Accidents caused by snow and ice: Who sticks to black ice?

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Again and again it comes in the cold season to crashes and car accidents by snow and ice. Badly cleared roads and paths are one of the main causes. But who is actually liable if the parcel delivery service, the neighbor or a pedestrian slips in the black ice on the way in front of the house? And what are the consequences if, for example, tenants neglect their winter service?


Unfall bei Glatteis: Wer bei Unfällen haftet
High risk of accidents in winter due to black ice

Do not feel like clearing the sidewalk in the dense snowdrift or when it's freezing cold? This could get expensive. For anyone who carelessly violates his stray and Räumpflicht must adhere in case of accidents by black ice. But that is not always true. Pedestrians who do not adapt to the weather conditions on slippery and unscathed roads sometimes have little success, for example, from the responsible district or the landowner to get compensation. Therefore, accident victims should in any case gather evidence that they could not prevent the fall even with the utmost caution .

The same applies to motorists who leave the road in the case of black ice. As a rule, they must prove that they have weathered in an appropriate manner and that the accident was running at walking speed and developed winter tires. On the other hand, if a driver is traveling with summer tires during freezing rain and slipping on the road, he will remain at the expense of the accident.

Liability in case of black ice: Accident victims are in the burden of proof

In general, in the case of black ice, anyone who does not fulfill their scattering obligation and thereby accepts that another person will be harmed. Roads, driveways and sidewalks must be cleared at fixed times :

  • Monday to Saturday from 7-20 o'clock
  • On Sundays and public holidays from 9 to 20 o'clock

But even if someone slips and falls on a slippery road, he is not automatically entitled to compensation. The injured person must first prove their innocence. For example, if a pedestrian walks along a side path, although it can be clearly seen that it is icy, he is partly to blame for the accident.

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Do tenants or landlords have to stick to black ice in accidents?

Homeowners can transfer their duty to clean up the tenants . These are then liable for accidents on non-scattered paths. The spreading and clearing service must be expressly recorded in the lease. However, the landlord bears the responsibility to check whether the tenant duly fulfills his task . If the homeowner does not take this control seriously, he himself has to be liable, for example, if the postman breaks his leg on the snow-covered driveway to the house.

A tenant who neglects his winter service despite a reminder by the homeowner, is liable for any damage. He is also required to seek representation if he is not prevented at home or for any other reason within the allocated time period.

Doctor, car repair, lawyer: For those responsible must adhere

If a person is brought to account after an accident in black ice because of their negligent Räumpflicht to account, comes to them financially a lot. In addition to the cost of medical care at the doctor or in the hospital is about the refund for the damage to the vehicle of the accident victim. In many cases, the injured party also has a loss of earnings due to the accident, which must also compensate the polluter financially.

If the person responsible has acted negligently or even to a certain extent intentionally , there is generally no chance of benefits from his private liability insurance. In the worst case, he may even face criminal consequences, for example due to negligent assault.

Here you will find tips and more information on private liability insurance.


Annabell Meyer

editorial staff

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