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Question:

An insured person was driving vehicle to a mountain in early morning. An oncoming runner caused them to pull out slightly on the road and they hit black ice ± the vehicle fishtailed and went through a fence on the roadside and ended upside down.

The vehicle claim has been settled but there is an issue with the fence that was damaged. Insurer initially declined third-party claim on the grounds that black ice was an 'unforeseeable event' unless there were signs or notices warning of danger. They then made a 'good faith settlement offer' to the third-party.

The issue is the third-party is now threatening our client saying they have to pay for the balance of damage that the insurer is not paying and are becoming very aggressive.

Insurer claims black ice is an unforeseeable event similar to a medical event so there is no legal liability on the driver.

I would have thought driving on roads in an area known to be frosty/icy would not require signs on every corner and liability for the third-party damage would rest with the driver of the vehicle. Any thoughts please?


Reply:  Crossley Gates

I assume the settlement offer by the insurer was accepted. Hopefully the insurer made it on a full and final basis. If so, the third-party can’t claim anything further from the insured.



September 2020

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