Driving in whiteout conditions can be a scary and dangerous experience, increasing the risk of a collision. Multi-vehicle pileups, severe injuries and road closures due to whiteout conditions are reported each winter by Ontario Provincial Police. Drivers are urged to use extreme caution on the road.
However, collisions can and still do happen. Being able to pursue compensation for these kinds of accidents can get complicated. Perhaps you share partial fault or more than one party may be to blame.
If you have been in a collision in whiteout conditions, we recommend consulting with an experienced lawyer sooner rather than later. An initial consultation with a member of our legal team comes at no cost or obligation to you. We do not get paid unless we help you obtain compensation.
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A whiteout is a weather condition that severely reduces visibility due to blowing snow and wind. In many cases, visibility can be so poor that it blocks a driver’s entire view of the road. He or she is unable to see anything in front or around his or her vehicle. This includes other vehicles and objects.
Whiteout conditions can cause drivers to become disoriented and vulnerable to hitting other vehicles or being struck by other drivers who also cannot see where they are going or who or what is around them.
Drivers who stop suddenly, try to pass or change lanes in these conditions can potentially cause a chain-reaction accident. Whiteout snow storms can come on fast and become dangerous very quickly.
No-fault insurance in Ontario allows drivers to file claims with their own insurance company to get the coverage they need to pay for their injuries and damages in a timely manner. This applies regardless of fault and applies to any collision, including those that happen in whiteout conditions.
Once a claim is filed, you will be contacted by a claims adjuster. He or she may require that you complete a Proof of Loss form. The adjuster will determine how much of your claim the insurer will cover, and explain the coverages provided by your policy, and guide you through the claims process.
However, insurance companies are notorious for devaluing or denying valid claims all in an effort to save themselves money. An experienced lawyer will have your best interests in mind. He or she can answer any questions or concerns you may have about your policy or claim that you are unsure of and ask for clarification on your behalf. Lawyers are prepared to work hard to fight for the maximum compensation possible.
If your injuries are serious enough and caused by another’s negligence, you may be eligible to take legal action against the party or parties responsible. Pursuing compensation in these cases can be complex. This is even more of a reason to retain legal representation to help cover the extent of your losses.
In Ontario, insurance companies use the province’s fault determination rules to assess fault after a collision. These rules outline who should receive blame in a number of scenarios. Even in whiteout conditions, drivers are not excused from liability. In fact, they must take extra precautions to drive safely.
Insurers are required by law to assign a percentage of blame to each party involved in a collision. This can range anywhere from one per cent to 100 per cent at fault. Sometimes one driver may be deemed fully responsible for a collision. In other cases, multiple parties may share varying degrees of fault.
If the insurance company determines that you share some blame or responsibility for the collision, you may have the right to appeal the decision. A dedicated Windsor-based vehicle collision lawyer is ready to help and ensure that you are not assigned more fault, if any, for a collision in whiteout conditions.
There are certain safe driving tips to follow if you find yourself traveling in whiteout conditions. This includes slowing down gradually and driving at a speed that meets the conditions, staying alert, increasing your following distance and reducing distractions to help minimize the risk of a collision.
If you become stuck or stranded in whiteout conditions, try to get off the road or pull into a safe area if it is possible and do the following:
Be sure to also keep an emergency kit that includes such items as a blanket, warm clothes, flares, a flashlight, jumper cables, bottled water and snacks.
Our firm has a proven track record, recovering millions in compensation for car accident victims. This includes a recovery of $1.55 million on behalf of a young couple who were seriously injured in a collision in whiteout conditions. We helped them make a claim with their own insurer for accident benefits.
Our initial consultations are free without any risk or obligation involved. There are no upfront fees if we present you and no fees while we work on your case.
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