Car accidents happen every day. When you add bad weather, rain, ice, snow, and fog into the equation, car accidents are more likely to occur in higher numbers.
When a car accident occurs due to bad weather, who is at fault?
During bad weather, drivers are held responsible for the accidents they cause.
People may try to blame bad weather as the culprit of the accident. However, the ability to pursue bad weather as the culprit makes a personal injury claim more complex.
People driving in poor conditions need to be extra careful, whether they encounter ice, rain, fog, or snow. It is the drivers’ responsibility to adapt to road conditions. Drivers can be held responsible if they fail to drive cautiously during bad weather conditions.
The Legality of Driving in Bad Weather
Drivers are expected to drive safely in existing weather conditions. If a driver makes a mistake on the road while driving through a rainstorm, like stopping too quickly onto a stop sign, hydroplaning through it, causing other vehicles to crash into each other, that driver can be found liable for the accident.
This seems unfair since no one can control the weather.
So why are drivers held accountable for accidents that occur with the weather as a factor?
Drivers have the ability to decide whether or not to drive during poor weather conditions. They also have the power to drive extra careful during changes in the weather. According to the law, drivers are responsible for the accidents they cause, even when poor weather contribute to the problem.
Duty of Care
Every driver on the road has a duty to others to avoid a collision. Drivers must maintain a level of care appropriate to the weather conditions. In bad weather conditions, your duty of care should be higher.
For example, if it’s lightly raining and the roads are not as wet, driving at the speed limit is probably safe. However, if it’s pouring down decreasing visibility, a driver should drive below the speed limit. Drivers should be able to adjust their speed accordingly while driving in poor weather conditions.
Drivers can be held liable during bad weather include:
- Not using windshield wipers
- Impaired driving
- Driving with worn tires
- Not using or incorrectly using headlights
- Driving while drowsy or fatigued
- Driving with worn windshield wipers
- Distracted driving
- Failing to obey traffic signals
- Failing to obey road signs
Weather is one of the many factors our lawyers account for when determining which driver is at fault for the accident. The lawyers at Adley Law Firm, have experience in handling bad weather claims and fighting insurance companies for a fair and just settlement for victims.
How Liability is Determined in a Weather Related Accident
When a car accident occurs during bad weather, insurance companies and attorneys need a way to know whether or not a driver is at fault. Attorneys will look to see whether:
- The driver was driving at a reasonable rate of speed according to conditions of the weather.
- The event of the weather was known, not an unexpected occurrence.
- The driver maintained a safe distance behind other vehicles.
- The driver could have avoided the accident.
In most cases of weather-related accidents, the driver at fault can be held liable. This is because the driver could have acted to prevent the accident.
How Can a Car Accident Claim Be Denied for Bad Weather?
In order for you to recover compensation, you must prove the other drivers’ negligence and that their negligence caused the accident. You must also prove that your injuries were the result of the accident. You and the other driver will be held responsible for damages if the insurance company can prove that bad weather caused the accident.
Proving negligence in bad weather conditions can be complicated, you need a specialized attorney at your side. The lawyers at Adley Law Firm specialize in cases like these and are passionate about getting you fairly compensated. Contact us immediately after the accident occurs, so that you can focus on recovery while we take care of your case. We will conduct a thorough investigation and will gather evidence to prove the other driver was at fault.
When Weather is at Fault
There are very rare cases when a driver can use an “Act of God” defense to prove that they were not liable for the accident. When the weather was extremely unexpected or unusual, the driver could not be able to avoid the accident.
For example, if a driver is driving and is unexpectedly pushed into oncoming traffic by a sudden tornado, causing a collision of other vehicles, that driver may not be held liable. In this case, the driver couldn’t have avoided the crash.
However, a driver may be liable for an accident even if the weather was a contributing factor. Drivers need to drive cautiously when roads are slick. If you were involved in a weather-related car accident, you need to understand that you have options to get the compensation you deserve. Contact our lawyers at (713) 999-8669 or schedule a free consultation. We will do everything in our power to get you fairly compensated.