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Icy conditions contribute to car accident on interstate

Montana drivers know that weather conditions at this time of year can be treacherous. Icy roadways and blowing and drifting snow are the cause of many car accidents. A recent pile-up on Interstate 90 in Lockwood is a case in point.

Four vehicles were involved in the collision: a passenger car, a minivan, a pickup truck and a Volkswagen bus. A semitrailer was stopped at the site of the crash but whether it was actually involved is not clear. At least two people were injured and transported from the scene by ambulance. The Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office, the Montana Highway Patrol and Lockwood Fire and Rescue all had personnel on the scene.

A Highway Patrol officer indicated that ice on the roadway was a factor in the crash. On that day there had been a snowfall which caused ice to form on the roads, and this was only one of a number of crashes and rollovers to which the MHP responded that day.

Crashes like this often lead to civil lawsuits, especially when serious injury results. In a lawsuit, fault is determined based on negligence. A driver is negligent if he or she fails to drive the way a reasonable person would under the circumstances. When an auto accident is caused by a negligent driver, an injured victim has the right to bring a lawsuit and recover damages for medical expenses, loss of income and pain and suffering.

A reasonable driver should take road conditions into account when driving. When snow and ice are on the roads, drivers need to slow down. Driving too fast for conditions could give rise to a claim of negligence if an accident results.

Source: Billings Gazette, "4-vehicle crash ties up morning traffic on I-90," Feb. 21, 2013

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