How Do You Determine Fault in An Accident If Weather is at Play?
People sometimes drive even when the weather isn’t good for driving because they need to, not because they want to. In such cases, most drivers exercise extra care and focus when driving during inclement weather conditions, such as strong winds, severe thunderstorms, and heavy rains. They slow down as needed, don’t turn sharply, and leave lots of space between their vehicles and the vehicles in front of them, among others.
While many drivers practice proper driving behavior in inclement weather, some don’t. If another motorist crashes into you when the weather is bad, can you hold that motorist liable for your losses?
Negligent Drivers and Accidents During Bad Weather
According to Federal Highway Administration data, roughly 418,000 road users are injured in the U.S. each year in weather-related accidents. These injured victims usually require hospitalization for days or weeks, rehabilitation, long-term medical treatments, and many more, resulting in costly medical bills and related expenses. An injury can likewise mean that injured victims won’t be able to work for many days, weeks, or months and that they’ll suffer emotional distress.
If another driver was at-fault for the accident, you may be able to pursue compensation from them. While bad weather conditions could be the main factor in weather-related accidents, this doesn’t negate the negligent actions of another driver if those actions likewise contributed to the crash.
For example, if the other driver was speeding while it was raining heavily and crashed into your car, they may be responsible for your damages. Accident reconstruction professionals and law enforcement can sometimes determine whether a driver was tailgating, speeding, or engaging in risky driving practices. Drivers may likewise be held liable for crashes during bad weather for the following reasons:
- Faulty brakes – Drivers who blame crashes on faulty brakes that prevented them from avoiding a crash on wet or slippery roads may find their reason does not carry much weight with police officers and the law. This is because it’s their legal duty to ensure that their vehicle is in proper working condition before taking it out on the road. But faulty brakes can also be the fault of the vehicle or parts manufacturer.
- Stopping in a random part of the roadway – If there’s a torrential downpour or the road conditions are rapidly deteriorating, drivers must not stop driving and instead drive very slowly and park their vehicles at a safe spot until it’s safe to drive again.
- Filthy windows and windshields – Cleaning a spot on the window or windshield just large enough to see the side mirror or the front of the vehicle could lead to getting pulled over for unsafe driving. If a driver caused a crash because they couldn’t see properly due to a filthy windshield or window, they can be held liable for the crash.
Get Legal Advice From a Seasoned Collin County Car Accident Attorney Now
If you have suffered serious injuries because another driver’s negligent or reckless actions resulted in a weather-related car crash, contact The Law Office of Joel Vecchio, P.C., right away. Dial 972-380-4444 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our Collin County car accident attorney.