Winter is coming and with it, car and truck collisions in which the road conditions are a contributing factor to the crash. Clients often ask, who is at fault in one of these car or truck accidents. At Goddard & Wagoner, our car, truck and motorcycle lawyers handle cases in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio and the answer varies a bit from state to state.
West Virginia- The West Virginia Supreme Court has held that “Although the mere fact that a motor vehicle skids on the highway does not of itself constitute negligence, the driver of the motor vehicle must exercise ordinary care so as to keep his vehicle under control on a road or highway which is covered with ice and snow, in order to avoid an accident, and the failure to exercise such care, under the circumstances, will constitute negligence.” Syl. Pt. 8, Leftwich v. Wesco Corp., 146 W. Va. 196, 197, 119 S.E.2d 401, 403 (1961) (aspects dealing with contributory negligence overruled by Bradley v. Appalachian Power Co., 163 W. Va. 332, 256 S.E.2d 879 (1979))
Ohio-The Ohio Supreme Court held that “Skidding upon a wet or icy roadway due to bad road conditions alone does not excuse a driver from operating his vehicle upon the right side of the roadway as required by [O.R.C. 4511.25 and O.R.C. 4511.26]” Syl pt. 2 Oechsle v. Hart, 12 Ohio St.2d 29, 231 N.E.2d 306 (1967).