor vehicle accident in Connecticut occurring in winter that a jury may have submitted to them is whether the driver of a motor vehicle’s standard of care conformed to the driving habits of a reasonably prudent person operating in blizzard (or some other) conditions. Therefore, while the legal questions to prove fault for auto accidents occurring in Connecticut during winter or summer are generally the same, the facts regarding the accident will ultimately help determine who is at fault. If the accident is truly the result of Mother Nature and all cars were operated safely, then maybe no one is to blame, but as a lawyer generally refuse to accept such claims.