Liability For Bad Roads

Winter driving can be hazardous. Every winter we hear about countless car crashes caused by snow and ice.

The provincial Ministry of Transportation (“MTO”) and municipalities have a duty to keep the roads under their jurisdiction in a reasonable state of repair. The MTO and municipalities have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to keep their roads free of hazardous conditions.

This duty does not mean that roads must always be kept in a perfect condition during the winter. That would be impossible in Ontario. However, the employees responsible for plowing, sanding and salting roadways have timelines that they must meet in order to avoid legal liability. The timelines demand that the busiest roads with the highest posted speed limits be treated with priority.

If the MTO or a municipality fails to plow, sand or salt a road within the expected timeline and someone is injured in a crash caused by bad road conditions, the MTO or the municipality can be held liable.

If you have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash caused by bad road conditions or your family member has been killed in a crash caused by bad road conditions you should consult with a personal injury lawyer. The personal injury lawyer can investigate the winter maintenance performed before the crash and determine whether there is a claim that can be made against the MTO or a municipality.

About the Authors

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Troy Lehman joined Oatley Vigmond in 2006 and became a partner in 2010. As a personal injury lawyer, his greatest satisfaction comes from helping people through to the other side of a difficult time in their lives. “We’re here to help and relieve stress,” Troy says. “When I walk into a first meeting with a client, people are often scared and anxious. And for me, the best thing that can happen at the end of the meeting is that they say, ‘I feel so much better.’

To learn more about Troy, please click here.