Liability for icy roads in Europa
The owner body has obligations such as maintenance and custody. When an accident occurs, the public administration or the ground landlord will be presumed responsible. However, the owner of the road will be able to release himself from liability, what must be assessed case-by-case. If the investigation reveals that it was impossible to safeguard the asset, it will not be required to compensate any damage.
The mayor of any municipality is responsible for the normal maintenance of all roads. He is also responsible for the reasonable operation of local road police authority. In case of an accident, the claimant can argue that the municipality did not ensure the normal maintenance or that the police did by gross negligence not accomplish the reasonable measures in order to prevent an accident because of icy road surface. But in many cases, French courts reject demands because of own fault of the victim or they reduce at least the compensation because of self-contribution to the accident.
Municipalities and property owners have a duty to secure traffic. In winter there is an obligation to clear and scatter. However, this is limited to what is reasonable and also limited from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Sundays and public holidays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Road users generally have their own responsibility and have to adapt to the circumstances. If an accident occurred, pedestrians and car drivers are often counted towards joint liability, which may well be 50% or more.
In case of an accident, the municipality or the road administration authority can be held liable for fault and negligence, if the own insurance of the claimant does not cover fully the damage. Roads are cleared from snow according to their importance.